Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chateau des Estanilles 1999


I had a nice ride around the outskirts of the city today - the first time in shorts, after a long winter.  It was grey, but the sun peeped out during the last bit of the ride.  All in all - a good day and a good ride.  I adjusted the saddle from the last ride, as the angle was a bit too high, but at the beginning of the ride, it seemed as though it might be too low -- my average speed spoke otherwise, and speed on the flats spoke an entirely different story.  The only lowpoint was being overtaken by an insanely tall Frenchman on a carbon bike, after he drafted on my tail for a good 3 km.  I kept him in my sights on the flats, where we maintained a good 30 km/hour, but my heart wasn't in it when it came to the climbs...    

I hate the climbs.  Have I mentioned that before?

After finishing the ride, making lunch for the boys, quickly showering and packing the evening's wine into the backpack for our dinner with our Finnish friends, I had a good evening to look forward to.  Our Finnish friends are not only fun, good conversation, but probably the best BBQ I've had in my life -- consistently.  

The evening started with a Heidseick Monopole champagne and moved on to a Portugese Vinho Verde with the hot-smoked salmon and European whitefish on a bed of ruccola.  

Perfect.

I'd brought a red, so after a desert of a deep, dark and succulent chocolate mousse, it was finally opened.

Michel Louison 1999 -- Chateau des Estanilles -- 20 Euro
This wine from Languedoc is primarily a Syrah, though I'm pretty sure there's some Mourvedre in there.  It's got a cherry and green banana nose. Very round and supple taste, leading to a slightly astringent pucker. Leather and lavender in the finish.  Even though it's a 1999, we decided it might need some decanting. After decanting, the astringency was gone. but the round flavors were still there.  A great wine -- probably one of the best I've had in a long while.

I've been itching to cycle Languedoc for a while.  This wine is a reason to go there.

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