Of a well stocked cellar.
The weekend has been long, and well lubricated. Elodie’s 25th birthday went off with a bang some barbecued duck breast with mange tout and some very fine new potatoes. The star of that night, apart from the lady herself, was a fine and refined bottle of 2004 Vina Tondonia from Rioja superstar, albeit only belatedly, Lopez de Heredia. It’s a lovely bottle – leather, spice, smoke and and orange. Over two nights it drank well, with plenty more to give.
Saturday night was away from home…a night of dread; twenty five unknown guests and a live band. What could be worse? Well, in fact it wasn’t, it was refreshing, rewarding and…well lubricated. At two thirty in the morning I zig-zagged myself back across the village fuelled by Aldi’s extremely elegant Veuve MonsignyChampagne. I don’t drink a lot of champagne; perhaps I overdosed at Moët back in the nineties but it’s just too much acid. That 1999 DP was the exception that proves the rule, but I heartily recommend Aldi’s effort. Clearly a blend of majority chardonnay, and well chilled,I drank nothing else all night, it even played faithful fiddle to an Epicure No. 2…
And this morning, no headache, un peu fatigué, but no manifest punishment for my, I’ll admit it, excess.
This evening as we bask in the warm evening sun of an extended Burgundian heat wave, what else to follow the half a glass each of Vina Tondonia? A quick regard in the 15° (vinuous perfection) cellar and I fell on a bottle of Querciabella’s 1999 Camartina...Mostly entirely Merlot with a generous dollop of casual, bracing of Sangiovese. Just a whiff of cherries and a fine acidity to tighten the cheeks. At eighteen it is showing no sign of age, only verve and flavour in spades. I have half a case left now, but I am constantly amazed, and gratified, at the ageing potential of these top wines from Chianti’s highest vineyards. Ceparello, Il Carbonaione, Percarlo, Le Pergole Torte, there is no stopping them.
Not for no reason is Chianti just Chianti, and Chianti Classico something else, and better.
And the well stocked cellar? Well I have long been regarding my own as little more than vanity, now so stocked to be almost pointless. Will I ever drink it all, not with standing that some is just too expensive for me to drink? That said, when you pull a bottle out on a whim, and they are as glorious as these, it starts to make sense.