Review Houghton’s White Burgundy 1999

94 points – wow !

The current vintage is 2004 and 95%+ of Houghton’s White Burgundy is consumed within the week it is purchased. So what is the point of reviewing a wine that is no longer available ? In this case to signal that this cheap wine ages magnificently.

Who would have thought that a sub $10 bottle of wine could turn into something so sublime? OK there is an old French saying that there are no great wine, only great bottles (which is really a commentary on the quality of corks) but this wine has a well established aging pedigree. Houghton’s used to (perhaps still do) release an aged version of this wine after it had picked up many trophies.

Actually even young this blend is very good. First released in 1957, it has historically been largely based on (the great grape) chenin blanc but with quite a few others into a very distinctive house style. Highly flavoured with soft acidity and yet great aging material. It develops rich golden characters with little in the way of kerosene or oxidised/sherry characters.

So many back labels say “enjoyable young but improves with age” – yet this is a wine that actually delivers – in spades.

WARNING recently Houghton’s have been bottling this with cheap composite corks – so aging is a real risk. When they move to Stelvin/ screwcap I’m going to buy lots, but not until then.

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