Richard and I have been writing this blog for nearly four years and we’ve both enjoyed the tastings and the commenting. We each have our favourite grape varieties, regions and styles of wines and our views can differ markedly. The challenge then is to convince the other of the merits of the wine that normally they would not drink. I like Gewurztraminer which produces a distinct shudder in Richard who, in turn, will enjoy fuller-bodied southern French wines which I struggle with. Here is one of those – a VDP Cote de Catalanes (now an IGP) named Ego, 2006 vintage, from Mas Lavail at Maury. It weighs in at 15% ABV which would pause me not one second if I saw it on a shelf. Not very open-minded, I admit.
This wine had been opened 24 hours previously which had the effect – on a ten year old wine – of producing a distinctly brown rim but yet maintaining an intense red core to the colour in the glass. The nose was red fruits, strawberries in particular but ones that had been stewed; there was both acidity and fruit sweetness which made it very appealing. The taste was wonderfully complex; earth, wood, tar, liquorice and tannins all showed themselves in a wine that went the distance. The palate was not particularly fruity (it might have been 24 hours earlier) but still enjoyable with bags of character and one that spoke eloquently of the area. A lovely drop which carried its 15% very well. And it was … the Grenache grape, 100% we think. An excellent autumn wine – bring out the cassoulet!
[Richard: from Leon Stolarski Fine Wines, about £15, which makes it a bargain. The last but one of a mixed case – Mature Reds – that has featured here before. Not much change in the wine 24h on, still spicy, complex, enticing and above all well balanced, not an alcoholic soup. Wine writers often claim that wines from this region taste and smell of the ‘garrigue’ – the scrubland of the Mediterranean, with rosemary, lavender, juniper and thyme. With this wine you could understand that suggestion.]