TN: Figeac Crasto Monasterio La Rioja Alta Lafaurie

Notes from a blind tasting with a theme of ‘old world’.

2012 Le Soula – the first of several unusual wines you don’t see every day. This is from the Cote Catalanes, an AOC in the Languedoc Roussillon, made from sauvignon blanc and Grenache blanc, although it showed none of the characteristics of the former. It showed a nice peachy nose with nutty notes and had good weight with balanced finish.

1983 Ch. Figeac – this St. Emilion, which almost always puts on a good show, had browning edges and a nose that was musty at first but quickly shad that in favour of green tinged cabernet and merlot fruit. On palate, decent earthy fruit, but like most 1983s now I think this was better a few years ago. Decent showing, though.

1990 Castello Camigliano Brunello – ripe funky nose, with red fruit, slightly astringent on palate and with a lean slightly drying finish. Drank OK but would have been better a few years ago.

1999 Quinta do Crasto Tinta Cao – this was from a series of experimental bottling of dry red single varietals that is still carried on today. Dark with clear edges, and a pronounced vinyl nose that submitted to swirling and transformed into dark fruit and candied cinnamon hearts. Seemed low on fruit but did start to open up after airing a half hour.

1997 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero – big ripe mushroomy nose, good dark plumy fruit and soft finish. I thought this one would be long in the tooth, not being a reserve, but it drank well.

1995 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 – a ton of dilly American oak in the nose, and some dark fruit and blood, garnet colour now, and on palate classic, concentrated and elegant at the same time. Good.

2004 Terradora di Paolo Taurasi Fatica Contadina – good colour, obviously Italian with spicy fruit an hints of leather, clean acidity and very good length.

2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 – nice to have two vintages of a wine even though we didn’t see the connection when tasting blind. Dark with a cocoa and vanilla nose and less dill than the older wine. On palate it was smooth with fine tannins and lots of acidity. I preferred the older wine.

2006 Ch. Le Bon Pasteur – this Pomerol was showing a floral claret nose with some cherry and anise and lots of oak. It drank young but well with a medium long finish and ample soft tannin. No rush.

1978 Thunevin-Calvet Maury Vin Doux Naturel – this wine, made from Grenache had brown edges, a very sweet nose, and while not at all Port-like, was an interesting alternative.

1996 Ch. Lafaurie Peyraguey – first time I’ve tasted this vintage, IIRC. Excellent marmalade nose, with some coconut, well balanced medium weight Sauternes with a long future ahead.