Julia Harding. Master of Wine (England)

Julia Harding is Master of Wine and is part of the Jancis Robinson MW team. She is considered one of the most sensitive noses in England. We share your tasting notes for our 2018 vintage.

We share her tasting notes:.

Lumière 2018

A little deeper in colour than the Univers, and again slightly cloudy but still pale. A little more open and richer-smelling than the Univers, riper yellow fruit – sour yellow plum, sour apricot, though not as sweet as that might suggest – as well as the intrinsic smoky, stony but somehow rich and still herbal notes. There’s even a suggestion of exotic flowers as it opens up, perhaps jasmine with a flicker of spice. Smells as if there was quite a time on the lees. Deep and at the same time creamy and chewy in the mouth. Like the Univers, this has lovely presence and depth for a wine of 12.5%. The acidity and the fruit depth are perfectly matched in a wine that you really have to sip slowly to enjoy fully. Then on the finish, the return of a lightly smoky reductive dry intensity that is as much about texture as flavour. Still a touch salty but more mineral. Incredibly long and satisfying. Even with so much intrigue and complexity, the fruit is lovely. Persistent, tantalising finish. I’m grasping for words. (JH) 2020-2025 17.5/20 points

Elixir 2018

Pale lemon colour and very slightly cloudy. This has even more jasmine than the Lumière but also the grapey/floral note of Muscat, though here it is subtle and entwined with a light saltiness. On the palate, there’s light spice, orange pith, apricot, and yet it is totally and deliciously dry with a dry, stony, grippy texture. Strangely it seems to close up as it breathes in the glass, losing some of those more obvious aromas derived from the varieties and becoming more mineral and stony. There are firm signs of the lees work: creamy and yet smelling of grainy pears. There’s almost a hint of a herbal spice a bit like curry leaf. The acidity is more marked than I expected, perhaps because it contrasts with the more scented flavours. Here the freshness seems to come more from acidity than from salty minerality. Still utterly complex and delicious. Real wine, like all these from Muchada-Léclapart. Amazing length and unusual to find a wine that has the scented accent of the variety and yet so much vineyard expression. (JH) 2020-2022 17/20 points

Univers 2018

Very slightly cloudy. There’s still a touch of reduction here – a deliciously complex aroma that is a sort of sour herbal smokiness with just the merest hint of lapsang tea and hay. The fruit is a cross between pear and quince but that’s secondary to a stony, salty, savoury character. Totally inviting. The aromatic complexity and intensity, and impossible-to-describe aroma, just make me want to taste it even more. On the palate, this is very similar to the nose, with a strongly saline tang and unexpected depth in the mouth for a wine of such low alcohol. It is the sort of weightless intensity that is possible with old vines. The smoky/dusty minerality and that sour-quince pull of the aroma is also matched on the palate. And yet underneath all that is lovely herby fruit, just not the sort you can pin down by analogy with the fruit we eat. Long, sour, mouth-watering finish. Impressive intensity that – looking at the simplicity of the winemaking – can only come from the vineyard and the transparency of Palomino to express terroir. May have a longer life than I have suggested. (JH)2020-2023 17/20 points

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