Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

The SAQ does natural wines – part 2

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The Barbera d’Asti 2008, Terra del Noce, Trinchero ($24.50, 12517710) has considerable initial appeal, provided you’re not bothered by the whiff of volatile acidity. The vibrant attack, pure fruit, upfront cherry and slate flavours, bright acidity and light rustic tannins are typical of the grape and appellation. Too bad, then, that the wine falls short on the finish. Buy again? Twenty-five bucks for a dead-ender? Probably not.

Having enjoyed other wines from the winemaker in his Domaine la Fourmente guise, we had high hopes for the Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan 2012, Native, Rémi Pouizin ($19.90, 12517832). How disappointing then to report it has as many cons as pros. Burned rubber and barnyard cancel out the otherwise attractive nose of raspberry jam, black tea leaves and black pepper. And though I don’t quite agree with one taster’s dismissal (“blackberry yogurt with tannins”), the lean, way peppery fruit is dominated by a parching dryness and tannic astringency while a metallic edge and flaring alcohol do no favours to the finish. Improves – turns sweeter and fruitier – after a couple of hours but not enough to dispel the impression that this is a textbook example of why I sometimes find Grenache hard to love. Buy again? Probably not.

A cipher when opened, especially on the nose, the Corbières 2012, L’Enclos, Domaine des Deux Ânes ($24.70, 12518000) doesn’t really come around until an hour later, at which point it shows itself to be the richest and roundest wine of the six, an agreeably earthy mouthful of red and black fruit, dried herbs and spice with a mineral underlay. The plush tannins and soft acidity have just enough presence while the finish provides a warm-and-fuzzy send-off. Not a throat-grabber by any means but easy to drink. Buy again? Sure, though not without wishing the price was closer to $20.

SAQ natural wines tasting: post 2 of 3.

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Written by carswell

May 27, 2015 at 15:22

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