Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG February 21st tasting (3/8): Two Mediterranean whites

with one comment

Bandol 2011, Domaine La Suffrene ($22.85, 11903491)
The estate was created in 1996. This is the first of its wines to be offered at the SAQ. A 50–50 blend of Clairette and Ugni Blanc from vines averaging 35 to 40 years old. Manually harvested. To increase flavour extraction, the crushed grapes are kept on their skins for 12 hours at 8ºC before pressing (aka maceration pelliculaire). After clarification by settling, the juice is fermented in stainless steel vats for around 15 days at around 19ºC, then racked into other vats for fining and maturation. Filtered before bottling. 13% ABV.
Smells like Provence: preserved lemon, acacia blossom, herbs, pear and mineral. Dry in the mouth with a winey verging on unctuous texture, though the acidity and restraint prevent any heaviness. Flavours tend to garrigue and a faint, pithy bitterness. What fruit there is fades on finish leaving ashy minerals. Not a throat-grabber by any means but classic and elegant. Am anxious to try the estate’s red and pink wines. (Buy again? Sure.)

Corse Figari 2011, Clos Canarelli ($39.25, 11794660)
100% biodynamically farmed Vermintinu (aka Vermintino) from vines planted in 1997. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Allowed to undergo partial malolactic fermentation. Aged mostly in large foudres as well as some old neutral barrels. Lightly filtered before bottling. 13.5% ABV. As far as I can tell, the estate doesn’t have a website; for background, see The Vine Route profile.
Outgoing nose of dried herbs, white fruit, a sprinkling of anise seed, a hint of dried banana and some charry ash. Not fruity but weighty on the palate. Not bone dry either, though the residual sugar is counterbalanced by acidity and a fine bitterness. Long, vaporous finish with lemon and mineral notes. Impressive, imposing, a white to contend with, the very definition of a food wine: Grill a sea bass and, just before it’s finished cooking, toss some dried thyme sprigs soaked in Pernod onto the coals under the fish. Serve with a squirt of lemon and a drizzle of fragrant olive oil. You’re welcome. (Buy again? Yes, with sea bass in hand.)

Written by carswell

March 5, 2013 at 13:33

One Response

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  1. […] substrate. The long finish is inflected with preserved lemon and salt. Perhaps even finer than the 2011. Though this worked surprisingly well as a aperitif, it’ll really sing with fish or Corsican […]

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