When it comes to french reds - and as I've said before, you can't be a real wine snob unless you can take a sip and say "ahh, zees, my friends, is terroir..." - I've had the distinct feeling for some time now that France is being rolled up for me from south to north. First to go was the southern Rhone. Done. I can't stand this tepid heaviness any more. Then, the more generic Languedoc blends followed suit. Bo-ring. With a lukewarm Gauby experience recently, I've even become doubtful about the Roussillon. So what about Faugères, one of the more characterful Languedoc appellations? Won't say "last try" yet, but let's just say there's some pressure on Alquier, by common agreement one of the very best names in all of southern France.
Very dark, blackish colour.
Great smell: Cassis, plums, cherry jam, tar and candied sugar.
Seems to go through two phases in the mouth, with nice sour cherry fruit, fresh acidity and coal at first, followed by subtle oak, vanilla, smoke and ash.
This more than convincing Bordeaux takes its stand between the traditional and the more accessible "international" style and actually gains complexity and tension from that. We (Mr. and Mrs. Munich Wine Rambler with two nice guests) really enjoyed this one, because it seemed to appeal to the snob as well as to the occasional drinker, without being a bland compromise.
White crystals on the cork. Shiny, golden colour. A nose of (flowery) honey and stone fruit, with a faint hint of mineral; peach. In the mouth honey, smooth, caramelised peach, very smooth, a little spice, nicely aged. At first, we noticed a little malt in the finish (think malt beer), but that disappeared after 15 minutes or so; a little bitter towards the finish - not entirely unpleasant though. It made me want to have a soft, not too sweet cheese cake.
A nicely aged Riesling that was very drinkable but lacked that little something to be truly, truly memorable.