It’s probably not the best idea to taste wine while you’re baking a cake, but as Philip White wrote recently in defense of mixing fragrance and wine: as if wine was always meant to be drunk in sterilised rooms. In fact, the smells of baking are stimulating my appetite in the most gluttonous manner, and I’d like to think this provides an
Wine, for me, has been an acquired taste, or rather a series of acquired tastes that continue to accumulate the more I drink. Funny thing is, an acquired taste can be the most stubborn, displacing attractions that, at first, feel easier and more natural. So it is with Pinot Noir in general, and Burgundy in particular. I’m far from the most erudite taster, yet my first smell of this wine had the same effect as (for me) the smell of a Hunter Semillon, or a Coonawarra Cabernet. In other words, at least at first, the recognition of something familiar has as much to do with one’s pleasure as the absolute quality of the aroma. The accumulated experience of tasting makes the smell of this wine the summation of all the Pinots I’ve smelled. It is most curious to me, and something I’d like to explore further. If only I knew where to start.
Onwards with the Burgundy tastings. Here we have a village level wine from Vosne-Romanée.On pouring, I thought this wine was faulty, so funky were some of the smells emerging from glass. But it wasn’t — it’s just on the wilder side of Pinot, and perhaps all the better for it. Complex aromas of pepper, stalk, sous-bois and bright red strawberry fruit intermingle on the nose, but these descriptors may give false impression of my certainty — it’s a subtle, changeable nose that has evolved a fair bit through the evening. Quite expressive and beautifully perfumed.When I first sipped the wine, I found the acid overwhelmingly assertive. This subsided after an hour or so to reveal a still-bright but more balanced palate. Entry is lively and immediate, with acidity registering, followed quickly by sweet, plummy red fruit. Complexity builds towards the middle palate, where notes of pepper and spice become quite prominent. There are also smoky, meaty edges to the flavour profile, as well as a bit of vanilla oak. I wouldn’t call this a “clean” wine, but it’s funky and interesting in the most positive way. Body is medium, as is intensity. The wine continues well through the after palate, with a slightly confected note emerging towards the back of the mouth, lingering on through a finish of good length. I must say, I do like this wine a lot. It has changed a fair amount through the evening, gaining weight and body whilst not losing its fundamentally bright profile. I enjoy the slightly wild flavours too — squeaky clean fruit bombs can get boring after a while. There’s definitely a few years in this wine yet, but if you must drink now, do decant for a couple of hours, or at least sip slowly.Jacques Cacheux & FilsPrice: $A55Closure: CorkDate tasted: February 2008