Uncorked: Under this heading, we collect various wines that we have tasted, and liked, recently. It can be wines that we have had during dinner at home, at wine tastings, press lunches, visits to vineyards, or other occasions.
We describe the wines just with a few short sentences, tasting notes that we hope will give you a short but accurate impression of what we thought of the wine, without delving into finer points tasting notes.
Some inspiration for more wine discoveries! As well as a perspective on what to expect from older wines.
A pleasant discovery from the new wine country of Moldova, some mature Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, Merlot from a young star winemaker in Rioja, a Madiran, once again showing the ageing capacity of the grape Tannat, interesting red and white from the Loire Valley, whites with character from Languedoc. And some more.
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet, Grand Cru La Croix d’Aumonier 2010
A superb, ripe, complex and expressive Champagne from 100% Pinot Noir. There are also some honey notes, but the taste is completely dry with a dosage of only 5.5 grams of sugar. La Croix d’Aumonier comes from a single vineyard and has been fermented and aged in oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. It was disgorged in November 2016.
Le Blanc 2017, Domaine Turner Pageot, Languedoc
A really delicious white from the grapes Roussanne, Marsanne and some Piquepoul. Marsanne has six weeks of skin contact. The style is full bodied and a bit fat with good balance, good freshness and also a bit salty in the finish. The skin contact gives tannins and a significant weight in the mouth. ~ 12-14 euros
Château de Fesles Chenin Sec La Chapelle Vieilles Vignes 2015, Anjou
Very good Chenin Blanc with the typical aromas of the grape variety. Dry and crisp, almost steely, with some honey notes and elderberry. Complex and balanced. 12 months in oak barrels. ~10 euros.
Domaine Ollier Taillefer Allegro 2017, Faugères Blanc
A rare white Faugères made with Roussanne and Rolle. Complex but still easy drinking, full bodied with notes of peaches and a good weight on the palate. ~ 11.50 euros
Bordón Crianza 2014, Rioja, Bodegas Franco-Españolas
Easy drinking and unpretentious Rioja in a fresh, fruity and slightly spicy style with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. 12 months in American oak. ~ 7 euros.
Saumur Champigny, Vieilles Vignes 2015, Domaine Filliatreau
Delicious wine. Fine and elegant with a ripe Cabernet Franc character. Unusually rich for a Loire red. The vines are between 50 and 90 years old. ~15 euros
Château Vieux Maillet, Pomerol, 2004
Very enjoyable Bordeaux in classic style. Perfect to drink now. ~30 euros.
Château Montplaisir, Vinsobres, 2015
The wine maker Benoit Chaignon in Vinsobres in the northern part of the southern Rhône Valley has made a delicious, full bodied and balanced wine with dark fruit, good freshness and elegance. The grapes come from old vines of Grenache and Syrah. ~25 euros
Domaine Ollier Taillefer, Grande Reserve 2015, Faugeres
Structured and full-bodied but at the same time very easy-drinking and inviting with red berries and garrigue tones (juniper, rosemary…). The domain’s oldest vines of carignan, grenache and syrah. Aged only in tank.
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine, Burgundy La Chapelle Notre Dame 1997
Magnificent, just like an old Burgundy should be. Typical Pinot Noir character and a fine, long velvety finish. Still vigorous with plenty of fruit. Bought at the winery in 1999 for the modest sum of 35 francs.
Barbarot 2014, Rioja, Barbara Palacios
Barbara Palacios, the daughter of famous Alvaro Palacios, makes wine in Rioja. This wine is made from Merlot (!) and although the oak maybe is a bit too dominant to my taste this is a very good wine with really nice fruit. ~15 euros
Château Bouscassé 1996, Madiran
This is a great wine that really doesn’t taste its age. It has the dark colour of a much younger wine, a massive fruit, a good structure and lots of freshness. Not many other grapes than Tannat can manage that.
Sol Negru Feteasca Neagra 2015, Asconi Winery, Moldova
Moldova is today not really much known for its wines but is a coming wine country in Europe. At the time of the Soviet Union it was one of the big suppliers of wine to the country. This is a very good wine, made from the local grape Feteasca Neagra, with structure and aromas reminiscent of Bordeaux. A very pleasant discovery.
Château Franc Mayne 2004, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
A delightful and excellent wine that still has quite a lot of youthfulness. Good complexity and with typical Bordeaux aromas like cedar wood.
Gevrey Chambertin 1996, Domaine Clos Saint Louis
Very nice mature wine, deliciously soft on the palate and still vigorous.
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