Preamble Tasting November 1999 
La Belle France
Colm Brangan


1. Muscat Sec VdeP d'Oc "Cuvee des Lilas" Ch. de la Peyrade, 1998
Slightly sweet nose. Burn, butterscotch, long finish of sultanas. This is the sweet one with fermentation allowed to continue. Grape is Muscat of Alexandria (as used in Lillypilly, from Oz, about which I shall rave another time).

2. Sauvignon Cotes de Gascogne VdeP Domaine du Tariquet, 1998
Lovely grassy, lemony nose. Crystal clear. Not nearly so crisp as typical Loire versions; apparently because these latter grow on chalk, and/or it is a different clone. Quite a mouthful, fruity. Long sweet, fruity aftertaste. This maker is reputed to produce the best Armagnac.

3. Chardonnay Coteaux Charitois VdeP "Le Montaillant", 1996
Half way between Burgundy and Loire (in Nievre, just below Yonne). Very woody on the nose. Buttery, fruity, oak well masked. Green leaf flavour. Quite a fizzy end on the tongue. 12.7%

4. Tokay Pinot Gris AOC "Cuvee Reserve" CV Turkheim, 1998
No big nose, but beautifully rich, fruity, nutty, mineral-rich flavour. Long finish. Lovely big mouthful of wine. Great with food. 13.4%

5. Cotes de Gascogne VdeP "Domaine du Mage", 1998
From Domaine du Tariquet (above). Light red colour. Slightly soapy nose. Colm identifies boiled milk, a typical Cabernet Sauvignon taste. It is a belnd of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tannat. Well made, hangs together well. Good tannins, perhaps too acidic. Will improve.

6. Bordeaux Rouge AOC "Chai de Bordes-Quancard, 1996
Lightish red. Hint of fruitcake and some rubber. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. On palate rubber, fruit, good acid. Slightly watery, but well put together. Quite pleasant but overpriced.

7. Cotes de Thongues VdeP "Cabernet de l'Ariolle, 1994
Deep colour. Big fruitcake nose, with mahogany. Huge fruit upfront and, yes, some of that boiled milk. Heavy tannins. Literally tins of condensed milk Beginning to open out. Will be great. Buy for keeping.

8. St. Emilion Grand Cru AOC Chateau Franc Pipeau, 1994
Deep red. Big, stern nose. Heavily Cabernet to me, but apparently mostly Merlot. Lighter than expected on the palate. Good fizz, wood not obvious. Quite fruity but not big. Tea brack tannins. Nice but disappointing.

9. Chateauneuf du Pape AOC "Cuvee las Reine es Bois" Domaine de la Mordoree, 1994
Deep, quite murky. Varnish and fruit. Sherbet, fruit, acid, rich. Some soft tannins. Will develop but already lovely. A little lime and mahogany at the end. 14.4% Regrettably not available.

10. Floc de Gascogne Blanc AOC Chateau de Tariquet, NV
Golden orange colour. Very big and fresh on the nose: Marmalade and figs. On the palate marmalde. toffee, dates, figs. An Armagnac flavour. It is, in fact, grape juice and Armagnac. Ugni, Columbard. Not together. Waste of Armagnac.

An excellent selection of whites, and the Cotes de Thongues Cabernet a buy recommendation.





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