Château Branon 2000

One night expect a garagiste wine made by both Jean-Luc Thunevin and Michel Rolland to be be fairly approachable after eight years, but the Château Branon '00 was decidedly not for playing. There were hints of the possibilities - a whiff of fresh cut flowers, plenty of shiny oak - but my abiding impression of the wine was of dark, dark fruitiness and endless tannins. Immensely enjoyable, but undoubtedly it will be much better ten years down the line. So I rate it as merely excellent.

(Hah, "merely")


TN: Rubino Vermentino 07

Tenute Rubino Vermentino 07 is that somewhat rare beast, an Italian white wine with character. Rather than the neutral-foil-to-great-tasting-food style, there's tons going on here. A biscuity nose, but not sweet biscuits, the savoury sort, and probably with paté spread in them, seafood paté to be precise, and then the palate is sour and refreshing, with just the tiniest hint of dirtiness about it; a peck of dirt, which as any fule kno, is good for you. Interesting dirtiness, such as you would never find in a supermarket wine. All in all, mighty tasty.

Certainly there is a place for neutral wines, spear carriers. But it's good to find an Italian white which can happily take the leading role.