A fine quartet… of a certain age

1996 Brunello di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi

This week I am featuring four wines of a certain age that we have recently enjoyed. First up is last Sunday’s treat – this 1996 Brunello di Montalcino from Biondi-Santi. I was given this bottle when on a press trip to Tuscany in the early 2000s. This will probably be the only time that we will drink a bottle of Biondi-Santi and I have to say it was well worth the wait – lovely complex nose and palate, beautifully and seamlessly balanced (13% alc) with just a touch of refreshing austerity in the finish. A wonderful antidote to supercharged high alcohol, fruit bombs! We drank this with roast roe deer from Simpson Game in Newtonmore – a great and fitting match!

2006 Bourgogne Aligoté, Cave des Hautes-Côtes

I wasn’t at all sure what this 16 year old Aligoté would be like when I opened it. Would this still be drinkable or would I have to pour it down the sink? Fortunately I did not have to worry this 2006 was a very interesting mature wine – quite opulent with complexity that comes with age and gentle acidity in the finish. A revelation with no need to use a slug of crème de cassis to make it drinkable!

2005 Savennières, Clos le Grand Beaupréau, Château Pierre-Bise

The back label explains that the Clos du Grand Beaupréau is shared between three families of vignerons: Domaine de la Bergerie, Domaine Ogereau and Château Pierre-Bise. Yves and Claude have now retired while Vincent is semi-retired.

This 2005 Clos le Grand Beaupréau was another treat – a mature Savennières from a warm vintage with some honeyed and stone fruit notes with enough acidity to hold it together providing a refreshing finish. It stood up to a quite spicy moules à la crème – the mussels coming from Shetland. Clearly if I hadn’t pulled the cork would still be good for many, more years.

2005 Mi-Pente Bourgueil, Domaine de la Butte

As well as being excellent the wines of Jacky Blot are very consistent. This was another mature, finely textured 2005 with soft, fully integrated tannins. As the name suggests Mi-Pente comes from the middle of the south facing slope of La Butte – the best part of the vineyard with the longest exposure to the sun. Fortunately the slope of La Butte makes it frost-free – as long as I am not tempting fate!! Although the 2005 Mi-Pente is fully mature it should be good for at least another decade.

Domaine de la Butte, Bourgueil

This picture shows the south facing vineyards rising up behind the white house and the winery. The wood provides protection against the cold north winds.

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