Yes, I said the elegant side of Madiran. One of the things I find so satisfying about the world of wine is that fact that just when you think you understand a region reasonably well, a wine will always come along to defy your expectations and expand your understanding. An endless journey of discovery, rather like the universe.
I love Madiran. And this Madiran, whilst there being no question that it was of its place, was a delightful learning experience, owing to the unusually high percentage of Cab Franc (40%). Makes me want to seek out a straight Cab Franc from Gascony.
Chateau Peyros, Madiran 2005
60% Tannat, 40% Cab Franc. A rather lovely nose of dark fruit, orange rind, roses, leather, and barnyard. Similar personality on the palate, with rich black cherry, blackberry, orange rind, roses, a pleasant note of sweet greeness from the Cab Franc, with leather, earth, and chalky tannins. Also some mature notes of brown sugar and glycerin. Full bodied but elegant, even lovely, and though Tannat's prominent tannins are very much present, they are very fine and resolved. This is rather like a very earthy Bordeaux, somewhat like hypothetical cross between St. Emilion and St. Estephe, but still very much of its place. Heading toward full maturity, but it is not simply its maturity that makes it so graceful - the balance is simply in a different place than the typical Madiran. Furthermore, that elegant balance makes it more versatile with food than I would have imagined possible for Madiran. This is in a very nice place now, and I wouldn't recommend waiting. Delightful! * * 1/2 [11/3/12]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)