Monday, 30 November 2009

Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine

We always read Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times of a Saturday and have her original book on Vines and Grapes as well as her Oxford Companion to Wine. We can't afford to subscribe to her website but frequently look at her free for all pages which are pretty generous.

The main point about Jancis is her unbelievable work ethic and capacity to taste and write informatively and succinctly about thousands of wines which she herself has tasted, considered, evaluated and fairly judged without exhibiting any discernable prejudices or blind spots that we can make out. She is also able to encompass everything from the most rarified and elite of the wine world (and here we are dealing with an almost unimaginable degree of elitism) as well as the punter in need of a bottle on his or her way home from work or faced with a wall of wine at the supermarket.

Just as an excercise, Slotovino thought we would try to match Jancis Robinson's recommendation of 30 white wines for Christmas in last Saturday's FT from all the whites we had encountered since this blog began in June 2008. In fact on her website, Jancis's recommendations for Christmas Whites this year are 75 in number taken from almost 10,000 tasted in the last year alone.

Slotovino only just made it to match the reduced number in the print version! Here are our 30 best white finds from that 17 month period in no particular order with an extra one for luck. We would have been hard pressed to find a 32nd, but you may be sure Jancis would have been able to repeat the trick any number of times. There is only one department in which we exceeded the Robinson count and that was grape varieties (Jancis's top 30 fielded about half of Slotovino's) but then she is not primarily devoted to pleading for diversity:

1. Blanco joven Doradilla & Moscatel, Sierras de Malaga, Spain

2. Torrontes Etchart, Argentina

3. Don Pascual Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris, Uruguay

4. Mouras de Arraiolas Reserva Branco, 2008 (Antao Vaz), Posrtugal

5. Quinta dos Roques Encruzado, Dao, Portugal

6. Cotes du Luberon Bastide Claux Cuvee Barrabau 2007, France

7. Quintas de Melgaco ‘QM’ Alvarinho (Vinho Verde) 2008. Portugal.

8. CARM Branco Reserva 2007 (Verdelho, Siria, Rabigo & others) Douro, Portugal

9. Follies Loueiro/Trajadura, Portugal

10. Chardonnay Pierre Overnoy, Arbois Pupillin, Jura, France

11. Schatz Chardonnay, Tierras de Malaga (Ronda), Spain

12. Pinot Bianco, Manzocco, Collio, Italy

13. Russiz Superiore Pino Grigio, Collio, Italy

14. Livon Fiulano, Collio, Italy

15. Picech Friulano, Collio, Italy,

16. Berlioz Chignin, Savoie, France

17. Brin de Chevre, Menu Pineau, Touraine, France

18. Tocai Gredic, Brda, Slovenia

19. Tornai Furmint, Somlo, Hungary

20. Tornai Keknyelu & Olaszrizling, Somlo, Hungary.

21. Vilana Peza Olimpias, Creta, Greece

22. Cusumano Insolia, Sicilia, Italy

23. Lieb Pinot Blanc, new York State, USA

24. Bovard Epesses, Terre a boire, Fendant, Valais, Switzerland

25. Schloss Proschwitz Goldriesling, Meissen, Germany

26. Gran Sasso Pecorino, Tere di Chieti, Italy.

27. Caves Labastide de Levis, Loin de l’oieul & Mauzac, Gaillac, France.

28. Torbato Stella e Mosca, Sardegna, Italy

29. Pongratz Welschriesling, Austria

30. Clos des Rochers Auxerrois, Luxembourg

31. Tyrrells Old Winery Semillon, Hunter Valley, Australia


Trammydah said...

Terrific. Leave some names of where to purchase these mully sounding wines!

Robert Slotover said...

Daer Trammydah,
If you are in the UK, you can get the Torrontes Etchard from Chapel Place, Tonbridge Wells, the Quinta dos Roques Encruzado from Handford Wines in Old Brompton Road, London, the Chardonnay Pierre Overnoy Arbois Pupillin (Jura) from Harvey Nichols who also do the Berlioz Chignin. Oddbins used to sell the Vilana Peza Olimpias from Crete but are probably out of it now. Nicolas sometimes does the Caves Labastide de Levis Loin de l'oieul etc. and Zealas (Archway, London) used to sell the Tornai Furmint from Somlo, Hungary but I see he no longer lists it on his website. the Gran Sasso Pecorino is to be found at The Sampler, Upper St., Islington and Tyrrells Old Winery Semillon is at Smartliquor, Bucks. We are sorry not more are available in the UK. may uproot some suppliers nearer to where you live.