Saturday, 19 June 2010
Clos Roche Blanche: my red stars of the vertical: Gamay
Tasting in full flow
Reds made up the majority of the wines we tasted.
I started with a short series of Touraine Gamay. The 1990 Première Vendange from Henry Marionnet was one of two wines not from the Clos Roche Blanche and is an early example of a wine without sulphur. Now bricky in colour it had some Pinot Noir like aromas but was thin and fading on the palate. Certainly this bottle was over the hill. The 1995 Clos Roche Blanche was disappointing – also thin and faded. However, the 1996 that I have drunk with pleasure over the years was still showing well with attractive fruit, although perhaps beginning to dry a little in the finish. Still remarkable for a Gamay of 14 years old that is not normally expected or really designed to age.
Equally remarkable was the 1999 with still dense, rich brambly fruit and length and probably good for another few years. Indeed the quality of the reds from 1999 was demonstrated by this tasting. Because of rain during September, 1999 has tended to be considered as an average vintage. This tasting allied with a couple of Clos Roche Blanche 1999s – a Côt and a Closerie – have shown that these wines are now showing very well and that 1999s have turned out to be considerably better than anticipated. In contrast the 2005 Gamay was rather disappointing – mushroom aromas and quite tannic although it does have fruit. Perhaps it just needs a little more time!