Sunday, 4 March 2012

Changing Cairanne

Wine really does have a life of its own. Even in the bottle it changes over time. And once released it continues to develop new characteristics. Take this Cairanne.

I really like the various Cote Du Rhone villages. Each has its own personality and they can be better value and more interesting than many of the well-known Rhone appelations. But I have had problems with Cairanne before. To my palette it can be a bit leaden, almost steely combined with a rather jammy, full-blown fruitiness. One of the few times I have ever left a bottle undrunk (apart from it being off) was a Cairanne.

So it was when I first tasted this a couple of years ago. But when opened this week, it had taken on a more velvety, less full-blooded body. And when left open in the bottle and glass for an hour or two, it became a very civilised, quite rich wine. Even one mouthful seemed to have quite a different finish to the first impact on the nose.

I just don't know enough about wine [as you will have gathered from this blog] to work this out. But I am looking forward to opening another bottle of this in a couple of years to find out what happens next.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Better Than Coal

I confess my real wine cellar is nothing like the one in the background of this blog. It's actually a very narrow coal hole that runs under the hallway of our Victorian terrace house. It isn't ideal as the temperature is not constant and the underground tributaries of the Fleet River are just inches below in the London clay. But it holds my collection of wine bought en primeur over the last decade or so that we've lived here. This bottle is something I dragged out in the last week past the tool boxes and the ladder, up the four steps into daylight.

After a decade of rest it's a wonderfully fruity but full and quite subtle wine from that most mixed wine region of France, the south-west. It's a beautiful part of the country, where the hills start to rise away from the Med, heading off into deeper Languedoc.

I am delighted to say that this will happily rest a couple of more years in the coal cellar and, I think, improve. The 2005 and the 2007 also awaits.