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Wine Gang notes on Dirty Dozen tasting

In the Wine Gang January 2014 newsletter, Vine Trail are top-rated in all 5 categories of wines shown by the 12 importers:

Domaine Léon Boesch Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé 2011

Alsace, France, Off-dry White (Cork),13.0% abv

Gewurz' at its opulent spicy best, with a fabulous density of tangy tropical fruit and gingery zing. There's a cushion of sugar (30g/litre to be precise) and a voluminous feel, but there's something bright and lively in there too. Gorgeous. 
Rating: 93/100 - £19.80 at Vine Trail

Domaine Dirler-Cadé Riesling Grand Cru Spiegel 2007

Alsace, France, Dry White (Cork),13.0% abv

Typically precise, racy, taut and ageworthy Riesling from the excellent little family firm of Dirler-Cadé. From the Grand Cru site of Spiegel, this may be six years old and just starting to show off the caraway seed-like aromas of age, but you sense it's still a baby – there's so much latent energy packed in here, and it will repay many years in the cellar. 
Rating: 93/100 - £21.50 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Salads & Vegetable dishes.

Domaine Gilles Berlioz Chignin 'Chez l'Odette' 2011

Savoie, France, Dry White (Cork),11.0% abv

Gentle and flowing with a wonderful lightness of touch, this charming Alpine white made from the local Jacquère variety, has white fruits and flowers and a thirst-quenching stony coolness. 
Rating: 90/100 - £14.50 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Salads & Vegetable dishes.

Domaine de Montesquiou Jurançon Cuvade Préciouse 2012

Jurançon (South West), France, Dry White (Cork),14.0% abv

Luscious but grapefruit-tangy, with honeyed fruit draped over a tensile steel framework of nervy acidity, this concentrated, rich, dry white blend of Gros and Petit Manseng and Petit Corbu is both highly distinctive and excellent value. 
Rating: 90/100 - £11.10 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Chicken.

Robert Michel Cornas 'La Geynale' 2005

Cornas (Rhône), France, Dry Red (Cork),13.0% abv

Top-flight Northern Rhône Syrah at its savoury best, Robert Michel's top cuvée benefits from 100+-year-old vines on a south-facing granite slope, which yield a gorgeous seam of blackberry fruit infused with grilled meat and a shake of pepper and a powerful but supple feel. Gorgeous now, but will happily sleep for several more years to come. 
Rating: 94/100 - £32.22 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Red meat & Dark game.

Domaine de Cébène Faugères Les Bancels 2010

Faugères (Languedoc), France, Dry Red (Cork),14.0% abv

This intense, brawny but evocative southern French red blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache has guts and plenty of stuffing, but is lifted by its very pure fruit character, with swirls of liquorice, black fruit and rosemary and firm but fine tannins. 
Rating: 92/100 - £14.10 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Red meat & Dark game.

Domaine de Prion Fleurie 'La Madone' 2011

Fleurie (Beaujolais), France, Dry Red (Cork),12.5% abv

Graceful, poised, pretty and perfumed, but with a certain peppery spiciness and some silky but not inconsequential tannins, this is serious Gamay with the sophistication of Pinot. 
Rating: 91/100 - £14.35 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Charcuterie and cold meats, Duck & Mild game.

Franck Peillot Montagnieu Méthode Traditionnelle

Bugey (Savoie), France, Sparkling White (Cork),12.0% abv

From the Bugey appellation, which is generally lumped in with the Alpine wines of Savoie but which actually stands alone across the Rhône river, this is a superb Champagne-method sparkling wine, a blend of 40% Altesse, 30% Mondeuse and 30% Chardonnay that has the same electric tension and clarity of the wines of the more celebrated northern region, and a rippling mineral undertow. 
Rating: 90/100 - £14.04 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Aperitif wine.

Gourt de Mautens Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel 2006

Rasteau (Rhône), France, Sweet Red (Cork),16.0% abv

A kind of unfortified Rhône-ish take on Port, this sweet red (it's made from late-harvested grapes and has 100grams per litre of residual sugar) is fabulously pure and intense, almost like a Syrah-Grenache liqueur, with the pepper and rosemary spice freshening the deep, dark and sweet brambly fruit. 
Rating: 93/100 - £34.68 at Vine Trail
Goes with: Chocolate & Ice cream.

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