2000 Reserve de la Comtessa
A disclaimer is in order: I do not have the palate that can identify every flavor in the spectrum of long chain molecules offered by a good red wine. I do not have the oenological education to be able to discern which Mendozan Malbec was grown at a higher elevation or engage in an informed discourse on the styles of the main Bordeaux chateaux. But I have been drinking wine for 40 plus years (moving my way slowly through plonk to the higher priced spreads). In the last year in particular, I have been able to taste 30 to 40 wines per week and my wonder at the diversity of wine has only grown.
Last Saturday night, our friends D. and B. served us a lovely meal featuring (chef enhanced) recipes from the Jerusalem Cookbook (I must say…a must buy!). As if the food with its sweet and sharp flavors, its cumin and cardamom wasn’t gift enough, they broke out a bottle of 2000 Reserve de la Comtessa Bordeaux from Paulliac.
I don’t want to wax poetic but I do want to try to capture the effect this wine had on me. Ancient by U.S standards, it was a thirteen year old wine with no signs of browning at the edge and a young nose of dark fruit and oak and something herbal. With the first sip, this wine just gripped my mouth and held it captive with a taut balance of fruit and acidity, oak and tannins. I was able to snag the lees and was treated to a final lovely, mouth consuming astringency.
If you want to taste an Old World wine, this it. If you want to meet my friends….no way.
Roccofiore 2009 Prova d’Autore
I pour a lot of wine for people. It doesn’t matter whether you drink Premier Cru or plonk, this wine -Roccofiore’s 2009 Prova d’Autore- makes almost everyone’s eyes widen in appreciation. The 2009 “Artist’s Proof” is a blend of Sangiovese (30%), Sagrantino (30%) and Montepulciano (40%). The red berry and dark cherry fruit simply suffuses the mouth and yet it is nicely structured with acidity and oak. It illumininates the mouth today and will only get better if you can keep your hands off of it for a couple of years. It retails in the US for between $26 and $30. Sorry for the terrible photo.
If you taste this wine and check out Roccofiore’s website, a visit to Umbria will rocket to the top of your bucket list.