Green! And Verr Verr Tasty

Frog's Leap Vineyard in the Napa Valley, California, are a forward thinking outfit who make their wines with a strong regard for their environment. Using biodynamic principles, and dry farming, they have been in production for about a quarter century now.

They also approach their work with a light heart, as is evidenced by the name of this one, Leapfrögmilch (2004, synthetic closure). I like a pun, the worse the better, if you see what I mean, and what's more, I liked this wine, really rather a lot.

It's a blend of 70% Riesling and 30% Chardonnay (picked early, according to my notes - not quite sure what that means, but probably refers to the Chardy), and it is lovely.

Floral and green, with lime-y notes on the nose, the palate is soft, smooth, delicate, easy (you get the idea), but the finish - ah the finish! - is sublime. Long, and delicately growing ever more sherbety on the centre of my tongue. If only Liebfraumilch had been like this, the Australians would have given up and gone home back in, oh, 1982, I should think. Excellent, perhaps even Superb (= 4 - 5 ).


TN: Borie de Maurel Cuvée Sylla

At a tasting of syrah / shiraz from around the world, this was the wine for me. I am a Francophile, but even setting that aside, this was a skelper.

A powerful nose of very ripe dark fruit (?cherries?), strangely mixed with what I took for apricot, and the near-suffocating perfume of strongly scented flowers such as lilies makes wild promises that this will be a bold, sensual, sexy wine, and the palate fulfils those promises in a manner which allows me at last to use the adjective 'saturnine'. Strong and smooth and dark, with loads of acid, fruit and tannin, this is a big wine, which will go on being big for years. Go and read 'Snow Crash', if you haven't already, then come back and taste this stuff and see if you find yourself agreeing when I say that if this wine weren't called Sylla it would be called Raven.

We tasted the '03 vintage (cork closure) and I scored it 4-5. (New scoring system! More details to follow. Runs from 0 (faulty) to 5 (Astonishing) with a theoretical possibility of 6 for such marvels as d'Yquem, Observatory, Mouton-Rothschild.)

Link to Borie de Maurel website.