Pepper & vanilla

Pepper & vanilla

Chris Scott of Todd & Cue Ltd, opts for quality over quantity
When I got the call to ask if I would taste a couple of bottles of wine, I have to say, I was somewhat taken aback. Anyone who knows me would undoubtedly label me as a “quaffer” with a preference for quantity over quality but hey, if someone’s offering you a couple of bottles of decent wine it would have been rude to say no!

I decided it would be much easier if I had some assistance. My wife, Anne, was the obvious choice, as for more than 35 years now, she has maintained that she appreciates decent wine more than yours truly.

Over the years, I’ve been to innumerable wine tasting evenings and some years ago, even ventured to the vineyards of Bordeaux but I’m not sure any of this has greatly increased my appreciation of the better quality wines. Tannins, sulphur content and terroire mean nothing to me - my only care is if it tastes nice.

While I do enjoy a good bottle of wine, I frequently struggle to appreciate some of the subtleties of flavour that others with more delicate palates seem to find.

That said, if you’re told what you’re supposed to taste, it makes the detection much easier, so, with that in mind, when the bottles arrived, after reading what it said on the label, I headed straight to the internet to see if someone far more knowledgeable than I had anything to say about them.

CHATEAU LAVILLE BERTOU 2011 MINERVOIS-LA LIVINIERE
The label describes it as “a harmonious and full wine with silky tannins, fruity and spicy with a long finish”. On Google it’s “an immensely robust and concentrated wine with a backbone of red and black fruit with heady
wafts of heathland shrubs and pepper on the nose”.

Personally, whilst it certainly has a long finish, and was undoubtedly peppery, I found the wine too earthy for my taste and wasn’t anything like as fruity as I expected. Anne, on the other hand thought it was absolutely delicious and promptly set about finishing the bottle.

MEDALL REAL 2011 SANTA RITA CHARDONNAY
I absolutely loved this wine. It was exactly as described on both the label and the internet. It possesses a beautiful greenish yellow colour, and delightful
citrus intensity.

It too has a long finish, but with creamy vanilla texture. I was sure my wife would share my views but how wrong I was. She felt that it just didn’t have the mineral quality that the label suggested and overall, wasn’t impressed. So there we have it, I have just one glass of red and my wife finishes the rest, but when it came to the Chardonnay, I not only finished her glass but polished off the bottle into the bargain! All it shows, I suppose, is that it all comes down to personal choice. Of course another conclusion is that maybe, after 35 years of marriage, my wife is a better judge when it comes to wine - and men!

The Chateau Laville Bertrou 2011, Minervois-la-Liviniere, France, £14.99 and Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2011, £11.24 were supplied by Majestic Wine Warehouse, Gosforth.