7 Search Results for: 2010 wish list

2010 Wish List #1: Essencia

If extreme desire is a pathology, Essencia ticks all the boxes for my diagnosis: spoken about in hushed tones, it is extremely rare (nearly disappearing altogether under Communism), a half bottle starts at least £300, and has more myths about it than even Champagne. Some bottles, nearly 400 years old, have been found in ancient cellars of lost Polish aristocrats and said to be still as fresh as if they had invented screwcap. Catherine the Great was one of its first investors and protected the vineyards with her own personal guards. Only produced in Hungary in random vintages, the last ones being 2000, 1999, 1993 and 1972. The 1972 vintage is only just drinking now. Older bottles look like gold treasure found at the bottom of the ocean. Some people don’t even consider Essencia a wine at all because it is so sweet it is almost impossible to ferment. “So different from other wines,” said one critic, “it’s like seeing a new primary colour.” It is off the sweet richter scale compared to the other …

2010 Wish List #2: Cheval des Andes, Argentina

  When the great St-Emilon Chateau, Cheval Blanc makes a wine in Argentina, is it the vinous equivalent to buying a “Gucci handbag” in Shanghai? Nothing fake (nor cheap) about Cheval des Andes. Cheval des Andes is created from a strong partnership between Pierre Lurton (Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem) and Roberto de la Mota (Terrazas De Los Andes, Mendoza) combining Bordeaux expertise and the cool, elevated vineyards of Mendoza in Argentina. Cheval Blanc partnering with a winery in Mendoza marks a turning point in the debate about New World vs Old World and the whole concept of terroir in wine winemaking. Cheval Blanc is not the only big-name from Bordeaux to lend its expertise in Argentina – there’s also the Rothschilds and flying visits from Michel Rolland – but Cheval Blanc, with its high price and exclusivity, is the one that really opens up the debate about terroir. I can’t help but wonder how much influence can Cheval Blanc have on the style of wine made in Argentina if it is not on its …

2010 Wish List #3: Screaming Eagle

“How can I get onto your waiting list? Production cannot nearly accommodate the demand evidenced by the existing waiting list, many of whom have been waiting patiently for many years. With a waiting list of this length it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase wine directly from the winery, and therefore we have stopped adding names to a waiting list. We thank you for your interest in the very small amount of wine that comes from this extremely special property.” From www.screamingeagle.com You might say I just want Screaming Eagle because it’s on a waiting list. Correction: a waiting list for the waiting list for the waiting list. OK, yes, I admit it: this does make me want it more. You got me. The Eagle is an elusive thing. Like a dream. You look up in the sky and maybe you see it but it’s so bright up there. You look into the sun. Those black dots are not birds, you are about to pass out. What is that? The world screaming …

2010 Wish List #4: Krug Rosé (half bottle)

Yes, it must be a half-bottle. Of course, it would be more practical, economical and sensible to buy a full bottle. But don’t be ridiculous. This is my wish list, and it really is not the moment to consider such prosaic things. It’s the time to dream extravagantly. So it must be a half bottle of Krug Rose and it must be in its lavender box. When it’s a half bottle, Krug Rose becomes more than just Champagne. It joins the modern consumer pantheon: objects such as the smooth black packaging of an iPod or the pale blue egg-shell expectation of a Tiffany’s box; things coveted for how they are presented as for much as what’s inside. Once you get past the pale lavender packaging – a colour that seems only to be found in very expensive cashmere – marveling how it is the same shape as the full-size version and squeal at how everything is so much smaller, you take the bottle out of its box, hold its swan-like neck and wonder: how is …

2010 Wish List #5: Inflorescence Champagne

  Coming in at number five on my 2010 wish list is Cedric Bouchard’s Champagne, Inflorescence.             “The explosive, kaleidoscopic Champagnes of Cedric Bouchard are some of the most compelling wines coming out of the region today… Readers should do whatever they can to experience these magnificent wines.” – Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate     When I read this review in Wine Advocate last April, I immediately started to look for stockists. There’s something appealing about a single-grower in Champagne in a place where every vineyard is held by multiple, usually corporate, interests. It’s the heroic story of the little guy winning against the big guys. There’s also hardly any of it around, and what was available had been snapped up, which, as you can imagine, drove me even more crazy…   Also, the word, Inflorescence – it sounds like it blossoms with marvelous bubbles. Does it live up to the name? I definitely want try a glass or two this year and find out whether it lives up to …

Delicious Chance: Essencia at Chez Bruce

By delicious chance, just three weeks before the year finishes, I finally tasted the number one wine on my 2010 Wish List: Tokaji Essencia (1993).   Well.   Technically, 1993 is a good vintage for Essencia. But a good vintage is never really enough of an explanation, and unfortunately, vintage is not enough to justify this wine. Essencia is meant to be one of the world’s treasures. The worst thing about it was it is a great wine but it had lost its way only through a lack of love – whether because communist vineyard management was still having an effect on the grapes at the time or whether this particular bottle had been stored shabbily and without care.   Or was it me? Have my expectations changed over the year? Probably. Like any wine obsessive, there is a danger of becoming too over-critical. However, tasting the Essencia while spoon-fed lashings of Crème Brûlée at Chez Bruce softens even the most analytical stance… Despite my misgivings, it manages to shine with a tangy, overripe effect, …