Yes, I know it’s early, but we’re on holiday. And seeing as we’re going to be up early tomorrow, we decided to start early (you understand, don’t you?). So anyway, having bought some slightly expensive, but really rather good Bellotta Iberico, I was fishing around for a suitable accompaniment…
This oddity has been sat around for a while. A check some time ago ago seemed to suggest that only 3 producers still make these wines (a cursory glance at Google just now puts that down to two, as Stuart Lee would say ‘I haven’t done my research’).
Anyway, perfect opportunity to drink a wine in search of a meal. All curry leaf, saline and sweet wine fruits on the nose, the palate is as dry as the Atacama during a hosepipe ban. A nice wine, but considering recent prices, shall remain there.
90% Merlot, 10% Cab Sauv, 2nd wine of Ch La Garde. And it’s actually rather good without pushing into fine wine territory - so about right for a rainy Monday evening.
Nose is very good indeed: rich and ripe… moving smoothly into a palate of red cherry, plum, raspberry… the slightest touch of oak? Enough (balanced) tannin on the finish to let you know it’s still an old world Bordeaux. Very classy actually, somone at J.S. has done a good buying job here.
Happy Monday everyone!
Update: an hour or so later & 2nd glass - the nose is blossoming in the open bottle and my glass. Although the bottle was on the remainder shelf I might drop by J.S. 1st thing tomorrow to buy any that are still left.
It’s been a while since I drank a Martin and Anna Arndorfer wine, though it was a bottle by them that got me into GV in the first place. They seem to typify younger Austrian winemakers of the moment with their attention to detail, minimal intervention (but not at the expense of quality) and, basically, excellent fruit to work with.
This is a very accomplished GV, made from old vines from the village of Strass in Kamptal. It’s spent time on its lees but also in large oak vessels - and both definitely rounded the texture and mellowed the acidity, but only just!
In the glass - it’s a bright medium gold with some green reflections; on the nose there are notes of citrus (lemon, but also tangerine/orange, there’s a honeyed note and a touch of chamomile and white pepper.
On the palate it is a harmonious mix of ripe apples and various citrus fruit, the husband thought gooseberries too all wrapped up in mellow honey and even a hint of vanilla. There are green herbs, and a certain spiciness that reminded me of radishes. This is complex and multi-faceted, and sure to fare well alongside our schnitzel and mash dinner
This is just nuts, never have I tasted anything like this. I won’t bore you all with my notes but they include words like: viscous, super intense (caramel, butterscotch etc…), opulent, unbelievably rich, long delicious finish.
Granted I have never tried a 6 puttonyos tokaji aszú, Tokaji Essencia or a Trockenbeerenauslese which from what I have read are amongst the sweetest wines in the world but this must be a contender. It is that syrupy I felt like I could almost turn the glass upside down and the wine wouldn’t fall out.
None of this is a complaint, quite the opposite, just wanted to vent as not often does a wine leave an impression that makes me want to shout out to someone (anyone) and no better place than here.
Just dive in, it really is wonderful but like I said earlier, a glass is enough. What I do find curious it that TWS says drink within 2 years of purchase. Well, why? this seems indestructible, it isn’t going anywhere soon and I bought this 5 years ago.
Chalk and Cheese. Personally I am a huge fan of Rutherglen dessert wines and actually agree that Stanton and Killeen’s range is terrific. We managed to call in to 4 Rutherglen wineries on our day there; Stanton & Killeen, Campbells, Morris and All Saints. Incidentally All Saints have some 100+ year old muscat vines still in production.
6 putts tokaji is completely different - more like a Sauternes, it’s a botryised late harvest, non fortified. Eszencia is just bonkers and not really wine at all, being so, so, sweet and sticky and has low alcohol, and imo not particularly enjoyable as such and very expensive. We had a visit and tasting at Oremus and the line-up included a 6-Putts and Eszencia, and we were shown the glass demijohns of Eszencia. Three of those inox vessels make one dj of Eszencia.
I’m a bit conflicted on this wine; I have very little experience of Madiran wine but being a 19-year-old I had quite high expectations whilst at the same time having only cost £10.50 I had quite low expectations!
I think the reality sat somewhere in between. Great value for the price but a little disappointing in complexity for the maturity. On opening the nose was extremely claret-like with dark fruit, oak, cedar and leather; all very appealing to a Bordeaux lover like me. Palate was a little less complex with still quite noticeable acid and tannin. Although moderately well balanced it was not as smooth as I might have expected for it’s age; definitely wanted to have food with it and it did go very well with a selection of alpine hard cheeses.
Thanks for this, I still have 1 bottle of the 2004 left .
By contrast to your experience of this particular Madiran, I had a boucassé one last week and it was quite amazing ! Fresh as a daisy with beautiful floral aromatics . Stunning
Whilst @Tannatastic would be the best person to comment, I’ve had about 20 years spending half my time down here near Tarbes and the local red is, indeed, Madiran.
I’ve had that '04 Pichard from TWS out of curiosity and was underwhelmed, and it is not typical of a good aged Madrian imho. It was OK and drinkable but that’s about it.
@Leah 's example is much more typical and back in the 20th Century, Madirans were meant to be sat on for 10+ years before even thinking about opening one; Brumont came along and started a modernising trend, less extraction, better selection, and nowadays a Madiran is approachable within 3 or 4 years. A top Montus label maybe not, but generally speaking, the local Madirans on sale locally are currently circa 2019 / 20 vintage and are perfectly approachable now.
It is straightforward for me to wander round now to the local market and pick up a Capmartin Barrejat vieux ceps 2019 Vin AOC Madiran Vieux Ceps du Château Barrejat. and it will be perfectly ready - and at €11 better value and a better wine than that Pichard.
I think it’s fairly straightforward in that it comes down to vintage/producer/cuvée… and also (and this isn’t always advertised) who is using microoxygenation and who isn’t.
Interestingly, the Barrejat vieux ceps has always been (or always been seen as) a long lived wine - ISTR a 25 year expectation - and therefore always considered a bargain. I think a small parcel of the vines run to nearly 200(?) years old (this information is about a decade old, so may be out of date now). I’ve yet to uncover whether Guy Capmartin’s also ancient vines (from his vielles vignes cuvee) are from the same plot - my suspicion being that they are part of his familial inheritance, but Gascon’s can be a bit reticent with that level of info!
I suppose if you view the appellation the same way as Bordeaux (it’s about the same size as Pauillac), what you have is a modern world wanting more easy to drink wines, rather than having to sit on them, it’s understandable commercially as to a change of tack. There are still places to find long-ageing wines, but it isn’t really in producers best interests to only make wines like that, so you’ll tend to find a range of wines going from ‘drink within 5 years’ to ‘drink for perhaps 20’ from most cellars. Many these days seem to sit in a 7 - 15 year window.
On the direct subject of Pichard, I’m afraid I’ve found the Cuvée August Vignau to be about as good as it gets. I’m not particularly impressed with the rest of their output, my suspicion being that their heavy use of more Bordelaise varieties was perhaps - in the past - seen as an easy ‘in’ for TWS, who have a clientele (certainly historically) who were claret drinkers. I find that a real shame as, being frank, I find them distinctly average for the appellation. I think on balance, TWS could do better. And quite easily.
This is a new one for me, it’s very fresh, with quite high acidity, some lime and grapefruit in there, a dry finish - generally satisfying but somehow lacking a little something on the finish. Worth a try at the current discounted price, though.