My cellar is 90% European – of which 70% is French, and in turn, 35% of that is claret. Even before knowing how long ‘lockdown’ would be, I decided to go “off piste” for evening red wines, opening bottles that had been forgotten for years. First up were the last of three 2001s from the Douro, early in the adventure of table wines away from Port. The Prats-Symington Chryseia – only the second vintage – showed good fruit with Medoc firmness on the finish, Dirk von Niepoort’s Redoma was still full of briary energy, while Quinta do Vale Meao, my favourite of the three, combined richness, spice and smoothness.
The information that Carlos Falco, Marques de Grinon, had died from the coronavirus aged 83, led me to open a 2000 Syrah from his Dominio de Valdepusa estate near Toledo, still full of velvety vigour. Carlos Falco was the founder of the “Pagos” single estate vineyards that brought justified attention to wines from northern Spain. My Spanish wine rack reminded me of several old vintages of Rioja Gran Reserva from Marques de Caceres, so on alternate evenings I decanted the 1998 and 1991. The ruby red colour of the former led to wonderful Tempranillo flavours, years in American oak beautifully blended in, while the latter showed fine textural fruit, a classic Rioja in all its mature glory.
Subscriber Only Content
A paid subscription is required for access to all content other than the Grapevine section. Subscribe below for access to all Sommelier India articles online and to get the print magazine delivered to your doorstep.
Sign In here if you have already subscribed for access. You can request a password from your account page once you’ve entered your email address. If you are unable to access an article after signing in, it may mean your subscription has expired. For other sign in queries email email@example.com
Cheques should be in the name of Sommelier India and mailed to the following address:
C-320 Defence Colony,
New Delhi 110 024, India
Download our subscription form (PDF) to print and mail with your cheque.