Thursday, 2 July 2009

A great old wine from Spain

It has been a bad week for wine tasting, which is unfortunate, given that I have been to two tastings, with about 35 wines on offer. Not because the wines were bad - just that the heatwave we are currently enduring has made it almost impossible for the wines to show at their best. Whites that started their journey nicely chilled ended up at room temperature and reds that were slightly chilled ended up warm. Apart from a few decent whites and a couple of light Burgundies, every thing else struggled to perform. Frankly, we would have been better off drinking a few ice cold beers!

However, one red wine that really did stand out was a Marques de Grinon "Gran Vino Tinto de Crianza" Cabernet Sauvignon 1982. This really was delicious and still very much alive, which is remarkable for a wine of this age and this denomination. It reeks of heady, ripe red and black fruits, undergrowth, cigar box, mint and nicely-integrated smoky oak. The palate is stunning - rich, but not overpowering, with truly sweet fruit balanced by wonderful acidity and silky soft tannins. This may even have been a bit of a bruiser when it was young, but 27 years of age has seen it mature into a lovely, elegant wine, which put me in mind of a really good Domaine de Trévallon, with its rich, multi-dimensional fruit profile. I was surprised, though, to find that it was pure Cabernet, as I would have guessed it had some Syrah. It just goes to show that Cabernet can make great wine, even for a Bordeaux-phobe like me! Its a shame that Bordeaux rarely, if ever, makes wines with such generosity and elegance (by which I mean that it is more often one or the other, rather than both). A cracking wine, with complexity by the bucket-load, which sort of bridges the gap between old-style Spanish wine and the bigger, more soupy modern style. One of my wines of the year so far!

No comments: