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.
We have had many interesting wines in recent weeks. Some of them quite old. It is always a special moment when you choose a 40-year-old Bordeaux from the cellar and it feels vibrant and alive. This month also well matured Champagne, a Super Tuscan, some red wines from the northern Rhone, all of them memorable. And some fresh whites from northern Spain, one of which is very unusual.
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet, Terroir & Sens, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Extra Brut
Delicious, full-bodied Champagne with some honey notes and a lot of character. The base wine was partially aged in oak.
Champagne A. Jacquart et Fils Millésime 1998, Blanc de Blanc
Mature Champagne with dried fruit and some honey on the nose and notes of oxidation. Very attractive. From a small high-quality grower in the Côte des Blancs. Purchased in 2003 for 14 euros.
Calcari 2014, Xarel-lo, Parés Baltà, Penedès
Calcari is made from the local grape Xarel-lo which is widely used in cava production. Beautiful amber colour, flavorful, honey notes, ripe apples, good texture and concentration. 3 months of ageing on the lees with daily batonnage. Parés Balta is organically certified. A very good wine for ~ 10 euros.
Txomin Etxaniz 2017, DO Getariako Txakolina
This unusual wine comes from the Spanish Basque Country, not far from Bilbao. Very fresh, easy to drink and unpretentious. The grape is the local hondarrabi zuri.
Clos du Bourg, Vouvray Sec 1993, Domaine Huet
A truly fantastic wine. Complex, with a typical Chenin Blanc character of citrus and honey. Crisp and dry. You would never have guessed that this wine was 25 years old. Already in 1993 Domaine Huet was Demeter certified. We bought this wine in 1998 for 57 francs.
Domaine de la Taille aux Loups 2017, Remus, Montlouis sur Loire
Jackie Blot at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups is a celebrity in the Loire Valley. Montlouis is located opposite Vouvray, across the Loire River and the wines here are also made of 100% Chenin Blanc. However, this wine was somewhat disappointing considering the price (18.50 euros). Very discreet on the nose, quite light in taste, some citrus, dry, structured. Not a bad wine of course, but I had wished for a bit more character.
Château La Louvière 1978, Graves, Bordeaux
Very vibrant for a 40-year-old wine. Complex with typical Bordeaux aromas such as cedar wood. Very elegant. Purchased in Sweden in 1985 for 122 SEK (~11 euro). Worth noting that it is the Graves appellation, before the unfortunate creation of Pessac-Leognan.
Saint Joseph 2003, Domaine Eric et Joël Durand, North Rhone Valley
A beautiful Syrah wine, tight and dense with the fresh fruit still intact. Lots of blackcurrants. Good length. Very drinkable. Purchased in 2005 for 16 euros.
Syrah 2015, Les Monestiers, IGP des Collines Rhodanienes IGP, Domaine des Bruyères, Davide Reynaud
Very juicy and fruity, young in style, some black currants. Good structure. The estate is organic and biodynamic, certified Biodyvin. The wine maker and owner David Reynaud also makes Crozes-Hermitage and Cornas.
Domaine de la Cendrillon 2011 No 1
Prestige wine from this excellent estate in Corbières. The grapes are mourvèdre, syrah and grenache. Surprisingly light (for a prestige cuvée!) and elegant in style. Balanced. Fruity and fresh but with a soft and velvety aftertaste. Very good. 37 euros on the estate.
Tignanello 1980, Vino da Tavola, Marchesi L. and P. Antinori
Classic wine from one of the first Super Tuscans. Attractive and well matured but still a bit tight and dense. Tobacco aromas on the nose and some sweet fruit in the aftertaste. Mainly based on sangiovese, but that was quite impossible to tell, as often with older wines. Bought in Sweden in 1984 for SEK 88 (~8,50 euro).
Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan 1993
Matured wine in a fairly light style. Typical Bordeaux features of tobacco and cedar wood. It was delicious with the pigeon we had for our New Year’s dinner, but possibly a little too old. Purchased in 1996 for 109 francs.
Château Croizet Bages 1990, Pauillac
Pretty light in style, but dense and a tight structure. Ripe fruit on the nose and palate. A good wine but not remarkable. Croizet Bages is a fairly discreet fourth cru in Pauillac. Wine was bought in 1993 for 59 francs.
Château Plaisance Cuvée Alix 2000, Premières Côtes des Bordeaux
Structured Bordeaux with some maturity and a pleasant fruit. Purchased at the chateaux in 2002 for 9.17 euros. The chateau is now owned by Bernard Magrez (but not in 2002).
[no picture unfortunately]
Nuits Saint Georges 1992, Domaine Comtesse M. de Loisy
Unfortunately, this wine was definitely over the hill. The nose was weak and the taste virtually non-existent with a dry finish. Incredibly though, it was not entirely unpleasant with the food and especially with the cheese. Purchased on site in 1998 for 85 francs.
Hermitage La Chapelle 1981, Domaine Jaboulet
Aged but still very drinkable and even with some vitality. An elegant and long taste. Curiously for a light vintage it has retains some of its original syrah style. Purchased in 1985 for SEK 109 (~10 euro).
Ju de Vie, Vin de France, Julien Mus
Fruity and fresh, deliciously juicy but still with structure. Very affordable for € 7.90. Biodynamic estate, certified Demeter. Julien Mus is an ambitious grower down in the Languedoc who draws towards the natural.
Domaine Treloar Three Peaks 2006, Côtes du Roussillon
Englishman Jonathan Hesford’s very first vintage in Roussillon after taking his oenology degree in New Zealand. Nice, mature, and well-balanced.
Château Canon 1990, Premier Grand Cru Classé, Saint Emilion
Very good, typical Bordeaux aromas, well-balanced and velvety smooth on the palace. A real treat. Purchased in 1993 for 116 francs.
Sweet and fortified wines
Barros Vintage Port 1966
Beautiful and well matured vintage, perfect to drink now. Smooth and balanced sweetness, some dried apricots and dried orange peel. Very long taste. Bottled in Sweden by AB Vin & Sprit. Bought in Sweden in 1980 for 65 SEK (~6 euro).
This post is also available in: Swedish