Some considerations about wines drunk this summersamedi, 29 août 2009

I was with my wife in the South of France, and we received our three children and our six grand children by successive or coordinated waves. We received some distant cousins too, who needed a place to live, as they wanted to visit a cousin heavily burnt and recovering near my house.

To analyse what has been drunk is interesting for me, as I can check my tastes and the tendencies of my taste at this moment of my life. I hope it can be of interest for other wine lovers.

We have opened 61 bottles representing 74 times 75 cl, as I opened 13 magnums uniquely Champagne.

Champagne has been the favourite drink with 27 bottles representing 40 times 75 cl. It means that more than half of what was drunk was champagne.

I see for that three reasons :

  1. in summer time, champagne is highly refreshing, and is opened for any reason (and the recent birth of a new grandson has been used many times as an excuse)
  2. for my own person, champagne is largely more digestible. When the weather is very warm, I bear largely more champagne
  3. but the main reason is that I am more and more interested in champagne, for its taste and for its ability to create imaginative gastronomic combinations

Two regions have got my preference after champagne :

Rhone with 14 wines

Provence with 12 wines.

By comparison, other regions are very poorly represented : Bordeaux 3, Burgundy 2, Roussillon 1, Italy 1, USA 1.

The reasons for giving such an importance to Rhone and Provence are :

  1. when I am in Provence during summer, the regional wines shine at their best. What I smell in nature is found in the glass. The performance or these local wines is spectacular
  2. the Rhone wines represent for me today what I adore when it concerns young wines. As it is a heresy to drink old wines (old for my scale) during a hot summer, I am fond of young Rhone wines.

Of course, I would be able to say my preferences without analysing, but it becomes more obvious when analysing.

Among the 61 wines I selected 22 which were wines of special pleasure that I tried to rank according to my pleasure :

  1. Champagne Krug 1982 : Krug is in 1982, exactly as Salon, at the best possible form of its wealth, before becoming what is named a mature champagne
  2. Chevalier-Montrachet Bouchard Père & Fils 1998 : this is a fantastic wine whose complexity is very rare. Highly adorable
  3. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rayas 1995 : this wine is a gift. Because it has the smoothness of a Burgundy in the skeleton of a Chateauneuf. A unique subtlety
  4. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel 1989 : this is the academic perfection of what a Chateauneuf would dream to become
  5. Côte Rôtie La Turque Guigal 2005 : it is nearly impossible to find more sensuality than in this wine, highly promising, but terribly sexy today
  6. Champagne Dom Ruinart rosé magnum 1990 : elegance, perfection, this champagne is a dandy
  7. Côte-Rôtie La Mouline Guigal 1996 : a perfect form of the Guigal’s wines, perfect in its youth
  8. Champagne Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs en magnum 1995 : I would say that this wine, which is not the greatest possible, has a magic touch. One feels that it has been touched by the hand of God
  9. Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill en magnum 1998 : unique, great, full of charm, but, for my personal taste, not the natural charm of a gigolo. There is something intellectual in the approach towards this wine
  10. Champagne Bollinger Grande Année 1989 : a world in itself, the world of Bollinger. This is the student who gets every time the best notes, and puts on the nerves of the rest of the class
  11. Château Laville Haut-Brion 1979 : the excellent race of a noble wine, convincing by its complexity, probably not well at ease on warm days of summer
  12. Rimauresq Côtes-de-Provence 1989 : to drink Côtes de Provence in Provence adds definitely to its charm. And age goes so well, putting these wines at levels that no one would be able to predict if he has never tasted Côtes de Provence of more than 15 years
  13. Rimauresq Côtes-de-Provence 1990 : same comment. I preferred the 1989
  14. Château Pibarnon Bandol 1990 : same comment. A glorious wine
  15. Champagne Salon magnum 1995 : Salon is Salon, magnum is magnum, and 1995 is 1995. It was good, but not so impressive
  16. Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol rouge 1995 : among « young » Bandols, this one, with a refreshing menthol taste is wonderful
  17. Côte Rôtie La Landonne Guigal 2005 : very great wine, but La Turque is largely greater
  18. Ermitage « le Pavillon », Chapoutier 1989 : the first time I tried this wine. This encourages me to try again. Extremely interesting, but lacking some opulence
  19. Champagne Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle magnum : during our stay, I opened 7 magnums, and there are reasons. The first is that in the south, my cellar has not a complete diversity, the second is that it is a champagne which is not difficult to approach, a real champagne for thirst, whose bottle is empty as soon as it is opened, which justifies to have magnums ready to be opened. I am aware that it is certainly not the best QPR, but I am used to its friendly taste
  20. Champagne Dom Pérignon 1995 : high class. This champagne is a real success, driving to Heaven
  21. Champagne Henriot 1996 : this champagne gives me a total pleasure. It is not the greatest, not the most complex, but I am happy when I drink it, due to its very special taste, full of genuineness.
  22. Champagne Clos des Goisses Philipponnat magnum 1990 : I wanted to try this year that I had not tasted and to do it with a magnum. The rarity created the pleasure, but I expected a little more. A bottle of 1999 drunk two days after gave me more pleasure.

Many other wines were highly interesting, but these 22 represent a real sun shine, lightening our holidays.