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Berry Bros & Rudd Spring Journalist Tasting

Tuesday 30th April 2002
3 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EG
Website: www.bbr.com

Part 1 The whites
22 white wines from this leading London wine merchant; the reds will follow shortly

Léon Beyer Riesling Eguisheim 2000, Alsace
Marc Beyer is the winemaker at this established family firm. This elegant Riesling has a quite lovely floral nose, which is very expressive. Good concentration on the palate: quite rich, rounded and citrussy. Tight and well balanced; finishes dry. Very good/excellent (£9.25)

Willi Haag Estate Riesling QbA 1999, Mosel, Germany
From a small 5 ha estate run by Inge Haag and her son Markus. Attractive perfumed floral nose with a bright lemony lift. Deliciously rich balanced palate with nice balance and some tropical fruit/melon character. Impressive and pure. Very good+ (£6.95)

JJ Prüm Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 1999, Mosel, Germany
One of the leading Mosel estates, established in 1911 and since 1969 run by Manfred Prüm. 33.5 ha of vines are planted on steeply sloping schist soils. Pronounced rich mineralic high-acid nose is quite striking with a strong almost meaty savoury edge. Concentrated palate is rich, spicy and mineralic. Not particularly sweet but very rich. Quite a serious wine. Very good/excellent (£13.45)

Domedechant Werner’schen Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese 1999, Rheingau, Germany
A classy, rich style of Riesling. Very rich tropical fruit and pear nose with a sweet honeyed edge. Massively concentrated tropical fruit palate with melon and spice notes. Quite sweet but the good acidity provides balance. Brilliant stuff. Very good/excellent (£12.95)

Von Buhl Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Auslese 1996, Rheinpfalz, Germany
One of the leading Pfalz estates, with 55 ha of vines. Very rich, slightly cabbagey sweet honeyed fruit on the nose. Rich textured, concentrated fruity palate: very sweet but with very high acidity. Unusual style, and perhaps a little disjointed. Very good (£13.95)

Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2000, Languedoc, France
Picpoul is an old-fashioned southern French grape that can produce lovely crisp white wines. Rich, smoky, nutty nose is very fresh and bracing. Lovely rich, savoury palate with a nutty texture and a touch of lemony, pear-tinged fruit. Good concentration and some minerality. Brilliant Picpoul. Very good/excellent (£5.95)

Tres Olmos Verdejo  Bodegas Gaciarevalo 2001, Rueda, Spain
From a family run Bodega with 40 ha in the middle of Rueda, one of Spain's leading white wine regions. This shows a wonderfully bright aromatic nose with appealing lemony fruit. With a pronounced herbal edge there's lots of fruit here and good acidity. Brilliant for the price. Very good/excellent (£5.95)

Campania Tomas & Giesen Fiano di Avellino 2000, Campania, Italy
Made by Fabrizio Thomas, who has a minimal-intervention approach. It’s an unusual white wine with lots of interest. Rich, nutty fruit on the nose, leading to a savoury, rich nutty palate. Very good (£9.95)

Fattoria La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica 2000, Marche, Italy
La Monacesca, a 22 ha estate, was established in 1966 by Casimiro Cifolia, and is now run by his son Aldo. It’s an interesting nutty white wine. Old fashioned, striking nutty nose with some lifted acidity. Savoury, rich mineralic palate. Very good+ (£8.95)

Domaine Sautereau Sancerre 2000, Loire, France
From an 18 ha estate fermented and aged in stainless steel vats. Lovely grassy character to the nose. Quite austere, with high acidity. Good minerality. A good food wine? Very good (£9.45)

Domaine du Closel Savennières ‘Clos du Papillon’ 2000, Loire, France
Mme. de Jesset manages 12 ha planted with Chenin Blanc, and this wine is fermented and matured in oak barrels. The grapes for this cuvée were grown on schist and limestone soils. Very rich, savoury nutty nose is quite striking, with great depth and complexity and a waxy, herby, butterscotch edge. Good concentration on the extremely nutty, rich, old fashioned palate. Very herbal and savoury. Remarkable, unusual wine. Very good/excellent (£12.25)

Alana Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001, Martinborough, New Zealand
A fruity, forward wine with a nose displaying sweet notes of boiled sweets, gooseberry and blackcurrant. The rich fruity palate is very approachable, with sweet berry flavours. Very good+ (£7.95)

Jean-Claude Martin Chablis 2000, Burgundy, France
Jean-Claude has been running this 12 ha estate since 1981, and takes a traditional approach in the cellar while practising culture raisonée in the vineyard. The result is a super, traditional-styled Chablis, although not one that will be to everyone’s taste. It has a classic lemony nutty nose with a savoury smoky edge. There’s good concentration on the savoury, mineral, high-acid palate . A rich, old fashioned, satisfying style. Very good/excellent (£8.95)

Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph Blanc 2000, Northern Rhône, France
This northern Rhône white is not for everyone, but it’s a brilliant example of its style. Very rich, fruity floral nose with a sweet, luscious edge and some honey notes. The palate is soft-textured, rich and nutty; clean and fruity with some tropical notes. A forward, low acid style. Very good/excellent (£9.95)

Domaine Thibert & Fils Mâcon Fuissé 2000, Burgundy, France
From a small family-owned domaine with 8 ha in Pouilly Fuissé, 1 ha in Pouilly Vinzelles and 4 ha in Mâcon Fuissé. Restrained nutty nose with a nice concentration of soft, herbal, nutty fruit on the palate. Nicely savoury with good balance. Great typicity. Very good+ (£8.95)

Felton Road Chardonnay 2000, Central Otago, New Zealand
Winemaker Blair Walter has experience in Burgundy and Otago, and aims to produce wines of elegance and complexity. This wine is deep yellow in colour with very rich, complex herby fruit on the nose, a slight tinned pea character and some smokiness. The palate is very rich and complex with lots of herbal fruit and a caramel-like edge. Unusual and quite ambitious. Very good+ (£10.95)

Osborns Harwood Chardonnay 1999, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Frank and Pamela Osborn planted their first vineyard in 1988, and now have 6 ha of vines on a north-facing slope. This impressive Chardonnay has a very rich, nutty melony nose with lots of ripe fruit and oak combining well. Lovely approachable full-flavoured palate in an archetypal aussie style but with great class, too. Very good/excellent (£11.45)

Domaine Long Depaquit Chablis Grand Cru La Moutonne 1999, Burgundy, France
This domaine has 62 ha of vines, including holdings in four premier and five grand crus. This wine is made from the 2.35 ha ‘monopole’ (i.e. they own the lot) grand cru vineyard La Moutonne. It has a tight, restrained nutty nose with a concentrated mineralic, nutty palate. Quite old fashioned and savoury with a butterscotch edge, I suspect this needs some time. Very good+ (£27.95)

Domaine Louis Carillon Puligny Montrachet Les Champs Canet 1998, Burgundy, France
From a 12 ha domaine managed by Jacques and Philippe Carillon. Rich nutty nose and palate with a good concentration of savoury fruit. Quite tight, with a smoky edge. Needs time. Very good+ (£29.95)

Domaine Denis Boussey Mersault ‘Pré de Manche’ 1999, Burgundy, France
Classically styled nutty fruit, but it doesn’t stand out. Very good (£16.95)

Domaine Jacques Prieur Mersault Les Perrières 1999, Burgundy, France
Impressive heavy bottle. Rich, complex nutty nose with a toasty edge. Palate is concentrated with lots of acid structure and a minerally edge to the dense citrussy fruit. Currently quite acidic but with real potential. Very good/excellent (£46.95)

Domaine Joseph Matrot Mersault 1998, Burgundy, France
Established in 1909 by Joseph Matrot and now run by his grandson Thierry. Lifted, savoury herbal edge to the nose. Chunky lemon fruit on the palate with some herbal character. Very savoury at the moment but with potential. Very good+ (£24.45)

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