Sunday, 27 March 2011

Domaine Heresztyn Gervrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2005 v Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2004

c£40 and £30 respectively

Some exemplary poker playing and a small lottery win on Friday night meant that I awoke the next morning in the mood to buy some weaponry.

I will not pretend that my assault on the London International Dive Show was an 'under the radar' kind of operation in any way, but equally I am not the kind to fail a primary objective. The conflagration of these meant that I found myself a few hours later standing on the banks of the Thames in Rotherhithe staring at my Sister down the barrel of a shiny new speargun.

Still, as is so often the case, the solution to one problem created a new set of questions and obstacles. Most are better left unconsidered or unasked, but the one I did feel in a position to tackle was just what type of cork I was going to put on the end of it to prevent poking people in between bouts of pescacide.

Having inadvertently stumbled across the answer to the debate surrounding bottle closure (synthetic closures are not the match for cork in every conceivable application), it was clear that something quality, ultra-traditional and probably French was in order.

Up for consideration then were a bottle of 2004 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling, and a 2005 Domaine Heresztyn Gervrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes.

Now red Burgundy is a wine that I’ve not had much luck with, it’s not that I don’t like it- more that I don’t tend to like the people that do, and have a pretty low tolerance for brett and the old and weird winemaking techniques that go on down there. Riesling on the other hand I am besotted with, and particularly this one, which I had at a restaurant recently and thought it one of the finest whites I have ever tasted. I thought I knew how this little head-to-head was going to pan out…

Domaine Heresztyn Gervrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2005 – No dirt on the nose whatsoever, full of red fruit and a little vegetal leafiness. The palate is sumptuous, summer fruits; strawberries and raspberries, perfect acid and light tannins. Drinking beautifully now, this wine is all the ‘S’s; supple, subtle, suave, sleek, sexy and seductive.

Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2004 – Really tight nose, minerals, wet stone and no rubber. This translates onto a palate that is equally inexpressive, lemon peel, lime and taught, focused minerality, but none of the expansive exotic stuff of the last bottle I had. Seems very young and closed right now, or maybe a possible hint of oxidation, either way I wouldn’t have put it at much above a tenner.

A very one-sided showdown means that my speargun is now the proud possessor of stylish new hat from the Bourgogne.

Bring on the barracuda.

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