Friday, 29 January 2010

MILLESIME BIO IN MONTPELLIER - TWO SURPRISES: EGYPT AND CHABLIS

I’ve just spent a couple of days at the annual organic wine fair in Montpellier. Although it has been running now for nearly twenty years, this was my first visit to the fair, and apparently it has grown quite considerably over the last couple of years, from around fifty exhibitors to nearly 400 this year. Inevitably the majority are French, with Languedoc-Roussillon the largest region represented, but there was also the occasional winery from Argentina, Chile and South America, and most surprising of all, Egypt.

I was certainly was not going to pass up the opportunity to try my first ever Egyptian wine and I have to say that I was really quite impressed. Admittedly, without wishing to sound patronising, my expectations were not too high. The winemaker, Labib Kallas, for Egyben Wadi, which apparently translates rather prosaically as International Beverage Co. has trained in Bordeaux and Montpellier. He speaks beautiful French and clearly knows his stuff. The first vines were planted in 2001, at Karm al Nada, which is north of Cairo some 200 kilometres from the Mediterranean, in basically what is sand and desert, on old river terraces of the Nile. Irrigation is a key factor and controlling the water supply the principal viticultural issue.

First I tried a white Jardin du Nil 2008, a blend of 60 per cent Vermentino and 40 per cent Roussanne. It was quite rounded and lightly buttery, with some acidity and fruit. Not madly exciting but perfectly drinkable.

Next was a 2007 red, from equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was fermented and aged in vat, using interstaves for a touch of oak, as well as some micro-oxygenation. The flavour was quite rounded, with a touch of cassis and some soft tannins, with no great depth of flavour, but again quite drinkable.

Much better was a vat sample of the 2008 red. Labib explained that the blend had been changed, as newer vineyards came into production, to include some Petit Verdot and Syrah, and less Merlot. I thought this was much more successful. It had some fresh peppery fruit, and a lightly tannic backbone. There was more concentration and fruit than in the 2007 and it really promised well. I was told that the retail price would be about the equivalent of 9 – 10€.

The next surprise of the fair came from Chablis, and provided a shining example of the impact of organically grown grapes on wine quality. I have visited George Pico at Domaine du Bois d’Yver in Courgis a handful of times over the years, most recently in 2003, and have always found his wines to be sound and correct, but not necessarily terribly exciting. This time the transformation was palpable. Georges explained that he had converted to organic viticulture at the insistence of his son, Thomas. Basically Thomas had issued an ultimatum: if you want me to take over the family vineyards, you have got to go organic. The 2008s have real character, with wonderful minerality and depth of flavour. I was really impressed. The improvement in quality was quite dramatic. They now use indigenous yeast, and neither fine nor filter their wines. Georges commented that it was like going back to the wines that they used to make 30 years ago.

First I tried 2008 Chablis. The colour was deeper than his previous wines. It had lovely texture, real mouthfeel, with layers of flavour and the benchmark minerality and firm acidity that good Chablis should have.

Next came 2008 Beauregard, one of the newer premier crus, from the village of Courgis. This was wonderfully rich and mineral on the nose. You could almost smell the flinty stones of the vineyard. I loved the minerality in this, balanced by firm fruit and acidity.

And the third wine was 2009 Montmains, one of the traditional premier crus just outside the village of Chablis. The nose was more discreet, with supple fruit on the palate, and a firm edge of acidity and good flinty minerality, what the French call pierre à fusil, which is one of the benchmark flavours of good Chablis.

And apologies to those of you hoping for something on organic wine growers from the Languedoc. You will have to wait for my next posting.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

DOMAINE DES VENTS in Paris

I first discovered Arnaud Pelegry’s wines from Domaine des Vents about four years ago and go back each year to taste them at the Paris salon. They are always a treat. It is fascinating to see how the range is developing; sadly so far circumstances have conspired against a cellar visit, but I will keep trying. Arnaud comes from Bordeaux, but enjoys the freedom that you can have in Roussillon. Bordeaux would be too constraining for him. His vineyards are in the Fenouillèdes part of Roussillon, around the village of St. Paul de Fenouillèdes, which allows for vin de pays or Côtes du Roussillon. And this year he started making Vin Doux, a Muscat de Rivesaltes, and also a Maury, but that was not available for tasting.

2006 Alta Blanc is a humble vin de table from Grenache blanc. 18.00€
It is solid oaky and the oak also dominates the palate, but none the less there are also intriguing hints of aniseed, appropriately as the derivation of Fenouillèdes is fennel, which abounds in the region. The palate is quite dense and smoky. It seems very young and it will be intriguing to see how it develops.

2008 Rosé, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes – 6.00€
A blend of Grenache Noir and Syrah. Quite a bright orange pink; rich and rounded on the nose, with fresh ripe fruit on the palate. Quite mouth filling. Definitely a food rosé.

2005 Aquilon Rouge, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes – 7.50€
A blend of Grenache Noir and Carignan.
Good colour. Quite solid, dense leathery fruit on the nose, with a ripe rounded palate. Rich and warming, especially on a cold winter’s day - and ready to drink.

2005 Clos des Vents, Côtes du Roussillon - 12.00€
You need three grape varieties for the appellation Côtes du Roussillon and this is comprised of Grenache Noir and Carignan, with just ten per cent of Syrah. There is some solid, dense oak on both nose and palate, balanced with ripe rounded fruit on the palate, with a fleshy structured finish.

2005 Alta, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes – 18.00€
From hundred year old vines, Grenache Noir and Carignan. A deep colour. Quite a sweet oaky nose; this has spent three years in barrel and was bottled in the spring of 2009. The oak lingers on the palate too, with some solid dense young fruit. It promises well, but needs time.

2005 Muscat de Rivesaltes Muse K – 8.50€ for 50 cl bottle
It’s unusual to have a Muscat with a bit of bottle age; you tend to think: drink as young as possible, but no, Arnaud reckons that Muscat does keep and that it will become quite confit and concentrated, and nicely so. This was fresh and lemony, rounded and honeyed, with a slightly bitter Muscat finish.

And then he gave me his 2007 version to try. This will probably be a vin de table, as it is a late harvest Muscat, with no added alcohol. He picked the grapes when the potential alcohol was at 21°– 22° rather than the 16° required for a vin doux. It has spent eighteen months in wood, and has some rounded orange flavours, and was rich and concentrated. 'This is much more satisfying; much more creative', observed Arnaud. He is not one to stand still.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

CHATEAU DE GOURGAZAUD at Paris

Château de Gourgazaud was one of the pioneering estates of the Minervois. I went there on my very first visit to the vineyards of the Languedoc, back in 1979, when it was owned by the large négociant company, Chantovent. It was subsequently bought by Roger Piquet in 1985, when he retired as managing director of Chantovent. When Chantovent had acquired the property back in 1973, there was nothing but Aramon and Carignan in the vineyards. The first Syrah was planted in 1974, which seemed a revolutionary step at the time. Roger Piquet was one of the pioneers of the Minervois cru, la Livinière and with the help of his oenologist, Guy Bascou, developed a successful range of vins de pays and Minervois. It is now his two daughters who run the estate, successfully carrying on their father’s work. And it was good to have an update on the wines.

2008 Chardonnay Vin de Pays d’Oc – 6.40€
This was not a good start. The wine lacked freshness and was rather heavy on the palate. Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say that it was a bad bottle.

2008 Viognier Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d’Oc – 6.40€
55% Viognier to 45% Chardonnay
This was much better. A rounded nose, with some attractive peachy fruit on the palate. Easy drinking, and a successful combination of grape varieties.

2008 Viognier, Vin de Pays d’Oc – 7.70€
Light golden colour. An attractive peachy nose classic Viognier flavours and on the palate too, with fresh peachy fruit. Viognier from the south of France can run the risk of being somewhat confected and cloying. This avoids that pitfall beautifully.

2006 La Vigne de ma Mère, Viognier, Vin de Pays d’Oc
The grapes for this are grown on schist, near the village of Félines, in the northern part of the Minervois. The wine is fermented in oak and only 900 bottles were produced. I have to say that I was not sure about the oak; it seemed to me clumsy and unharmonious and I very much preferred their unoaked Viognier.

2006 Minervois, Cuvée Mathilde – 8.70€
80% Syrah with 20% Mourvèdre.
Deep colour. The nose is rounded, with viandé meaty notes coming from the Mourvèdre. Good fruit on the palate, with a dense mouth feel and quite solid tannins.

2005 Minervois la Livinière Cuvée Réserve – 8.00€
Another blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, aged in barriques for twelve months. Quite firm and solid, on both nose and palate, with a sturdy dense palate coming from the oak. Again I suspect I might have preferred this with less oak. And it needs time.

2005 Quintus Vin de Pays d’Oc, rather than Minervois ‘so that we can work as we like’ without the constraints of an appellation. This is predominantly Syrah, with just 5 per cent Mourvèdre, and a selection of the best grapes, vinified in vat. It is rounded and spicy and concentrated, with some firm tannins and considerable potential.

Friday, 15 January 2010

DOMAINE LA TOUR VIEILLE IN COLLIOURE



One of my favourite estates in Collioure is Domaine La Tour Vieille, which belongs to Christine Campadieu and Vincent Cantié. They are a husband and wife team who have been making wine together since their first vintage of Collioure in 1982, Christine studied English and Chinese at university and Vincent first worked as an agricultural engineer in New Caledonia. I first met them some ten years ago while researching The Wines of the South of France, and since then a tasting of their wines at the Paris salon has become an annual treat. I have also been back for a cellar visit and enjoyed staying in their small gîte, which is an old presbytère, up in the hills behind Collioure.



2008 Les Canadells, Collioure blanc – 13.00€
An intriguing blend of 20% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache blanc, 20% Maccabeu 30% Vermentino and 10% Roussanne. The Grenache Gris is pressed straightaway, but the other grape varieties are given a few hours of skin contact. The juice is fermented in barrel, with regular lees stirring. I think this is delicious. The oak is so well integrated, and no one grape variety dominates. It is rich and textured, with satisfying layers of flavour, with a long restrained finish.

2009 Collioure Rosé, Rosé des Roches – 8.00€
Predominantly Grenache Noir, with some Syrah. Saigné.
Medium colour. Slightly smoky nose, with some ripe fruit on the palate. Rounded, with good concentration and mouth feel. A rosé to go with food.

2007 Collioure Rouge, la Pinède – 10.00€
75% Grenache Noir with 25% old Carignan., that is to say, 50 years old and older. Quite a solid dense nose; with ripe rounded concentrated fruit. Leathery notes on the nose. Intense ripe, confit fruit. A solid warming mouthful. Just the thing for a chilly January day.

2007 Collioure Puig Ambeille - 13.00€
A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre
Medium colour. A solid palate, textured, with ripe leathery notes. Some stony minerality. Good depth of flavour. Medium weight. Should develop well.

2006 Collioure Puig Oriol – 13.00€
Deep colour. Firm stony mineral nose, and on the palate, with rich concentrated fruit. Some firm tannins, Long and rich, with layers of flavours.




The Vins Doux at Domaine la Tour Vieille are also not to be missed either.

2006 Banyuls Vendanges
Young colour. Ripe fresh berry fruit on nose and palate, with a touch of liquorice.. Medium weight. Think a good ruby port, but less alcoholic.

Banyuls Reserve - 13.00€
A blend of Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris and Carignan, muté sur grains, i.e. before the grapes are pressed. This spends three or four years in large casks and vats. There is some rich liquorice on the nose, with a rounded ripe red berries on the palate. Rich and rounded, and quite delicious.

Banyuls Cuvée Francis Cantié -15.00€
This enjoys at least eight years élevage, including six in glass bonbonnes, exposed to the elements, and the remaining time in cask. The colour is tawny; the nose is ripe and nutty, and the palate is full and nutty, textured, smooth and sweet. Simply delicious.



Rancio Sec Cap de Creus – 22.00€
This is fabulous; think fine oloroso sherry, with a nutty austerity and firm acidity. It has been aged in barrel for several years. One of the great wines of Roussillon

Vin de méditation, Banyuls en solera - 50.00€ for a 50cl bottle
This is fabulous too. The base of the solera is a 1952 Banyuls and the average age of the wine is about 40 years old. It is rich and nutty, with opulent but dry walnuts on the nose, with some firm fruit on the palate, and an intense concentration. A long lingering finish. Quite memorable.

YET MORE CORSICA FROM PARIS - CLOS SIGNADORE IN PATRIMONIO

I was delighted to discover a new estate in Patrimonio, Clos Signadore. Christophe Ferrrandis comes from Marseilles; he has worked at Château Pibarnon, one of the leading estates of Bandol and chance brought him to Patrimonio. And in 2001 he bought ten hectares of old vines at Poggio d’Oletto, just outside the town of Patrimonio. He planted some Vermentino four years ago and has kept seven hectares of vines that are 45 years old.

The tasting began with 2008 A Mandria di Signadore, Patrimonio Blanc – 18€
A Vermentino from young vines, with some leesy notes on the nose and quite firm acidity on the palate; some appley hints and some weight. Quite youthful. Needs a little bottle age.

Patrimonio rosé – 12.00€
A saigné (the juice is run off the skins after a few hours) from Nielluccio, grown on clay and limestone.
Pale orange pink colour. Very delicate nose. Nicely rounded with some dry fruit. The elegance belies the weight and body in the wine.

2007 Eresia Patrimonio Rouge – 12€
From 90% Nielluccio and 10% Grenache Noir, aged in vat. This is intended for early drinking, with some fresh dry cherry fruit and a medium weight palate.

2006 Patrimonio Rouge
Pure Nielluccio, grown on clay and limestone, with 36 months ageing in vat. This was intriguing; quite elegant with a discreet nose. There are some slightly meaty notes on the palate, with some tannin and body and some fruit, and the underlying spicy notes of the Corsican maquis, with the tannic streak typical of Nielluccio. It promises well, as indeed does the whole range. Definitely an estate to watch.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

MORE FROM CORSICA - DOMAINE DE TORRACCIA

This is one of the longer established estates of Corsica, which helped to create the island’s reputation. Christian Imbert was a pioneer, who planted a vineyard outside Porto Vecchio in 1966. He related how the neighbours treated him as the fou du coin, as he cleared scrubland and planted vines. When I first met him in 1986, he had a vision that few other producers on the island shared. It was his son Marc, who was showing the wines of Domaine de Torraccia in Paris, and it was intriguing to see how they have developed and improved.

2008 Vin de Corse, Porto Vecchio blanc – 8.70€
A pure Vermentino, aged in vat rather than barrel. Quite a smoky note on the nose, almost as though it had been in oak, though Marc assured me not. A solid rounded mouthful, with a slightly resinous note on the finish.

Oriu rouge has always been the top wine of the estate. Oriu blanc is a new development, with a first vintage in 2006, coming from a selection of older Vermentino vines. The wine undergoes a malo-lactic fermentation and some lees stirring, in concrete vats, rather than barrel. Marc explained that their methods remain very traditional, and organic, using natural yeast, and that concrete vats encourage the mineral flavours of the Vermentino, suggesting that Vermentino can develop a slatey minerality not unlike Riesling.

2008 Oriu blanc, Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio – 11.00€
This has a lovely elegant floral nose, with some rounded, stony flavours of the palate, with texture, weight and mouth feel. Marc admitted that there was a touch of residual sugar, 5 or gms per litre, but I would not have noticed it. The wine tasted rich rather than sweet.

2008 Rosé Vin de Corse, Porto Vecchio – 8.70€
This was a tricky vintage for them, as there was a bad storm in the middle of August, which did not help the earlier maturing varieties such as Sciacarello, which is the variety they usually use for their rosé. It is lighter in colour than Nielluccio, but instead this vintage comes mainly from Nielluccio. It was quite orange in colour, with a rounded palate and some firm dry fruit.

2007 Rouge Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio – 8.70€
This is a blend of Nielluccio, Sciacarello, Grenache Noir and Syrah, so two original Corsican varieties, with two from the Midi. Grenache Noir came to Corsica with the influx of pieds noirs from Algeria, while Syrah is a more recent arrival. Dry spice is the dominant flavour, with some firm mineral flavours.

2004 Oriu Rouge. Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio
The colour is quite developed, with some warm spicy notes on both nose and palate, with some light vegetal hints. It is quite perfumed, and redolent of the scents of the Corsican maquis on a summer’s day, with a firm dry finish. Drinking well now, but could easily continue to develop in bottle.

Friday, 8 January 2010

YVES LECCIA AT DOMAINE E CROCE

I love the island of Corsica but it is much easier to taste the wines in Paris. Travelling there, usually involves changing planes in Nice or Marseilles. And I was delighted to find Yves Leccia’s wines available for tasting at the Salon. Along with Antoine Arena, he is one of the stars of Patrimonio, the appellation in the northern part of the island, where they produce delicious Vermentino and Nielluccio.

I first met Yves Leccia back in the mid-80s when he made pretty classic wines in a tiny cellar in the village of Poggio d’Oletta. Then a more spacious cellar was built just outside the town of Patrimonio, but then he separated his vines from those of his sister in time for the 2004 vintage. And since then his wines have become more original and satisfying. As far as I know, none of his wines see any oak and they are all the better for that. E Croce is the name of his vineyard, as well as the estate.

2008 Cuvée YL blanc, Vin de Pays de l’Ile de Beauté - 12.00€
A blend of Ugni Blanc with 20% Vermentino, aged in vat. This is beautifully textured, with satisfying mouth feel and body, and very good acidity, which is a characteristic of Ugni Blanc. Ugni Blanc is usually rather short on character, but the Vermentino adds some interest and this is beautifully balanced with some delicate fruit.

2008 Patrimonio Blanc – 16.50€
Like all white Patrimonio, this is a pure Vermentino. It is more rounded, with more depth of flavour than the Cuvée YL. There is more structure and body, with layers of flavour and an elegant finish. The fruit is understated, but satisfying.

2008 Patrimonio rosé – 9.50€
Pure Nielluccio. This is the grape variety of Patrimonio, and is related to Sangiovese. On a fine day the Tuscan coast is clearly visible from Corsica. Orange pink in colour, with a delicate nose. Good fruit on the palate, with good texture and a rounded finish. A food rosé.

2008 Cuvée YL – 12€
A blend of 80% Grenache Noir and 20% Nielluccio, so Vin de Pays de l’Ile de Beauté, rather than appellation Patrimonio. Medium colour. Quite a rounded, ripe nose, with some appealing spice on both nose and palate. Medium weight with good fruit and an elegant finish.

2007 Patrimonio Rouge – 14.00€
This is pure Nielluccio, aged in vat. Medium colour. A nicely structured palate, with some firm but supple tannins and good fruit. Layers of flavour, but an elegant mouth feel. Very finely crafted. A treat to taste.

Yves also makes the dessert wine of Corsica, Muscat de Cap Corse, which overlaps with the appellation of Patrimonio, but sadly there was none to taste in Paris.

www.yves-leccia.com

SNOW IN THE LANGUEDOC






It is not often that you wake up to snow in the Languedoc, but this morning we did. It was not settling everywhere, but there was plenty in the wind. And on higher ground above Roquessels in Faugères, some has lingered in the vineyards. Here are a few photos.

And what do you do when the weather is cold and raw with a bitter wind blowing? The simple answer is: go out to lunch with some good friends. I can heartily recommend the fish soup at Le Phare on the sea front at Valras Plage. The sea looked more like the English Channel than the Mediterranean, but the soup was warming; the Picpoul de Pinet from the coop at Pinet flowed, and so did the conversation.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

MAS AMIEL IN PARIS

Mas Amiel is THE estate of Maury, and when I was writing French Country Wines twenty years ago, the only estate worth a visit. At that time it was owned by Charles Dupuy, who produced wonderfully traditional wines, which were aged in glass bonbonnes for a full year, so that they were subjected to all the extremes of weather throughout the year. The fifteen year old Maury was memorable, with a dry nutty nose, and hints of liquorice, while the palate was rich and concentrated, with hints of violets and prunes. It was one of the great wines of the Midi.

Charles Dupuy died in 1997 and the estate was sold to Olivier Decelle, who has worked hard to give it a new lease of life. The vins doux, the fortified Maury remain sublime, while he has also developed a range of serious vins secs, or appellation Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Villages. Maury is one of the villages of that appellation, but the white wine of Roussillon is only ever Côtes du Roussillon tout court. In Roussillon they make the distinction between sec and doux; the first is not fortified; the second is. I’ve tasted Mas Amiel regularly in Paris for the last few years, and they always live up to and indeed exceed expectations.

2007 Côtes du Roussillon Blanc Altaïr – 18.00€
Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Maccabeu. 40 per cent of the blend is fermented and aged in barriques. You immediately sense the oak influence, with a firm nose and structured palate. It is tight-knit, young and unforthcoming, and simply needs time.

2007 Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Notre Terre - 13.00€
50% Grenache Noir, 30% Syrah and 20% Carignan, fermented in oak vats. The nose is dense, solid and rounded, with underlying ripe fruit, while the palate has some fresh mineral notes, with some firm stony fruit. The oak is more obvious on the nose than the palate. Again this is still young but promises well, with plenty of potential and depth.

2007 Carerades, Côtes du Roussillon Villages – 25€
The blend is the same as for Notre Terre, but using the oldest vines, including some 100 year old Grenache Noir and some 60 year old Carignan. 40 per cent of the blend spends fifteen months in new oak, so the oak is very obvious on the nose, and the palate is ripe and rounded, again with the underlying oak influence. Mas Amiel’s red wines are destined for ageing and the oak is sure to disappear with time. Again enormous potential, with a long finish.

I went back for Vins Doux at the end of the afternoon. These were not to be missed and my tasting notes deteriorated into a crescendo of illegibility and repetitive superlatives.

Plénitude LO8 Vin de table – 15.00€
This is a vin de table as there is no mutage, or addition of alcohol. It is made from Maccabeu. The grapes were left on the ground for two weeks after the harvest, so that they became quite raisined, and the wine spends six months in wood. The flavour is rich and biscuity, with ripe fruit and a soft rounded finish. Quite intriguing and original. L08 is a means of indicating the vintage, which vins de table are currently not allowed to mention, so no prizes for guessing that this is 2008.

Alexandre L05 Vin de table – 20.00€
The technique here is the same as for Plénitude, but instead of Maccabeu, the grape variety is Muscat d’Alexandrie. The colour is quite golden; the wine is concentrated in flavour, with dry honey and some acidity. It is rich, rather than really sweet, and the Muscat character of the grape is relatively subdued. Again an intriguing innovation

2007 Muscat de Rivesaltes – 13.00€
80% Muscat à petits grains and 20% Muscat d’Alexandrie, which has larger grapes. This is fresh and lemony, with a honeyed palate, and more elegant than many a Muscat.

2007 Muscat Collection, Muscat de Rivesaltes – 15.00€
This is only Muscat à petits grains, which is generally deemed to be the better of the two Muscats and comes from old vines, 60 years and more. The vinification is the same as for the basic Muscat de Rivesaltes, but the flavour is more concentrated, a rich and rounded palate, with a hint of fennel.

2008 Vintage Blanc – 16.50€
From Grenache Gris rather than Muscat, it is rounded and biscuity with a soft finish.

2007 Vintage Rouge – 14.50€
From Grenache Noir, with the spirit added sur marc, to the skins, rather than just to the juice, which makes for more integrated flavours. It has been aged in vat for twelve months and is intended to develop further in bottle. You could say that this is France’s answer to vintage port, but I am not sure that the longevity potential would be quite the same. The flavours are youthful, with rich ripe fruit and lovely red berry flavours and a touch of liquorice, with a firm finish.

2006 Vintage Reserve – 20.00€
This is a selection of the best plots, with some 60 year old vines forming the backbone of the wine. It spends a year in barrique, and again it is intended for ageing. The colour is deep and the flavours are youthful and intense, with ripe liquorice notes on the palate. It promises well.

2006 Charles Dupuy – 32.00€
This comes from very old Grenache Noir, with a very low yield. The vinification is the same for the vintage Reserve and the wine spends fifteen months in barriques and demi-muids of 500 litres, all new. Inevitably there is a streak on oak on the nose, but there is wonderful rich fruit, with concentration and intense flavours.

Next came Les Classiques. These are the wines that made the original reputation of Mas Amiel. They are aged in large casks for a number of years before bottling, including a year outside in glass bonbonnes

Cuvée Spéciale 10 ans – 16.00€
A tawny colour. Wonderful walnut fruit on nose and palate, with quite a dry finish. Delicious. This is the nearest that France comes to good tawny port.

Prestige 15 ans – 23.00€
Very tawny colour. Quite firm dry nose, and also on the palate, but intense and concentrated, with great length.

1990 – 35.00€
Think a Portuguese colheita. This was aged in cask until the beginning of 2009. The colour has a tawny rim, with dry nutty concentrated fruit on the nose and a mixture of walnuts and fruit rouges on the palate, with great length and elegance. Wonderful.

1980 – 45.00€
Again bottled at the beginning of 2009. The colour is tawny red; the nose elegantly nutty, with a rounded palate, and layers of flavour; a firm note and hints of walnuts. Maybe a touch more austere than the 1990, but still delicious.

1975 – 50.00€
Quite a developed tawny colour. A rich, nutty nose. This is wonderfully rounded and harmonious, with lingering walnut and liquorice fruit. Sublime!

1969 – 75€
Again, quite a developed colour. A rounded nutty nose. An intense palate, with very intense fruit. A streak of tannin and alcohol. Long and lingering on the palate . Enormous depth of flavour. One of the great wines of the Midi. Comparable to fine old tawny port or colheita.

And after that it was time to leave.

www.mas.amiel.fr