Côtes du Marmandais “Clos Bacquey” 2006 – Domaine Elian da Ros – Alc.13%, made from Merlot and CabFranc about 35% each, CabSauvignon and Abouriou about 15% each and bottled without filtration.
I am a great admirer of the wines of this outstanding estate from an obscure South Western appellation; some which I have had at the age of 10+ would have made excellent ringers as a St.Emilion GC. After tasting this wine in da Ros’ presence about 18 months, I wrote – CdM Clos Bacquey 2006 (€24) was opening up and was big, complex, with fine red fruit, leather hints and firm but well covered tannic structure; potentially 16.5/20++.
This present bottle was disappointing because of quite strong medicinal notes with touches of varnish which superimposed themselves over the features noted previously. I wonder if it has not undergone a VA accident due to the non-filtration and hope that the others are better. Drinkable but not much more; 13/20.
Château Hautes-Rouzes Pomerol 1999 – Alc.12.5%, Merlot 80%, CabFranc 20%. I wrote about a bottle opened about 18 months ago that it was a disappointment. Both nose and palate were dominated by a steely and liquorice-like bitterness and there was none of the seduction I expect from Pomerol and an easy-going vintage like 1999. 13/20.
This present bottle was much more like what I was expecting. There was none of that “steely and liquorice-like bitterness” and the wine was quite rich and complex in an easy-going way with just enough ripe tannic structure to avoid cloying. I wonder what was wrong with the previous bottle and/or its pairing. This one 15.5/20+.
Meursault Les Tessons 1995 – Pierre Morey – Alc.13%. I have admired previous bottles of Pierre Morey’s wines and those of his négociant business, Morey Blanc, particularly the 1992s. However, on taking a first sniff of this bottle, though there was no trace of the pox, I feared that it was evolving in a direction which I don’t like, the bouquet being buttery with a sensation of over-ripe fruit with no freshness. Happily the medium/full and quite complex palate was much better with Meursault opulence being tempered by some lively/crisp acidity and mineral notes which I didn’t get at all on the nose. Still this is not my favourite style of white Burg; I much prefer the steely crispness of Chablis and even some from the Mâconnais and good Chard from the Jura. Perhaps I’m expecting too much from a 17 year old wine from a Meursault Villages lieu-dit but, if I remember correctly earlier bottles and the 1992 were much more to my taste; 15.5/20.
Côtes du Roussillon Blanc Les Vileilles Vignes 2010 – Domaine Le Roc des Anges, Marjorie & Stéphane Gallet – Alc.12.5% - (€16), made from 70-100 year old vines of Grenache gris 90% and Macabeu 10%. This wine was delicious with a refreshing bouquet of white fruit and abundant minerals and an intense medium weight palate with a wonderful combination of fresh fruit, warm Mediterranean undertones, quite crisp acidity and lively minerals; 16.5/20++.
Madiran 1997 – Château Bouscassé, A.Brumont – Alc.12.5%. A dozen of this bought some 12 years ago has proved a very satisfactory purchase, except for the proviso mentioned below. This is a robust wine with deep colour, savoury plum like fruit, wet leather touches, full body, lively acidity with mineral touches, firm but ripe tannic structure and a tad more charm than in many vintages softening its classily rustic austerity. The anti-brett brigade may notice the reference to wet leather and I admit that one or two bottles have had strong animal notes close to my barnyard intolerance threshold; 16/20++ for this bottle.
Château Beauregard – Pomerol – 1995 – Alc.13%; estate then planted with Merlot 62%, CabFranc 30%, CabSauv 8%. This was a lovely Pomerol; the bouquet was quite discreet but beautiful and still fresh with some complex red fruit, particularly cherry and gentle mineral touches. The palate was medium bodied and harmonious with good depth, lovely fruit with roundness from Merlot and classy freshness from the Cabernets, some secondary notes of forest floor and a long finish well supported by mature tannins. At its peak, I think; 17/20.