OK that title is stretching it. What I mean is some miscellaneous whites, of the sort that I don’t post on regularly. We’re having fish curry tonight – one of those straight-from-the-producer-to-your-door delivery boxes of organic ingredients and a recipe – and I decided to plumb three bottles that have nothing in common other than I thought they might pair well with dinner. Let’s see.
2005 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling ‘Brand’ Grand Cru. One of the big boys of Alsace, a producer I have always admired. (Just look at that website: the Humbrecht family tree, winegrowers from father to son since 1620. Unreal.) Super-ripe, sweet nose, caramel and petrol, nutmeg. Huge in the mouth, very powerful wine, just about completely dry. Long finish mineral and again distinctive nutmeg. Very nice. Still well alive but no reason to hold. The curry was not very spicy or particularly strong, and the wine kind of dominated it although it worked ok. (But brilliant after, with a piece of Roquefort.)
2008 Domaine Philippe Foreau (Clos Naudin) Vouvray demi-sec ‘Les Perruches’. I have drunk many bottles of this, one of my favourite white wines ever, from one of the very best producers of the Loire. It has always been spectacular, a benchmark Chenin for me, and fascinating to follow its evolution over a decade. Today it’s still showing loads of slippery, melony Chenin fruit (my daughter says fishy, which I can very much get in a textural rather than aromatic sense — the mouthfeel of a live trout). Evolving too into caramel. Super-bright acidity as ever. I guess there is some RS here but it drinks like a dry wine. Lovely. Pretty good match with the curry.
2017 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer ‘Vigna Kastelaz’ Alto Adige. A leading Alto Adige producer whose wines I’ve enjoyed over a small sample size. Wow, ultra-fragrant, this is just pumping rose and lychee into the atmosphere — so, so varietal. The nose is really a bit much for the food. In the mouth the wine is much more civilized, not as sweet as you expect from the nose, dry minerally finish. Drinking well and I would not really expect this to improve with age (though it might become more restrained and thus more versatile at the table).
Three nice wines, none of which in perfect harmony with the fish curry unfortunately. I will have to try a less exotic approach next time.