My last bottle of Lamartine's 2004 Cahors tonight (still got some "Particuliere" though which is even better): quite chocolatey, very Malbec in a Cahors sort of way. It even worked with the chicken curry I made!
A lively crowd of mainly Claret lovers invited me to show a range of wines from the Southern Rhone! I told them: next time, South-West France. At least it's closer to the style of wines they enjoy. I find it rare that I "get" Bordeaux at all; maybe it's just that I can afford decent wines from the Rhone and SWF but the really good Bordeaux tends to be out of my league. That said, a recent bottle of Teyssier's 2005 was rather enjoyable - maybe it's not that typical! As this was the first wine of the evening, everyone had a full glass; no-one complained.
First up was Domaine des Anges' 2007 "L'Archange" Blanc, a monovarietal - and, therefore, technically illegal - wine from the renamed Ventoux. Still very youthful and fresh with citrus on the nose and palate. Some liquorice and almond and the merest whiff of oak. It really needs another couple of years or more to flesh out; it noticeably improved as the glass drained. Perhaps it should be less …
I was presenting a selection of ten Rhone wines at the NatWest Bank Wine Society last night in central London. I will post notes later but at the start of it, one of the the members came up to me to thank me for some tips I had given a couple of years earlier (I don't remember but I'm happy to take the credit!). Best of all was: when you want to open a bottle of really good wine, don't do so at a dinner party where most people won't appreciate it. Better to save it for an occasion where there are just two of you, the other one preferably teetotal.
"Back to the old country - France - for yet another wine new to me, Domaine de Mourchon's Grande Reserve 2006 from Cote du Rhone-Villages Seguret. Owned since 1998 by a British family, the MacKinlays, who kindly sent me a bottle to taste. Familiar grapes, 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah, old vines, low yield, 40% in oak blended with 60% in concrete vats. A most attractive brochure which, as is my wont, I read avidly. Set in a secluded valley, the 'steep slopes' looked rather on the flat side to me but there was a rather sensuous hint of a downward slope on the near horizon. Still, I musn't carp. I liked the wine despite its robust alcoholic content (15%) which gave it a hot finish. Colour appropriately deep with youthful purple core and rich legs. Nose and flavour full of fruit, meaty and spicy. I didn't open it 'several hours' before serving - surely right - but, the next best thing, decanted it (not for sediment's sake - I didn't notice any) into …
I just came acrioss this review of Domaine de Mourchon's 2007 Seguret "Tradition" in Jamie Goode's blog on his website (www.wineanorak.com)
"Domaine de Mourchon Séguret Tradition 2007 Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 14% alcohol, unoaked. A beautiful expression of the southern Rhône, this is a deep coloured wine with lovely sweet, dark cherry, blackberry and plum fruit aromatics, as well as hints of meat and spice. The palate shows lovely sweet, vivid fruit, but with added meat and pepper complexity, adding a deliciously savoury counter to the ripe fruit. It’s dense and well structured, but lush and smooth at the same time. Really successful: modern but interesting, with plenty of non-fruit complexity. 91/100."
I haven't had a bottle since the early summer when it still seemed very young (though with lots of potential) - it sounds like I need to give it another whirl!