Tasting with Haynes Hanson & Clark
How long is it since I attended at a real live portfolio tasting? Earlier in the month, Haynes Hanson and Clark hosted a tasting that showcased their eclectic range of wines. They may be known for their Burgundies, but they offer so much else besides. For a start, I tasted my very first Belgium wine. Being geographically challenged, I had to ask where the Jardins de Wallonie were. A 2019 Chardonnay from Château du Bousval had some rounded buttery fruit and refreshing acidity. And there was another pair of delicious Chardonnay from an Australian producer in the Mornington Crescent, that was quite unknown to me, Scorpo Estate, with Aubaine and Eocene Chardonnay. The pair made a fascinating contrast, but both with depth and elegance.
But I really want to enthuse about the Languedoc offerings from Haynes Hanson & Clarke.
2020 Picpoul de Pinet, Racine - £10.70
from Bruno Lafon and François Chamboissier.
Classic Picpoul, with quite soft salty fruit on both nose and palate and a dry finish.
2020 Domaine Gayda, Viognier, Pays d’Oc – £9.50
Soft peachy nose, and more peachy fruit on the palate, with a bite of acidity, and a touch of oak. Good varietal character.
2020 Racine Pinot Noir, Pays d’Oc - £11.00
Again from Bruno Lafon and François Chamboissier. I had tasted this earlier in the year, with Bruno at his cellars in the Languedoc. With his Burgundian roots, Bruno takes Pinot Noir very seriously. As the price would indicate, this is not a complex wine, but it is a great example of the variety, with fresh easy fruit. Light colour, a fresh red fruit nose, with fragrance and a touch of tannin. Quite light and eminently easy to drink. Delicious. Serve slightly chilled.
2019 Domaine Gayda, Grenache, Pays d’Oc - £9.50
Medium colour. Ripe cherry fruit on both nose and palate, with some spicy notes. Medium weight. Easy drinking.
2020 Domaine Clavel, Le Mas, Languedoc - £12.70
Deep colour. Dry spicy nose and palate. Some appealing savoury notes. Medium weight.
2019 Château de Valflaunès, Pic St Loup, Espérance - £14.50
It has been a while since I have tasted the wines of Château de Valflaunès, and this was just as good as I remembered them. Rounded spice on the nose, with quite an accessible palate, with some supple tannins, and nicely maturing fruit, making a spicy mouthful of flavour. Medium weight. I liked it a lot. For immediate drinking.
The tasting continued with offerings from Bordeaux and Burgundy, and Italy, and finished with the Champagne that they have been shipping since the company started in 1978, Champagne Pierre Vaudon grand cru - £36.60 with elegant bready fruit. And the very last item was a Calvados from Victor Gontier and I learnt that Calvados from the area of Domfrontais must include pear as well as apple. It was delicious!