Tuesday 2 October 2012

Rainy days

It absolutely tipped it down last weekend which wasn't ideal. Firstly, we still have some Carignan out there which is nearly but not quite ripe. Secondly, we had some old friends from Uni staying whom I hadn't seen for a very long time. As our plans for a day hiking in the garrigue was out of the question, we took the only sensible alternative. Food and wine. I raided the wine cellar and did an impromtu tutored wine tasting. Of Languedoc wines of course.

We started with some bubbles, the 2010 vintage of Cremant de Limoux 1531 from Sieur d'Arques. Cue the story of how sparkling wine was 'invented' in Limoux. As one would expect, this was very well made. Fresh and easy with good mid-palate richness.

We happened to have a bottle of Mas de Daumas Gassac White 2010 in the fridge, so that was opened next. An eclectic, unoaked blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Petit Manseng which is bottled young. I found the nose a bit funky - honey, floral and exotic fruits but almost too exotic and overripe. Definite sweetness on the palate and rich, vinous, exotic mouthfeel but not quite enough acidity to balance. I loved the 2009 so was disappointed. However I have found in the past that this white goes through a dumb or discordant period and comes right again in a few months. I have five more bottles so will try again in the new year.

La Voulte Gasparets seldom disappoints. Nor did it that evening with the 2010 Cuvée Reserve Corbières.  A whiff of the garrigue and leather on the nose and decent concentration of plum and blackberrry fruit, again with a spicy/meaty edge. All nicely balanced with user friendly tannins. Well worth the 9€ I'd paid for it in Carrefour earlier that day.

However the star of the show was definitely D'Aupilhac 2005, Montpeyroux. I decanted it beforehand, anticipating that it would take time to unfurl. A glorious nose of leather, plums, smoked meat, wild herbs ...  Beautiful mid-palate richness and lovely ripe plummy fruit. Lots of complexity here - from (a somewhat hazy) memory, meaty, smoky, all framed by plump, smooth tannins. Excellent finish.

Sadly we were too  befuddled to attempt the Muscat de St Jean de Minervois from Michel Poudou at Domaine de Montahuc. But I had it the other day and it is suitably fragrant and elegant with a lovely seam of acidity running through it. Delicious.

Rain? What rain?


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