|Submited By: Tony Seaton on 09/20/2010
I am puzzled.
I sit here enjoying two remarkably fine snuffs I have just bought; both immaculately blended, both in first-class condition in newly-opened tins, and both perfect when gently spooned onto the hand straight from the tin.
Wilsons Burgundy – rich, deep, with warm, liqueur-like citrus notes and some Port wine-like tones – yet with a dressing of something a little lighter in the top notes.
Fribourg’s Bordeaux – rather less of the warm citrus, and a deeper, richer-still combination of violet, Geranium and Musk, hinting almost of strong, rich, old Cognac.
If we use an analogy with Christmas Pudding, then where Wilsons Burgundy might be a top-of-the range offering from Marks and Spencer or Waitrose, then Fribourg’s Bordeaux must surely be the pudding from Fortnum and Mason. Or vice versa? Is Fornum’s pudding richer or more delicate?
Both are gloriously good, full-bodied, fruity offerings laced with vintage Ruby Port wine or a rich vintage Cognac.
I rather fancy that one of the distinctive touches in Fribourg’s Bordeaux may be a touch of Latakia – this would also account for its slightly darker colour.
Another analogy is that Burgundy might be likened to a well-loved, rich-toned old Bechstein grand piano, whereas Fribourg’s Bordeaux had the even darker, more full-bodied and still richer tones of a Bösendorfer Imperial.
Although very much of the same breed, and to be enjoyed on similar occasions, They deserve both to be experienced, compared and enjoyed, and I recommend both strongly. As Michael Todd has already commented in his splendid review of Wilsons Burgundy, is has the class and pedigree usually associated with the Fribourg & Treyer recipes.
Returning to my Christmas analogy, there is a little “icing” in the floral top-notes of Wilsons Burgundy – perhaps this may even be the Christmas Cake for later in the afternoon after the rich depths of Fribourg’s Bordeaux in the Christmas Pud. However, to confine these absolute gems of the snuffmaster’s excellence to December 35th would be a sinful and shameful mistake. It is now September; the time is right to enjoy these rich delights as the nights draw in.
Fribourg’s Bordeaux works especially well with a rich, ale-cask matured vintage Scotch I am gently sipping; I am thinking Wilson’s Burgundy might work well with the likes of MacAllen, Bordeaux possibly with Laphroaig. Either might work with Highland Park.
Two glorious offerings in the same league – and unlike grand pianos or fine vintage motor cars, we can afford to enjoy both! I make no apology for cross-posting this review to both blends.