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Monday, 6 September 2010

Black Pearl Epicure: Exclusive Hand Picked Wines

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a tasting of some exclusive French imports. The wines haven't been seen in Australia as yet and are being imported by the The One Hundred Wine label on behalf on well known Brisbane providores Black Pearl Epicure.

My first thought, maybe naively, when it comes to French wines is "expensive". Thus I was very impressed by the quality on offer at what I consider reasonable prices.

These are the stand out wines from the evening for me, for the full range, please refer to the link above behind the One Hundred Wine label - even better snaffle yourself a few of these gems!

NV Pierre Moncuit Delos Brut Grand Cru
This was the second Champagne tasted on the night - and yes this can genuinely be called that, hailing from what many consider the most prestigious village in Champagne: Mesnil-sur-Oger.

A non-vintage champagne, yet all the fruit hails from a single growing year, it has an incredible finish. The length is amazing, with a complexity that lingers long after the final drop glides the back of the throat. A bargain at $65.

2007 Domaine Grand Veneur Lirac
This was the fifth wine tasted on the night. It had been decanted for around an hour, allowing some of the fruit to shine through.

Pleasant savoury aromas on the nose, with spice on the palette. There's some length in the finish and moderate herbal tannins. Some may consider it a bruiser at 15% but it works, at $35 this is an impressive GSM (50/35/15% in that order).

2007 Domain Les Aphillanthes, 'Cuvee Des Galets' Cotes du Rhone
Another classic Rhone GSM (60/20/20%). The nose showed some savory characteristics, with a faint whiff of Anise. The palate showed typical fruit profile, with plenty of blackcurrant. The finish lingered and chewy, grippy tannins stayed in the mouth. This is a 10 year cellaring proposition and at $33, to me, is a bargain. I was fortunate enough to take the remnants of the bottle home to share with the wife the following day; it was even better then, the aromas had integrated further, showing balance and structure - giving hints of its cellaribility.

2008 Domaine Vincent Paris Saint Joseph
This was the star of the night. Despite being a Northern Rhone Shiraz, it was almost Burgundian in its aroma profile. In the mouth, gentle tannins were present, with a beautiful lingering finish.

Only 200 cases made, this another wine for the cellar. It can be consumed young, but is nigh on essential to decant to appreciate it. A snip at $40.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to this event. The host was Richard Gardiner. Richard is a friend of the importers, but is also well known in Brisbane for running the blog Food Bling - a down to earth, unpretentious look at Brisbane growing food scene.

On the wines, again I was very impressed at the quality available at the price points. One of the other attendees, Lincoln Scott of grapescott, stated this was as they were coming direct, not via negociants. The wines are a very good introduction to France, either now, or even better as cellarworthy propositions.


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