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This Saint-Véran is a modern rendition of Bourgogne Chardonnay from a higher appellation. Pale gold in colour, this Saint Véran offers up an intense and complex combination of aromas, mingling stone fruits and white flowers. Its generous palate, rounded and balanced with a long, acidulous and mineral finish, endows this wine with a pleasant and characteristic freshness.


The AOC Saint-Véran was created in 1971 and forms the link between the southern parts of Burgundy and the northern regions of Beaujolais. The appellation includes several villages on both sides of Pouilly-Fuissé on the slopes of the rock of Solutré, which gives riper wines. Only white wines permitted for production, though. Trénel's Saint-Véran is a blend of several cuvées sourced from the south and west-oriented parcels in the municipalities of Saint-Véran and Davayé, which carefully chosen for their clay-limestone soils. The vines range from 20 to 60 years of age.


The fermentation process takes place in 75 per cent stainless-steel and 25 per cent French oak. The wine went through complete malolactic fermentation, partly in oak, partly in stainless-steel. Hence there is certain creaminess.


The score is high, like 91 Points | Antonio Galloni (2017), who writes:


"Pungent aromas of lemon pith and quince pick up a mineral nuance with air. Pliant, energetic and dry, showing very good depth to the juicy, mineral-laced citrus and orchard fruit flavors, which deepen slowly on the back half. Rich yet energetic in style, finishing silky and very persistent, with resonating minerality and a lingering floral note."


I hosted a casual tasting on leading IGTs current vintage IGTs last week at home. The line-up is as follows:

  1. Ad Astra IGT 2017, Maremma

  2. Ad Astra IGT 2016, Maremma

  3. Nectar Dei IGT 2017, Maremma

  4. Nectar Dei IGT 2018, Maremma

  5. Grattamacco 2006, Bolgheri Superiore

  6. Grattamacco 2008, Bolgheri Superiore

  7. Grattamacco 2010, Bolgheri Superiore

  8. Grattamacco 2014, Bolgheri Superiore

  9. Messiio 2014, Fertuna, Toscana

  10. Le Difese 2018, Tenuta San Guido, Toscana

  11. Villa Donoratico 2017, Bolgheri Rosso

  12. Argentiera 2017, Bolgheri Superiore

  13. Le Macchiole 2017 Bolgheri Rosso



The Tasting


The 2 Astras were highly palatable. Clean and elegant, it could probably weather any challenge from any lesser crus from Left Bank. The 2 Nectar Dei IGT Maremma were classically Bordeaux: fragrant nose, tight and these angular. Rich and aromatic, they were full-bodied and gave an exciting finish with a Sangiovese touch. The 4 Grattamaccos were great interpretatons of Cabernet+Merlot+Sangiovese blends. They were really 'the little Bordeaux' as coined by Doctor Wine! Those four vintages were big and polished enough, though I found 2008 more suited to my palate. Messio 2014 was very Bordeaux too, albeit with too little trace of Sangiovese. Le Difese 2018 was very interesting: apricoty, plummy and was very, very elegant. Villa Donoratico 2018 was lighter and less intense than I thought. There are lots of surprises, though. Argentiera 2018 made lots of changes. Very ripe. Pleasing. Bold with oak, red fruit, and green pepper, the last bottle Le Macchiole 2017 Bolgheri Rosso provides a firm tannic backbone that leads to a longish ending. The Cabernet Franc gives tones of greenness and liquorice that is exceptional.

The Dinner


The dinner started with a very herbie and classical Occhio a Vento 2018(Rocca della Macia), which contrasted well to the riper and modern Litorale Vermentino 2018 with a dash of Sauvignon Blanc. Definitely a crowd pleaser. Quite intense. The other dinner wines wer castello Terrico 2003, Guidalberto 2010(Tenuta San Guido), and Tenuta Guado Al Tasso 2006.


Indigo coloured; tight rim. On the first nose, ripe and intense black fruits(blackberries, plums and ripe black cherries over more subtle cocoa notes, liquorice and sweet spice. It seems brooding, some complexities(from a mix of grapes). On the palate, juicy with nuances of tar, coffee and chocolate. Entirely wooded; still harmonious. Medium body soft tannins and medium finish, yet very structured and created impressions of length and intensity. Sweetish finish; tannins and wood spices support throughout(this long?!). Minty. Simple though. A piece of good lamb rack will be perfect.

This youthful offering from Tua Rita is 50% Sangiovese and 50% blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, harvested in September from vineyards foothills of Suvereto, a small hilltop village in Tuscany. After a gentle pressing, the wine aged three months in French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks.

For a humble Rosso, commentaries are significant, for example, 92 Points from Italian experts and also from well-known commentators.

This is a consolidation of the tasting and papers

written from 2006 to 2013. These write-ups had been with the orginal site Wine and Beyond, Yahoo, until the service stopped by Yahoo in September 2013.

 

For years I have been working with wines, either buying it, selling it to wine companies, lecturing and writing about it, and, not unimportantly, enjoying it with friends. If any of the articles on this site are worth reading it is due to my teachers, my mentors, my peers and friends, my students, and in particularly my editors who ignite in me a desire to communicate in wines.

 

Clinging to the trellis of wine, I started to get more and more involved with estates and winemakers, by supporting them with consultancy in communication and marketing. The more I spend my time outside Hong Kong, the more I sense a desire to be part of the international wine family.

 

Writing about wine represents a moment of reflection, curiosity, atitudes and a desire to analyse often hidden structures and history, in an effort to make the wealth of wine accessible to a targetted, and hopefully larger audience.

 

I am not sure if I can wine proivde more accessible to all through this blog. But I am sure to write in wine means being involved in wine and  to remain as impartial and objective as possible.

 

Kevin Tang.

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