jamie goode's wine blog

Monday, May 04, 2009

A St Emilion that improves dramatically overnight

Some people suggest that the way a wine changes overnight - when a portion is drunk one day, the bottle recorked, and then a portion the next day - is indicative of its ageing potential. I'm not so sure there's a direct correlation, but here's one wine that last night was hard, unyielding and tough to drink, and which tonight is really fantastic.

It's Chateau Louvie 2005 St Emilion Grand Cru. I reckon that 2005 in general is not a vintage to approach now. My experience so far of 05 Bordeaux is that the tannins can sometimes be overpowering, and will take many years to resolve properly. This is certainly the case here: a modern wine, made with quite a bit of oak, but with fierce tannic structure that only softens its grip a bit on day two, to show how this wine might evolve. Drinking it tonight, there's still quite a bit of structure evident, but it has also opened up aromatically to reveal slightly minty blackberry and raspberry fruit with spicy, gravelly overtones and well integrated oak. There's good concentration here, too, and I reckon it will be lovely in a decade. But I could be wrong! UK availability: Cadman Fine Wines (14.50)

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

St Emilion and Garnacha

Took the boys to Thorpe Park today. It's a horrible, horrible place, but they love it. I spent most of the time on my laptop hiding in a coffee bar. When we got back Fiona chose two red wines for me from my rack - one an inexpensive Spanish Garnacha, the second a high-end St Emilion.

Cruz de Piedra Garnacha 2007 Catalayud, Spain
An example of good modern Spanish winemaking, focusing on intense fruit rather than too much American oak. Vibrant, fresh sweet cherry and berry fruit dominates, with a slightly grippy, spicy, peppery edge. Great value for money, and while it's not the most sophisticated wine you'll ever encounter, it's deliciously fruity. 87/100 (5.65 Great Western Wine, 14% alcohol)

Chateau Fombrauge 2004 St Emilion
This is one of the Bernard Magrez properties that I visited last November (pictured above). It's a really attractive, almost seductive wine, with a lovely melange of ripe but well defined, smoothly textured blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, and sophisticated oak. It's a really well balanced wine with nice gravelly depth (a signature of 2004, I reckon) and some firm but refined tannins. This oozes class: quite a serious effort. It's modern, but not too modern; oaky, but not too oaky. 92/100
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