Another get-together with Linden Wilkie’s ‘Fine Wine Experience‘ – surely some of the finest opportunities to taste great wines anywhere, anytime – [no commercial affiliation I suppose I should say!].
About a dozen of us sat together with Anthony Hanson and slowly worked through this impressive set of wines, discussion vintage characteristics and the winemaking approaches. This was no competition, rather it was a comparison of styles.
It is easy to summarise: My usual style preference lays with the typical wine of Clos des Lambrays rather than the more forceful interpretation of the terroir that Clos de Tart offers up – that said, the wine that I later chose to search out for my cellar turned out to be the 2001 Clos de Tart – it is simply superb and did a good job of usurping the 2005 Clos des Lambrays which was one of my top wines of the year in 2007.
Actually when it came to the 2001 Clos de Tart I had no luck with WineSearcher – not for a reasonable price anyway – but I later realised I already had some, bought en-primeur after a tasting back in 2002! Who said en-primeur tastings were of little value? – Oops, that might have been me! Anyway, whilst far from cheap, I think I paid £71; that’s about one third the price of recent vintages…
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour, edged with purple. High-toned, and initially slightly diffuse and alcoholic but the aromas show a great depth of brooding fruit. Absolutely mouth-filling and complex. Very. very long with a mineral vein – superbly long – fantastic.
Deep colour. Very tight aromas with dark, creamily oaked fruit notes at the core, slowly releasing raspberry notes. A little prickly carbon dioxide then tongue saturating flavours of coffee and roast nuts. Lots of structure, but balance too. As it loses the CO2 it becomes close to a complete wine.
A high-toned and nicely fresh nose of red berries over something initially a little musty – the must slowly evolves to creamy soil notes. The palate is very ripe but the fruit retains some freshness and avoids being ‘roast’. The flavour is good and shows no obvious jar from the tannin. This is very supple but not as long as many here.
‘Big’, saturated colour. An opulent, almost ‘Barossa’ nose that slowly, slowly opens and widens and even begins to impress. The palate, likewise, starts concentrated and peppery. There’s plenty of coffee yet mineral elements too. There’s a suggestion of heat on the finish – a very long finish – but blind you wouldn’t pick ‘burgundy’…
Deep aromas, some sous-bois, a little spicy oak. Much better texture to the tannin versus the 2002 – this is almost a junior 2005 in mouth-feel. There is plenty of action in the mouth and a similar if slightly narrower length to the 2002, actually this seems younger than the 2002. Very fine wine.
Medium-plus relatively young colour. The nose has a good blend of red and black fruits – it’s rather complex. Luxurious, if oaky mouth-feel – plenty of oak flavour on the finish too, Super balance, fruit and delivery – outstanding, very young wine.
The aromatics are high-toned with faint notes of cedar. The palate has a little width though the flavours are attenuated. Tainted or tight – ? – either way a poor bottle.
Herbs, spices and some caramel on the nose too. Mature flavours on the palate, some brown sugar though immature tannins. There is less than perfect balance, but good length. Not a great bottle given the stature of the vintage.
There’s a lovely width of powdery red cherry fruit and faint almond – it smells wonderful. Likewise in the mouth, a width of lovely flavours. The tannin certainly needs another 3-5 years, also the acidity has some lift. Interesting but understated length. Far from perfect but wonderful personality.
Wide, herby, and cool-ly mineral aromas. Plenty of depth of flavour, some maturity but the tannin despite being less forward than the Lambrays also needs 3-5 years. There’s a slight metallic edge to the flavours but not too bad. Good, but less successful than the Lambrays.
The nose is wide, mature, meaty and sweet – perhaps a hint of 3-day-old socks, but a nice package. On the tongue it’s ripe and sweet with very faint oxidation in the background. The fruit is rather good and there’s still an edge of tannin. Subtly long – an interesting wine to spend time with.
The colour is a little younger than the Lambrays. Sweet, old wood aromas and a slight vegetal edge over deep fruit notes. The old wood is quite evident as a flavour too. There’s plenty of concentration and nicer flavours and width in the finish. Better condition than the Lambrays bottle and, hence, a better experience.
The colour is certainly browner than my last bottle – about 4 months earlier. Minerals, soil and a good mix of high and medium tones on the nose. Lovely, mouth-filling, coffee-edged flavours and the typical, slightly unruly 2002 tannins. A very characterful wine of good length – very tasty.