Friends for dinner last night provided the occasion to see how just well the Languedoc ages. But first a refreshing Picpoul de Pinet from an estate, that is new to me, Domaine Guillaume Cabrol in Castelnau de Guers. This was everything that good Picpoul should be, with some appealingly salty, sappy notes and a nicely rounded palate with balancing acidity. The bottle disappeared rather quickly. We’ll be going back to Majestic for some more.
Next we compared two wines that had been sitting in members’ reserves at The Wine Society for a number of years.
2000 Faugères¸ la Maison Jaune from Domaine Jean-Michel Alquier. The Alquier family have been making seriously good Faugères for two generations. And this was delicious. Good colour; quite a spicy nose, with a leathery note, and a rounded palate, with quite a firm backbone of tannin, and some peppery fruit from Syrah. Nicely mouth filling and harmonious. Had developed beautifully but was still quite youthful.
2000 Domaine la Rectorie, Coume Pascale, Collioure
The Parcé family counts amongst the leading producers of Collioure and Banyuls. Grenache Noir is the dominant grape variety here and as you would expect, the wine was very ripe and rounded, quite opulent and spicy with some sweet cherry liqueur notes, and supple tannins. Again, beautifully mouth filling and just the thing for a cold winter’s night, with roast chicken.
In short two stunning examples of age ability from the Midi.
And we finished with a delicious 1998 Banyuls Grand Cru, Cuvée Christian Reynal, from the highly competent coop in Banyuls, Cave de l’Abbé Rous. Grand cru implies at least 75% Grenache Noir, instead of 50%, and a minimum of thirty months againg, instead of ten. In fact this has spent six months in barrels and is beautifully developed. Quite a deep colour with a tawny rim. Quite firm liquorice notes on the nose, with some ripe red fruit on the palate and a nutty finish. Great length, and simply delicious with walnuts. You can buy this from a new internet wine site www.wineclimber.com for the bargain price of £13.95 a bottle.