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We have just been to France and liberated a batch of wines. We thought these two would go well with roast beef.

Recently, I have been reminded that relativism is absolutely false (good Morey is very Morey-y), so I shall attempt to avoid using any relative comparisons between these two wines. I’ll stick to saying what each one is like as a unique entity.

Bandol Cuvee Speciale La Miguoa 1997, Domaine Tempier

This has a wonderful nose of very ripe cherry fruit, it is quite juicy. There is a grilled meatiness to the nose as well and it is very earthy. This is a elegant and refined Bandol nose. Strangely, it doesn’t smell of arseholes. The harmony of the nose tickles my fancy quite a lot, I like scented and perfumed red wines. The palate is a bit tougher and drier than I would have hoped for given is expressive nose. There is a strange acidity to it as well. It has some length, but alas it is just not the nice. Bums, I prefer nice. It is just a bit old and tired. I realise 97 wasn’t the greatest Bandol vintage but I’d expect more from La Miguoa.

Bandol Cuvee Special La Tourtine 1997, Domaine Tempier

What a nose! It bursts with bramble black fruits, with a great density and power of expression. This smells of what I want from Mourvedre. Sure, there is also some brett on the nose, so there is a slightly sweaty arsehole character, but the scent of fruit and rich, well-matured compost is very pleasing. The palate has a massive tannic structure, with dark, powerful fruit. On the palate it is just edging down the wrong side of perfectly mature, but there is a lot of pleasure here. This will serve us well with a good hunk of meat. Oh meat, how I love meat.

I suppose you might wonder which is the best to buy (of a recent vintage, obviously, you don’t want to be buying these): La Miguoa or La Tourtine. I used to think “La Tourtine, obviously”, then I began to edge toward the refined beauty of La Miguoa, before deciding I preferred Pibarnon.

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