Posts Tagged ‘faulty’

What are the odds of tasting three faulty wines in the space of a week?  One was in a pub/restaurant where I just thought the wine was crap but it was only after I had left that I started to think about what might have been wrong with the wine. Another I bought in a good independent wine shop and the final wine was one that I regularly drink. Apart from being oxidised the other common denominators were that they were all chardonnay and all from Burgundy – albeit one from Macon and the other two were Chablis.

I tend to drink Chablis regularly so am attuned to the taste and profile, what I found most surprising was that in the space of a week a wine that I had regularly tasted up to that point was still fresh with good fruit and indications that it would last another year or 2. Now it may be that I was unlucky and that other bottles of the same wine will be ok but it has made me change my preference for a particular Chablis producer

There has been much discussion about prematurely oxidised Burgundies or premox if you like. The alledged causes vary from lowered sulphur levels, corks to battonage – especially extensive stirring of the lees after malolactic fermentation.

The main detectable fault for oxidised wine is the darker colour, the sherry nose and the flavour of bruised apple. With age this is what can happen to wine anyway; it is a problem when the wine should have potential to age.

Here is a Chablis that is not oxidised and one which is fast becoming my new favourite. Drouhin Reserve de Vaudon 2008. Typical Chablis flavours of citrus and green apple, but soft as it has been aged 12 months in oak – none of which is new. Available is most good independent off licences and wine shops


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mas de daumas gassacVin de Pays means ‘country wine’ and the suggestion is that wine at this level is of lesser quality than wine designated appellation controlee. In general this is a good rule of thumb but there are always exceptions to every rule.

It is true that the yields can be higher and the rules can seem more lax with Vin de Pays but one of the main reasons that these wines are not designated appelation controlee is that they choose to use grape varieties that are restrticted by the particular appellation of that region.

Mas de Daumas Gassac is one of these wines that shows the true potential of the Languedoc when paired with a commitment to making excellent wines.  When discussing the difference between appellation d’origine controlee wines and vin de pays I always mention Mas de Daumas Gassac to illustrate that just because a wine does not confirm to the appellation does not mean that it lacks quality. Mas de Daumas Gassac has been labeled the ‘Latour of the Languedoc’ and sells for €35-€40, not bad for a vin de pays. Available from Karwig Wines, Carrigaline and Le Caveau in Kilkenny.

Mas de Daumas Gassac is generally 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with the final 20% made up of a mix between Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Nebbiolo and Barbara to name a few.

I have had the luck to taste a number of vintages of Mas de Daumas Gassac and last weekend I opened a bottle of the 2001 vintage. I decanted the bottle and as I was pouring I noticed that the wine seemed to lack a bit of colour. I poured out a glass and the rim showed faint ruby tinges. What struck me even more was there seemed to be a slight vinegar smell in the air. I began to suspect that the wine had an excessive amount of Volatile Acidity. I left the wine for a few hours before tasting it. When I came back to the wine the nose seemed dull but there was some fruit along with the underlying hint of vinegar. On the palate there was the dark fruit that I associate with this wine but it just did not taste right. The length was shorter than it should be and there was a certain sourness that remained when the fruit flavours dissipated. I vainly tried to convince myself that it was going to improve but after 2 glasses I poured the rest down the sink muttering ”f*ck you Aime Guibert’. A real disappointment as this has been one of my favourite wines over the last few years.

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