I think I’ve remarked before that one of the great pleasure of a (semi-) disorganised cellar is that one happens upon forgotten bottles with unexpected age – which (I reckon about two times out of three) often reveal something interesting….

Actually it is only semi-disorganisation: I have a rack in the cellar of pre-2000 vintage claret. I was looking there for a bottle to wash down a roast-chicken dinner and lighted upon this bottle
… which interestingly still bore its (2000 ?) price tag: £8.75 (about £13.65 at current prices). The tag didn’t identify the place I bought the 1998, however one can get several vintages (2001 – 2010) from the Wine Society for £14.50 – generally they seem to think the drinking window is 10-15 years (rather formulaic though that might be).

Fourcas Dupré’s vineyards have a long history, and were mentioned on maps dating back to the time of Louis XV. The vines are on a relatively high point of the Médoc, at 42 metres, known locally as the ‘roof of the Médoc’, Château Fourcas Dupré lies between the appellations of Moulis and Saint-Julien. 46 hectares of vines in one large parcel make up the vineyard holdings, lying on a mixture of excellently drained gravel with clay and limestone. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot compose 44% of the blend, supplemented by 10% Fabernet franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wines are matured in barriques, around a third of which are new each year.

This example is actually 18 years old, and from a year principally celebrated for the Right Bank. This however has a relatively high proportion of Merlot for a Left Bank Wine. In fact the wine was still bright with a deep garnet colour. The nose was full of non-fruit attack: cedar, mushroom, a hint of violets and a prune note. The palate was very supple and I think one would have guessed Right Bank, with quite a lot of plum, damson fruit still and mocha velvet tannin. A lovely framing fruit acid circled the food and the mere 12.5% alcohol allowed indulgence…. Very satisfying! I imagine the 2001 might be very similar…

Perhaps it goes to show even a relatively modest wine (for its sort) can gain interest with time.

On another note – Jonny Rudge left a comment that I thought worth putting out directly:

“… There is a charity wine tasting event taking place at Debbie Bryan’s Shop in the Lace Market in Nottingham this Saturday at 7.00 pm in partnership with a wine merchant from the Loire Valley who now calls Nottingham his home.

“All of his wines come from vineyards that he travels back to regularly and I thought that there may be some you haven’t sampled before. If any of your group would be interested, the tickets are on sale here:   http://www.mysightnotts.org.uk/events/wine-tasting-16th-july

I can’t make it myself, as I’ll actually be in the Loire – Bourgueil more specifically…  but if anyone goes and wants to write a note I’ll post it here eventually.

I’ll be back the last week of July – until then…