Primitivo, Musar, Bordeaux and Rioja


Primitivo, Musar, Bordeaux and Rioja

Had some friends round last night, so four interesting reds went into decanters. These friends weren’t wine geeks, and I always enjoy seeing the way non-wine-nuts respond to wine.

So, from right to left, the four bottles:

Musar 2004 – the current release of a wine that divides opinion. I love it. Although Musar isn’t considered a natural wine, this is pretty natural. It has wild, unusual crazy flavours. For the purists, it’s faulty, with lashings of volatile acidity and brett, and a bit of oxidation. But in concert with the sweet fruit, all these flavours work together in harmony, it tastes delicious, and it ages too. Everyone liked it.

Contino Rioja Reserva 2006 – this is quite an expensive Rioja (£22 BBR), but it’s very sophisticated. It’s traditional styled, with extra refinement. There’s the usual oak influence, but also good structure and layered fruit. It will age very well, into a complex, mellow maturity. People liked this, but it’s some way off its optimum drinking window.

Chateau Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac 2006 Saint Emilion – This went down well. It’s a new wine to me, from the Dourthe stable, and it’s structured, refined and shows great concentration. At £20 from Sainsbury’s it’s not an inexpensive wine, but it is quite serious, and just beginning to drink well now.

Paololeo Primitivo di Manduria 2010 – from 40 year old vines, this is a deliciously dense, ripe, robust Primitivo. It won a gold medal in the International Wine Challenge, which takes some doing. It deserves it. It’s robust and ripe without being spoofy and showy. £12 in Waitrose, IIRC.

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