WINE

Salford Advertiser - - MOTORING - ANDY CRONSHAW

WHAT is the se­cret to mak­ing per­fect wine?

Well, if meet­ing a wine-maker who has been cred­ited with mak­ing per­fect wine was any­thing to go by; hu­mil­ity and the right soil.

I was lucky enough to be in­vited to share din­ner with vi­gneron Pierre Seil­lan who has made some re­mark­able and high-scor­ing wines in France, Italy and Cal­i­for­nia.

He now works with the Jack­son Fam­ily Es­tate brand which owns fine wine vine­yards world­wide. Seven of the wines cre­ated in the Cal­i­for­nian Sonoma vine­yards un­der the name of Vérité have been scored 100 points out of 100 by Amer­ica’s most fa­mous critic Robert Parker.

Given their achieve­ments, Pierre and his wife Monique, ex­uded mod­esty, hu­mil­ity, as well as wis­dom and joie de vivre.

“My wines come from the turf,” he said, “and I am a ser­vant of the soil.”

The meal was held at the Al­bert Square Chop House with a wine flight cu­rated by leg­endary Manch­ester som­me­lier George Bergier and head som­me­lier Garry Clark.

To match the ex­quis­ite wines the food needed to be of the high­est or­der, and so it was, with dishes pro­vided by head chef Stu­art Valen­tine.

For our ex­cel­lent canapés came an English wine that man­aged to put a smile on the face of French­man Pierre: Vérité La Muse, 2007 Nyetim­ber, Blanc de Blancs 2009.

Burst­ing with flo­ral aro­mas this wine is very tightly fo­cused with ex­cel­lent min­er­al­ity; a gen­uine UK ri­val to Cham­pagne.

Our first in­tro­duc­tion to Pierre’s wines came via Tus­cany with his Tenuta di Ar­cano, Ar­canum 2007 to match a game ter­rine (game from John­son & Swar­brick in Goos­nargh).

This wine hails from Chi­anti Clas­sico but in keep­ing with other ‘Su­per Tus­cans’ it is not made from San­giovese like Chi­anti but from Caber­net Franc, Mer­lot and Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon.

It was scored a mere 96 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Ad­vo­cate which puts it in the very high­est ech­e­lons.

What’s re­mark­able about it is that the same as­pects that I so ad­mire in a Chi­anti Clas­sico are still present.

There’s lifted aro­mas of berry fruits and cherry with a waft of savoury spice. The palate is ut­terly de­li­cious with a broad­side of fresh­ness fir­ing across the en­tire lengthy pro­file of the wine.

After an amaz­ing Pouilly Fumé 2012 made by Di­dier Dage­uneau, in the Silex vine­yards of the Loire Val­ley, came the sub­lime Chateau Lességue Saint Emil­ion Grand Cru 2005 to match High Peak lamb from John Met­trick’s Glos­sop butcher shop.

The lat­ter boasted vanilla-scented aro­mat­ics matched by sup­ple and gen­er­ous fruit.

For a pre-dessert French-style cheese course came the three per­fect score wines: is knit­ted to­gether per­fectly. The volup­tuous nose re­minded me of Douro wines with a huge black­cur­rant pro­file and a faint hint of dried herbs. The palate is de­light­fully sup­ple and invit­ing with colos­sal length. It’s still very young and needs more time. Vérité Le De­sir, Sonoma 2008 (Parker score 100)

This wine mainly com­bines Caber­net Franc (61 per cent) and Mer­lot to pro­duce a wine of depth and min­er­al­ity. Oak gives the nose toasty aro­mas but the over­all character is the pu­rity and el­e­gance of the fruit. Vérité Le Joie, Sonoma 2005 (Parker score 100)

Ut­terly stun­ning wine made with Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon in the style of a Bordeaux left-bank Chateau such as Pauil­lac.

This wine is show­ing a lit­tle more ma­tu­rity than the other two with nose boast­ing almost feral lev­els of savoury ‘barn­yard’ spice. The bold, pow­er­ful cas­sis and black­berry fruit is struc­tured by cigar box oak and ripe tan­nins.

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