Locked in ……
There is a certain irony that our confinement has allowed wines lurking in people’s cellars or broom cupboards to be liberated – set free no longer cooped up in a glass prison but instead set free to express themselves.
Here are a trio of wines that recently welcomed their freedom after a longish term of imprisonment.
1985 Côtes du Roussillon red, Château de Jau
That this 1985 from Château de Jau was still very drinkable and quite youthful wasn’t entirely a surprise as last year we drank a trio of wines from different vintages from the same era from nearby Latour de France that were still drinkable, especially the 1981 and 1986 with the 1984 the least good. Nevertheless I think many people back in the 1980s would not have thought that a red from the Roussillon would still be so enjoyable at 35 years old.
I forget now what the blend of grapes was in this Jau Côtes de Roussillon. The domaine no longer has a red Côtes de Roussillon. It does have a red Côtes Roussillon Villages but the Jau site is not very informative about their wines, so no mention of what is in the blend. I am assuming that this 1985 was a blend of the usual Roussillon varieties, so mainly Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. The 1985 still had good deep colour and sweet, spicy plum fruit. Interestingly the 1985 had 12% alcohol.
1983 Lacoste-Borie, Pauillac, Grand-Puy-Lacoste
Lacoste-Borie is the second wine of Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Although I don’t have the proportions of the blend for the 1983, Lacoste-Borie is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, always the major component but varying from 52% – 75% according to the year, Merlot between 25% – 40% and Cabernet Franc from 4%-10%. The 1983 was a touch bricky but still had good soft fruit and some characteristic aromas of pencil shavings. Could have been confined for a while longer but may have already put in a request for parole.
1987 Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, Domaine Bouscassé
Although Alain Brumont still makes a dry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh at Château Bouscassé, it has become more intellectual since this example from 1987 then baldly labelled sec. It is now called Les Jardins Philosophiques featuring two high quality local grape varieties Petit Courbu and Petit Manseng, which I am pretty sure made up the blend for the 1987, although there might also have been some Gros Manseng included.
The 1987 was a real treat: mid gold colour, mouth-filling complex citric fruit with a long vibrant and quite austere finish. Tasted blind I suspect one would have no idea that this white was over 30 years old.
In conclusion a short custodial sentence…
Our Sunday night’s apéro was given a very early release for good behaviour. The excellent 2019 La Romantique Bourgueil Rosé from Lamé Delisle Boucard was our choice when answering the call from the Oenologues de France to raise a glass at 18.00 CET on Sunday in support of the French wine producers.
The grapes (Cabernet Franc 90% and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) for this rosé are pressed directly without any skin contact hence the delicate pale pink colour – like a vin gris. It is vinified in stainless steel and bottled in February. The delicious 2019 has soft pear and peach aromas with delicately textured fruit and remains fresh in the finish with no hint of the 13% alcohol.
Stay well and safe!