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Tim York

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(W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by Tim York » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:37 am

Calvados is just about my favourite spirit when it is like this one. And the fact that it is much more reasonable in price than Cognac or Armagnac of comparable quality does not hurt. However, there is some malt whisky around that gives it a run for its money in QPR terms.

Calvados Pays d’Auge Vénérable – Roger Groult – Alc.41% - (c.€60). I love the whole of the Groult range, although 3 ans d’Age is a touch raw. This one, which is a blend of 18 years old Calvados, still has some of the apple flavour of the 8 & 15 ans d’Age whilst beginning to show the complexity and secondary flavours of Doyen d’Age. There are discreet hints of caramel on the finish but nothing like the trowels of it on some other well known brands. Excellent 17/20. (The Calvados of Domaine Dupont is also excellent.)

Chianti Classico 2006 - Fèlsina Beradenga – Alc.13% was a modem entry level Chianti Classico with medium body, pungent plum tinged red fruit, a lot of minerals, tangy acidity and elegant linear shape on the palate. Very good 16.5/20.

Château d’Aiguilhe - Côtes de Castillon - 1998 – Comtes de Neipperg – Alc13% (80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc). I’m amazed that the last time I opened one of these was as long ago as 2007 when I wrote -
A fine N of complex fruit with cherry brandy notes . A maturely harmonious and structured P with good focus, length, roundness and velvety mouth-feel.
It has lost a little freshness and bloom in 6 years and shows more secondary notes but the above still mostly applies. Very good 16/20.
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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by AlexR » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:18 am

Tim,

Re Castillon:

.... and when I hear that Bordeaux is expensive....

Château d’Aiguilhe is a very reliable wine.
They also produce 180,000 bottles a year of the stuff!

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by Tim York » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:02 pm

Alex, the only Wine Searcher hit for Aiguilhe in Belgium shows price ranging from €17 to 25 for vintages 2009 though 2012. That is not exactly cheap compared with, say, comparable Loire valley quality but neither does it break the bank. Prices probably a bit less, if M. de (or is it "von"?) Neipperg deigns to let his wines be sold in the Foires aux Vins.
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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by AlexR » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Tim,

You cannot compare a good Bordeaux to a light, wimpish red from the Loire!!!

Look at what entry level Burgundy costs. Bordeaux wins hands down!
However, the story changes when you go up the quality scale in Bordeaux, where Burgundy arguably provides better value for money in many instances.

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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by Dale Williams » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:35 pm

Tim,
Thanks for notes on Felsina- I'll check in on one soon. I liked the '98 Ch. d'Aiguilhe as well, but prices have climbed, and if anything it's gotten more and more modern is subsequent vintages.

AlexR wrote:You cannot compare a good Bordeaux to a light, wimpish red from the Loire!!!

I don't know about light wimpish reds- who buys those?- but I generally prefer Baudry Chinon or Breton Bourgeuil at about 2/3s (or less) the price of Aiguilhe. Or Filliatreau "La Grande Vignolle" Saumur-Champigny at half the price.

Look at what entry level Burgundy costs. Bordeaux wins hands down!


I dunno. I've recently bought Chandon de Briailles "Iles des Verg" PV and Lafouge "La Chapelle" Auxey 1er for less than Aiguilhe sells for, much more my style.
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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by AlexR » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:52 pm

Dale,

MOST red Loire is light and wimpish. You can't really take the élite to represent the whole...

As for the minor Burgundies you mentioned being more your style than Ch. d'Aiguilhe, there can, of course, be no discussion or debate about personal taste.
However, please keep in mind that d'Aiguilhe is one of the most expensive Côtes wines and is not representative pricewise.
I recently bought a couple of cases of 2009 Ch. Haut-Macô, Côtes de Bourg for just over 6 euros a bottle. I think it would be pretty hard to beat that for quality/price ratio just about anywhere.

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Re: (W)TN: Great Calvados, Fèlsina & mature Castillon.

by Tim York » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:49 pm

AlexR wrote:
MOST red Loire is light and wimpish. You can't really take the élite to represent the whole...



Alex, I have to wonder which Loire reds you have been drinking lately.

Chinon, Bourgueil and St.Nic Bourgueil from sandy gravelly soils are delightful for drinking young :D but even so I would hardly describe, say, Baudry's Les Granges and Blot's Pied de la Butte as light and wimpish.

As for the more age-worthy from heavier soils in these appellations as well as from Saumur-Champigny, they have IMO more backbone than most Merlot dominated right-bankers, huge though some are and lovely in other cases like this Aiguilhe 98. Just try Amirault's La Petite Cave, Baudry's La Croix Boissée, Alliet's Noiré or Vieilles Vignes, Germain's C.Marginale, Vatan's C.Lisagathe not to mention Fourcault, Chevallier, Caslot......
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