It has been a month since my last post, time spent back in the UK with family and friends. I will update on the state of the vines and what has happened with Jeff Coutelou upon my return there next week. Meanwhile, I have been enjoying some bottles from my ‘cellar’ and decided to share some of my favourites.
For a week or so it was actually hot weather here and white wines have taken centre stage.
Valentin Morel is a Jura producer with whom I am unfamiliar. This Savagnin is made in a ouillé style which means that the wine is topped up in the barrel. Jura wines can be made sous voile where the wines are left to age under a layer, or flor, of yeast in the same method that sherries are made. This ouillé style makes for a fresher flavour rather than oxidative notes and, though I like the oxidative style for which the region is more celebrated, I do think the fresher wines suit the cool climate wines. This was green apple and pear flavours with lingering acidity. Very nice.
Peilhan 2016 from Jeff was another success story. Pure Carignan blanc, looking like an orange wine but as fresh and clean as the Jura wine. White fruit notes, delicious.
Testalonga Keep On Punching 2017 is a South African pure Chenin Blanc. Grown on bush vines, the grapes made, you’ve guessed it, a fresh clean and dry wine, purer in style than the Loire Chenins which I also like a lot. I have had a few of the domaine’s wines recently and they are on top form. I enjoyed one of those Loire Chenins too. Vincent Carême’s Vouvray Spring is made from grapes grown by friends but made by him. Lighter than many Vouvray wines and with a clean lick of apple acidity. Very good, different to the Testalonga but still enjoyable.
Red wines also featured on my list. Star was probably the Brouilly 2017 of Jean Claude Lapalu, a classic light, fruity Beaujolais with strawberry and raspberry notes. Lingering, mouth filling and just lovely.
Charlotte and Louis Pérot of L’Ostal make excellent wines in Cahors and their Obras Completas 2016 was a prime example. Cahors wines can be dense and tough but the Pérots manage to produce a lightness of touch, fruity and drinkable wines. I have been lucky enough to know their wines almost from the start of their domaine and to see their development as top class winemakers.
Finally a point of interest from this bottle. Australian wines were long my reference point, my introduction to wine. I often bought wines from Tim Adams because he didn’t make the big blockbusters for which Australia became infamous. The Fergus is a pure Grenache, this bottle was the 2004 and stored under screwcap. It was often said that screwcaps would not allow wines to age so well as cork. This was evidence to the contrary, the wine was still bright red, fruity and full of flavour. Cork may have the romance but screwcaps seem to be able to mature wines equally as well without the risk of cork taint.
Some lovely wines, some points of interest. There were some less interesting wines too but let’s be positive.