Monday, September 22, 2008

Chateau Gruaud Larose 1986

I'm sitting on a deck, staring out to where the Med would be, were the darkness of night not concealing its azure grandeur. There's a bit of a breeze. My body aches and stings with the injuries of vintage at the fantastic Coume del Mas. Nine days of back-breaking blood, sweat and tears and the hardest work I've ever done are over, and my understanding of where fine wine comes from has never been richer.

A few minutes ago, my host presented me with a decanted red and told me to guess. I'm usually good at blind tastings, but my host pretty much taught me most of what I know about wine and as such I suffer issues of confidence when tasting in his presence. I over-guess.

Anyway - I thought it was either Burgundian or Italian. A strange mix, I know. But that's a topic for another post. I couldn't really see the colour as it was dark. A truly blind tasting, really. Bringing it inside to the light revealed rusty edges but still a dark core. I shrugged my shoulders.

The nose was cherries and leather, with a soft rustic charm. A touch of spice. Perhaps a touch of wood, but old and no longer cedar.

The palate is gentle to start and finish, but robust and a touch wild in the middle. That should have been the giveaway really. Like with all wrong blind tastings, it became obvious once the answer was revealed. The cherries and leather from the nose come through on the palate - the fruit's a touch compote but it's ok because the mouthfeel is lovely throughout and to the last of the fantastic, lingering finish, It's not the perfect claret. It's better. It's old and lovely and honest and after everything, I couldn't want anything more.


Tasted in Collioure, 9/08