Fundraising schemes continue to emerge for Wine Relief 2013
. See the recently published list of Wine Relief 2013 wines
that are on offer as fundraisers from the major wine retailers. (Wine Relief is the wine-related fundraising initiative that has been a substantial contributor to the biennial Comic Relief
campaign since 1999.)
And now good old Farr Vintners, most successful fundraisers for Wine Relief 2011
by farr (geddit?), are offering to donate £20 for each case of the following wines ordered between now and the end of March. I tasted them and really liked them. Some of them are even great bargains.
My notes are below, in the form in which we present all our tasting notes on Purple Pages. Since this is in such a good cause, this particular tasting article is free to access. Please order copiously here
(The image is of Farr Vintners' tasting room in the old Battersea piano factory - I think - in which they are based. It was taken at the Top St-Emilion 2005 & 2009 tasting
organised last December by owner Stephen Browett, on the extreme right. Steven Spurrier's shoulder is on the left. Water bottle foreground.)
Pol Roger 2002 Champagne
17 Drink 2011-2016
Well balanced and slightly floral. Very fine acidity. Very similar build to the non-vintage version. £47 Farr Vintners
Pol Roger NV Champagne
16.5 Drink 2012-2015
Deep flavoured and quite rich at first. Tense and tight. Dry savoury finish. Quite a bargain as it's almost as good as the 2002 vintage counterpart. GV
£27 Farr Vintners
Verget, Vaillons Premier Cru 2009 Chablis
17.5 Drink 2013-2018
Quite full and racy and lovely and lip smacking. Not at all fat like so many 2009 Chablis. Fabulous textbook Chablis. GV
13%£14.80 Farr Vintners
Kumeu River, Estate Chardonnay 2009 Kumeu
16.5 Drink 2012-2016
100% screwcap since 2000. Tense and lively with obvious leesiness. Racy. Bitter finish after a great whack of stone-fruit flavours. Bright fruit. Still remarkably youthful. £16.28 Farr Vintners
Churton Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough
16.5 Drink 2011-2014
Opulent bouquet of tropical fruits pushes itself right up your nose! A very nose-y kinda wine. Tiny bit sweet but lots of enjoyment and masses more concentration than the Marlborough average.
£11 Farr Vintners
Dom Guffens-Heynen, Tri de Chavigné 2009 Mâcon-Pierreclos
16.5 Drink 2012-2018
From the home farm of the owner of Verget. Tight, tight, tight with liquorice aromas and super-smooth texture. Very polished. Lightly bitter in a zesty way. Very well disciplined – just like the Comic Relief team! £25.30 Farr Vintners
Dom Michel Mallard et Fils 2010 Bourgogne
16 Drink 2012-2014
Very respectable blend of correct savoury white burgundy fruit with sufficient density and a dry finish. From the cellarmaster of posh Domaine d'Eugénie in Vosne-Romanée.
£11.50 Farr Vintners
Ch Léoville Barton 1988 St-Julien
17 Drink 2010-2025
A fully mature wine from the most popular wine producer in Bordeaux, Anthony Barton
. Mid crimson and very juicy and not too hard. Fairly grippy but fine and with Médoc minerals on the finish. £87.80 Farr Vintners
Ch Lagrange 2005 St-Julien
17 Drink 2013-2030
A great vintage just becoming ready to drink. Lovely luscious crimson. Fine, scented and energetic. Silky at first, then chewy, but well built with lots of ripe fruit. Classy stuff from a very reliable property revived by Suntory of Japan!
£41.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Gloria 2007 St-Julien
17 Drink 2014-2022
Very round and fully developed. Opulent and fun. Round and pleasing, Really rather glorious. Dry finish but lots of fun. (Must be fun because I wrote it twice.) GV
13.5%£23.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou, La Croix de Beaucaillou 2009 St-Julien
16.5+ Drink 2015-2023
Another second wine, before Jade Jagger was given the job of repackaging it like a bottle of scent.
Relatively pale crimson. Luscious and yet dry on the end. Really well constituted. Dense and set for a great future. £31.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Puech Haut, Prestige 2010 Languedoc, St-Drézéry
16.5 Drink 2012-2015
The Bru family own this property that's on higher ground towards Pic St-Loup. The famous Philippe Cambie of the southern Rhône consults. This was brought to the attention of a sceptical Farr by a friend of the son of the owner and is now one of their biggest sellers.
Fruit and structure so why bother with barrels?! Lively and round and juicy with great balance and lift. Persistence too.
14.5%£14.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Rauzan-Ségla, Ségla 2009 Margaux
16.5 Drink 2015-2022
Screwcapped second wine of Ch Rauzan Ségla. Farr were the first and exclusive importers of it under this stopper. More than half of production is this second wine at this property.
Minerally. Fine and dense and upright. Real structure here. Bravo!
£24.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Gloria 2009 St-Julien
16.5 Drink 2016-2026
Sweet and thick. Rather austere. Pure though. Just a tad rigid for the moment. Not as luscious at the moment as the 2007. Buy both and see how they develop?
13%£35.30 Farr Vintners
Ch d'Armailhac 2010 Pauillac
16.5 Drink 2017-2030
Dark crimson. Bit dull and unformed. Seems so angular after the 2009s! So young and chewy!!! Buy this wine from the same stable as first growth Ch Mouton Rothschild to keep. £32.30 Farr Vintners
Dom des Sénéchaux 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
16.5 Drink 2013-2018
Yet another wine with a Pauillac connection: the southern Rhône property of the Cazes family. This wine's Syrah ingredient is raised in Ch Lynch Bages barrels (perhaps those that had that delicious Ch Lynch Bages 2009 in them?).
Lovely, round and spicy. Good balance. Fresh finish. Great stuff and GV
. 14.5%£24.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Thénac, Fleur du Périgord 2009 Bergerac
16 Drink 2011-2015
The owner has poured squillions into making the wine taste like a young Pomerol. The property is only just over the border from Castillon, after all. The magician of Ch L'Église-Clinet, Denis Durantou, is consulting.
Damn fine. Gamey, ripe and hedonistic. Giles Coren's professed best house red ever (according to Twitter). VGV
14.5%£9.80 Farr Vintners
Ch Sénéjac 2007 Haut-Médoc
16 Drink 2010-2015
This vintage (though not the 2009) was made by Alfred Tesseron and team from Ch Pontet Canet in Pauillac.
Easy peasy and no rough edges. Classic for bordeaux lovers. I could just imagine them loving this in clubland. Slightly inky finish but not too tough. Proof that 2007 is drinking like a dream now.
13%£12 Farr Vintners
Ch Les Cruzelles 2007 Lalande-de-Pomerol
16 Drink 2012-2017
Denis Durantou bought this property which you can actually see from Ch L'Église-Clinet it's so near. This bottling is from the older vines.
Fresh and quite urgent and with some structure. Chewy although there is enough fruit to drink it now with food.
£15.30 Farr Vintners
Ch Sénéjac 2009 Haut-Médoc
16 Drink 2015-2022
A little less opulent than some 2009s. Quite tough at the moment. Sucks the juices out of the palate! One for the cellar?
£21.30 Farr Vintners
Dom de Fontbonau 2010 Côtes du Rhône
16 Drink 2013-2016
Owned by director of Ch Latour in Pauillac Frédéric Engerer and Jérôme Sarda Malet of Roussillon. (FE has given up on his personal Roussillon project). Near Valréas. The Grenache is aged, sensibly, in foudres while the Syrah gets old Ch Latour barrels. This was only the second proper vintage.
Big and a little brutal. Slightly hot, tarry finish but not too sweet. A wine with a classy pedigree. 15%£17.30 Farr Vintners
Dom Gorges du Soleil 1963 Rivesaltes
16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Dark, sweet and sticky. Amazing how lively it is considering its age. It would be great dribbled on vanilla ice cream.
£45 Farr Vintners