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Buster bar

Thomas-Labaille 2005 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés “Cuvée Buster” (Loire) – Creamy and, dare I say it about a Sancerre?, thick, but in its mode there’s a fair bit of balance. It tastes more spherical than of any particular mineral or growing thing, and for about an hour or so there’s absolutely nothing about it that tastes anything like its appellation or its grape. Eventually, with a lot of air (and gentle movement towards room temperature), the barest hint of grass and gooseberry emerges, peeking out from some tiny room within the sphere. Given all this, plus a very long finish, either this needs an epic decant or, more reasonably, a good long lie-down in the cellar. (10/08)


Thomas-Labaille 2006 Sancerre Rouge “Authentique” (Loire) – High-toned rose hips and red licorice. Fruity and supple, easy to like. Too many red Sancerres choose between rough rusticity and an over-polished international sheen; this sits nicely in-between, with none of the excesses at the wings. (1/08)