Wines from a year ending in 7 to go with Thai food
Siam Thai Restaurant
King's Heath, Birmingham
19 October 2007

As it wasn't sufficient a challenge to find wines to match food, the additional criterion was set that all wines had to come from a year ending in 7.

Wines were served blind.

Very nice food at Siam. Lovely clean flavours and balance in the dishes.

A little aperitif before setting off:

2000 Riesling Grand Cru Vorbourg, Clos St Landelin, René Muré, 13.5%
A very petrolly nose - almost to the exclusion of much else. Oily, minerally palate. Very precise and focussed. Good acidity on the finish. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

1997 Bollinger Grande Année, 12%
Very powerful, peary, biscuity, peachy nose with a lemony hint. Rich and full on the palate, feeling a touch oxidised, but not to its detriment. Nice balance. Super length. Very Good Indeed.

1995 Riesling Clos St Hune, Trimbach
Very minerally nose: there's some petrol and some nice white flowers. This tastes like oldish riesling. Alsace not German. Too young for 1987; too old for 1997. Is someone cheating on the theme? Precise palate, feeling like early '90s. It has a very pleasant austerity that is reminiscent of Trimbach. Very Good Indeed.

1997 Vin Jaune Clos des Grives, Claude Charbonnier, 13.5%, 620ml
Ho ho! In a clavelin. I'm guessing vin jaune before the bottle's even got to me. Oh, yes. Vin Jaune. A mid gold colour. Rich, oxidative nose: very savoury and salty. Would have been interesting to have had it decanted into a less obvious bottle to see if I could still spot it, or whether I'd be thinking of sherry. Very savoury palate. Only at the start of its (very long) life at a mere ten years old.
It's funny stuff is Vin Jaune. Delicious, intellectual, but never what you'd call delicious or easy drinking. Does it really have a role as a drink and not just a curiosity or an ingredient in poulet au vin jaune et morilles? Whatever, this is Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

2006 Sula Vineyards Chenin Blanc, Estate Bottles, Nashik, India, 12.5%
Screwcapped. It's a pale lemon gold and has an interesting nose with some lemon notes, but overall the nose feels very vegetal. Quite full on the palate, but a bit flabby, and there's a touch of residual sugar on the palate. Ok, but not brilliant.

2007 Weisser Riesling, Paul Cluver, W.O. Elgin, 12%
Screwcapped. This has a very pale, light lemon colour. On the nose, there's a very fresh, lemony minerality - quite a chalky minerality. Very pleasant, lovely palate. A bit simple maybe, but it could have done with being served a touch cooler. This is clearly riesling, but it's not German, not Alsace and probably not Australian. Possibly New Zealand, possible South American, which would make it a 2007. Very Good.

2007 Knappstein Three (Gewurztraminer-Riesling-Pinot Gris), Knappstein, 12.5%
Pale straw appearance. Rather slight on the nose, with a touch of lime, slightly nutty, and then some white flowers. Deep down there's a buttery oiliness and some peas. It's much fuller on the palate than on the nose. This is a blend. I can rule out Friuli. Possibly Australian? A very pleasant wine. Very Good Indeed.

NV Fleur Fields, Table Wine, Northampton NN6 9DQ, 11% Apparently a blend of seyval blanc and phoenix.
A very pale straw. Quite minerally on the nose: sort of chalky peas. Bright and fresh on the palate. Possibly sauvignon blanc? But not New Zealand. Not sauvignon blanc on reflection. I think this is a very nice wine. It has an interesting twist at the end. Very Good Indeed.

2007 Gewurztraminer Single Vineyard Laboratory Sample, Errazuriz, Casablanca Valley, 13.5%. Bottled 6/9/07
Obvious gewurz on the nose with lovely, but not overdone rose petals. Light, fresh palate. Very balanced. Showing much better tonight than it was yesterday afternoon. Very Good Indeed.

2007 The Reach, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Vavasour Wines Ltd
Very, very pale colour. Dry, crisp and green vegetal nose with a hint of asparagus. Clearly sauvignon blanc. Decent palate. Not over-exciting as a sauvignon blanc. New Zealand? Marlborough (a pure guess)? Very Good.

2005 Bandol Rosé, Domaine Tempier, 13.5%
Ah, rosé. A mid salmon pink. Minerally nose with savoury red fruits. Fair palate. A bit thin. It has an interesting savouriness on the palate, but I find it very unsatisfying. Good.

1997 Muscat Vendanges Tardives, Rolly Gassmann, Alsace
A honeyed sweet nose with some elegant floral notes - almost rosey. Delicate, floral palate. Very clean, with a lvoely easy sweetness. Much better than when first opened a couple of hours previously. Very Good.

1985 Viña Tondonia,Reserva ??, R. Lopez de Heredia, 12%
A green, vegetal nose: quite cedary and with some vanilla. Lightish palate. Very fresh flavoured, with a hint of VA maybe. Hmm, yes, certainly a VA freshness. I'd guess at a lower grade claret. Very Good-.

1997 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino, 13.5%
This had been opened about 5 hours previously. It has a lovely fresh, cherry nose. Light palate, with uite high acidity. Lacks character a bit. Definitely does not go with Thai food. Very Good.

1997 Château Du Tertre, Margaux
A classic Bordeaux nose with lightish, perfumed black fruit. Thin and uninteresting on the palate. Really unimpressive. Must be Bordeaux. Presumably 1997. OK.

1987 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Marqués de Murrieta, 12.5%
Soft red fruits on the nose with a very soft vanilla structure. Very high toned on the palate, though there are plenty of soft red fruit flavours. Soft tannins. Guess Rioja. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

1997 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain Vineyard, Napa Valley, Ritchie Creek Vineyards, 14%
A fairly cedary nose with some greenish hedgerow fruits. Ripe, full, black fruits on the palate. A bit hollow. Spirity and tannic on the finish, when the fruit turns a bit too sweetish. Good/Very Good.

Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Eberle, Paso Robles, 13.5%
A lovely perfumed nose with very pleasant blackcurrant fruit behind. Lovely palate. Round and open with lots of character. Very restrained and elegant. Really lovely. Very Good Indeed/Excellent.

1997 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 13.5%
There is open, plummy fruit on the nose. Really lovely in the mouth. Very good fruit with soft grained tannins. A lovely drink. Very Good Indeed.

1997 Cornas Chaillot, Thierry Allemand, 12.5%
The nose has spicy, leathery black fruit. On the palate, there is some sweet black fruit, and it's atouch high-toned. Quite a Rhôney feel. A very nice wine with lovely structure and some nice tannins on the finish. Very Good Indeed.

1977 Château Potensac, AC Médoc
A very green nose, and it's easy to see why some might suspect it's corked. But it's not. It has a sort of clay-ey feel to the nose.
Quite soft and open on the palate with some fairly red fruit. Very integrated. Some soft-grained tannins are noticeable on the finish. Very Good Indeed.

1997 Yalumba Griffith-Barossa Botrytis Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, 13%
Apparently bought for 99p.
Orangey and sweet on the nose. Simple, sweet palate. Uncomplicated and unchallenging. Worth the 99p. Good.


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Last updated: 11 January 2008