Immediately, powerfully fragrant and spicy. There’s so much going on in the upper registers it takes a while for a thread of rich, red berry fruit to begin asserting itself. I’d say there’s a reasonable amount of oak here, very much of the savoury, spicy variety. This isn’t a wine that sneaks up. Rather, it is a bold challenge, throwing complexity and savouriness in your face by way of a rather frenetic aroma profile. Yet it remains nimble.
I was almost reluctant to taste this wine, as I wasn’t sure how its relative cacophany of aromas might translate to the palate. Certainly, oak-driven spice continues as a key thread in the mouth. There’s so much more here, though. The attack is alive with fine, firm acidity that seems to jolt the tongue, only to be replaced in an instant by a more plush, fruit-driven impression. Indeed, detailed red fruit flavours begin to the caress the mouth most seductively, taking in the oak’s savouriness plus a general sense of detail and creating, from it all, a lushly feminine coherence. Fragrant vanilla overlays an after palate of clean red fruit and brambles, possibly some tobacco leaf, and ultra fine tannins that dry the edges of the tongue. Quite a long finish that suggests cherry liqueur in its concentration and smoothness.
This is quite a wine. Complex, shapely, fragrant. I can’t decide if the oak is too prominent; I do know that its character complements the fruit exceptionally well, even if balance is arguably compromised. It is drinking very well now.
Update: drinking well on evening two, oak stepping back into the overall shape of the wine. One criticism I might make is that the whole remains hazy and never quite resolves to the level of clarity I would ultimately like. Still, a delicious wine.
Domaine Anne et Hervé Sigaut
Onwards with the Burgundy 2005 tastings, and here we have a 1er Cru wine from Chambolle-Musigny. A pretty ruby colour, slight haze. This wine’s aromas has proven elusive and changeable through my tasting experience. At first yeasty with strawberries and cream, then morphing to a raspberry liqueur sort of expression, finally (the morning after) ending up firmly in savoury territory, with mineral and sous-bois notes running underneath vanilla spice and delicate fruit. Although it is an expressive nose, it is complex and subtle and almost evasive. The palate has gone through an equally interesting evolution. Entry is striking, with acidity and sappy red fruits registering quickly on the palate. At first, the mid-palate was mouthfilling, light to medium bodied, with intense flavours and bright freshness. Over time, the wine has gained complexity and lost some of its hedonistic edge. Its flavour profile is quite savoury and intense, but delicate too. I love the acid structure of this wine, which provides a clearly delineated flow for each flavour component and which I can almost “visualise.” Good line through the after palate, with a finely drying finish of decent length. Although there’s a lot in this wine, it feels unresolved to me, as if it needs some time to make up its mind what it wants to be. I’ll allow my remaining bottles that luxury. Domaine Anne et Hervé SigautPrice: $A65Closure: CorkDate tasted: February 2008