Friday, April 10, 2009

Quelle couleur?

'Yuck! I though it was going to be sweet!' Sorry my darling, but no. You see, she loves sweet wines - she loves other wines too, but they wouldn't get too many spaces in her desert island selection. So her reactions when she picked up a glass of something vaguely golden in colour, and found a bone dry wine were understandable, although not exactly positive. Because - for me at least - the dry wine was a bit of a star, and it's what I'm supping as I do this post. But look at this pic, and you can see her problem - which of these is the wine she picked up, and which is the sweet wine I opened to get the taste of the dry one out of her mouth?

(apologies for the red wine stains on the glasses - we'd had the very tasty Cuvée Crunch put together by Domaine Poujol and Duncan Murray, which at £5.99 is a snip)

But back to the dry v. sweet debate - which is which?

OK, a clue or two, one was an Australian wine, and one was from Bordeaux, and both were heavy on the Semillon. Any the wiser? And one is 7½ years older than the other. Still stumped?

Let me put you out of your misery. The left hand glass is Peter Lehmann Barossa Semillon, the right is Clos du Portail Graves Supérieures. And vintages, surely if they're more than 7 years apart, the Aussie is the younger one.... No, the Lehmann is a 1998, honeyed and rich, but with a taut tangy yet simultaneously rich and toasty character. Not the low alcohol style of the Hunter, this is 13% alcohol, but still reined in - think Kirstie Allsopp doing tango. Sadly, it's no longer a commercial reality, but the current vintage will age with similar class, and you should be able to find it for around £6 - TOTAL BARGAIN...

As for the 2005 Graves, that is still around here. And having poured a glass out for my beloved, I haven't heard a word of complaint, and I'm not surprised. This is basically Sauternes in short trousers - there's a bit more Sauvignon here than in the grander wines, and the vineyards fall outside the Sauternes boundaries, but it's young and lively, and delivers a dollop of waxy complexity.

To be honest, it's a toss-up as to which is the finer bargain. I reckon I'll be hoovering up the Lehmann while Jill sips the Portail. Which in a marriage is as it should be - Jack Spratt could eat no fat, etc.

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