Wednesday, 9 May 2012

ROUSSILLON AT THE BIG FORTIFIED TASTING

I’ve not finished with Limoux, but here’s small deviation into Roussillon. The Big Fortified Tasting or the b.f.t. as it is commonly called is now in its third year and took place last week in the Glaziers Hall. What a tasting. I had missed the previous two years. There were fortified wines from all over the place, not just the obvious Port, Sherry and Madeira, but also Marsala, fabulous liqueur Muscat and Topaque from Australia, Moscatel de Setubal, and offerings from South Africa and California, and of course Languedoc-Roussillon. I must admit that I was expecting more from the Languedoc, but what there was, was delicious. I am of course already converted to these wines, ever since I first went to Rivesaltes twenty years or so ago, when I was researching French Country Wines.

Wine importers, Richards Walford, were responsible for the wines from Roussillon, as follows:

Domaine de la Rectorie 2010 Banyuls, Cuvée Parcé Frères Deep ruby colour. Quite an intense spicy nose, with some red fruit. More intensity on the palate. Lovely rich spices, with well-integrated alcohol and an underlying sweetness. A tannic streak which will disappear with age. Still very youthful and will definitely benefit from some bottle age.

2008 Banyuls, Cuvée Léon Parcé This comes from slightly different vineyards, and is riper and sweeter, and even more intense. Great concentration of ripe fruit, with spicy cassis and cherries, and absolutely delicious.


Les Vignerons de Maury – the village coop of Maury which works well for its appellation and retains a stock of old wines. The individual casks are numbered, and only about a third of the wine is taken from the cask for bottling. And the cask is then topped up and left to age and develop these wonderful, rancio flavours.

Maury Solera 1928 – Amber red colour. Lovely nutty nose. Liquid walnuts. Elegantly nutty fruit on the palate, with very good balancing acidity. Makes it more Madeira than Port-like. Great intensity of sweetness and richness. Wonderfully original.

Domaine de Rancy, in the village of Latour de France.  
1993 Rivesaltes  Amber colour; elegantly dry nutty nose. And on the palate great intensity, with walnut fruit and balancing acidity. And considerable depth and length. And a long dry nutty finish. Delicious! I could drink these instead of an old tawny port any day, though I did go on to enjoy some beautiful mature 20 year old tawnies.

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