It was once again an extraordinary experience. Less comprehensive than the memorable tasting Les 5 du Vin enjoyed in the cellars of Lamé Delisle Boucard back in June 2012 but equally amazing!
I was in Bourgueil for a tasting and Guillaume Lapaque (Monsieur Bourgueil) asked whether we would be free to taste an 1865 Bourgueil from the Demont family this evening. The idea was to check whether the 1865 was still holding up as there was due to be a television programme featuring Gérard Depardieu tasting the 1865. We had nothing special planned for the evening, so of course we were up for the 1865. Even if we had been busy we would have done our best to make a space to taste an 1865 – the oldest Loire red I have ever been privileged to taste. We duly arrived at 7pm and headed down into a cellar in the middle of a field. The cellar, hewn out of the local limestone, had two chambers one to the right remained locked and barred we were let into the one on the left with its earthen floor. Here there were a number of dusty bottles ranged in sand along the floor and on storage ledges along the walls.
The 1865 Bourgueil in photos:
The 1865 was still very definitely wine – bricky orange in colour – with quite a fungal aroma but pleasant: ceps and truffles. An attractive texture and body with quite marked acidity initially. With a little time in the glass the acidity softened and the 65 gained further body. Remarkably after finishing the wine, its aromas lingered on in the glass. Incroyable!!
On entering their cellar Michel and Nicolas Demont explained that 150 years again vignerons were already exchanging bottles, which is how they came to have some 1857 Vouvray here. After very generously opening and sharing with us the 1865 they decided that while we were all here they might as well open one of the 1857 Vouvrays.
The 1857 Vouvray was equally amazing with vibrant golden colour, a little oxidation but really remarkably little for its age with a gentle sweetness – honey and apricot – and lightly truffly nose. Incredible!
As we were staying at the Café de la Promenade with took a tasting sample in a glass back for Ludo to try. Although Ludo was impressively quick to divine that this was a Vouvray, I was a little disappointed that he had trouble identifying the vintage opting initially for 1947, which would normally be a considerably deeper gold and much sweeter. Chapeau Ludo !
In the end Depardieu apparently preferred to taste old vodkas with his fellow countryman Vladimir Putin rather than the 1865 ….. foolish boy!