Just returned from a cellar tasting at Ely Wine Bar, run mainly for the various sommeliers who work there, plus a few wine scribes. We tasted 20 wines, including a number of 2006 Bordeaux; Cos d’Estournel and Pape-Clement both outshone Léoville-Lascases for the moment, two excellent wines still in their youth. Also, a brilliant Bollinger Vieilles Vignes 1998. However the stars for me were two Burgundies, one red, one white and a quartet of Rhônes.
Beaune Blanc ‘Aigrots’ 2005 Domaine Lafarge €69 in Ely
Wonderful white wine, reminiscent of a really good Hautes Côtes, rather than a Côte d’Or, with grilled nuts, whiteflowers and wet-stones. Lovely firm acidity and excellent length. 16/20
Volnay 2005 Domaine Lafarge €75 in Ely
A beautiful subtle fragrant floral nose; very firm and acidic on the palate, with a green touch (from the stems?) allied to lovely maturing red cherry fruits, and great length. Lovely wine that will develop a further 5 years or more. 16/20
The two red Châteauneuf were poles apart; a big meaty, earthy, tarry Domaine Pegau 1998, and a wonderful pure elegant Clos des Papes 2008, 15% alcohol but perfectly balanced, very long and intensely flavoured.
St. Joseph Cuvée du Papy, Domaine du Monteillet 2008 €59 in Ely
Wonderful fragrant, almost Burgundian nose; elegant delightful pure sweet/savoury dark cherry fruits. A special wine to seek out. 16.5/20
Cornas ‘Brise Cailloux’ 2006 Domaine du Coulet
A superb just-ripe savoury nose of plums; masses of tight, concentrated ripe dark fruits, a mineral streak, and excellent length. Needs a year or two, but brilliant wine. 17/20