Hippolyte Reverdy, Vignoble de la Perriere, Chaudoux-Verdigny, AOC Sancerre, Cher, France, 1987
On the off-chance that this bottle was sound, I thought it worthwhile to see how a 30-year old Sancerre had developed – and was pleasantly surprised.
This wine: varietal sauvignon blanc, fill level 3cm below the cork, natural cork (a little crumbly for about 2.5 mm under the capsule, but still sound), 12.5% abv, Vintage Wines, £5 bin end (07/17)
Two other examples of the same wine were evaluated within a month of the first. The cork of one crumbled on extraction, with the other the corkscrew was unable to engage as the cork slid effortlessly into the bottle. However, remarkably, the contents of both bottles were sound, and showed similar to the example analysed here.
Consumer tasting note: a strong well-developed nose of dried stone fruit and dried apple, a touch smoky, with honey, waxy pineapple and hints of nuttiness; medium bodied with very fresh acidity, on a palate of dried and caramelised apple, pineapple skin, honey and hints of struck match – the honeyed note thickens over 30 minutes. Finishes medium-long. Decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of smoky waxy pineapple skin, dried apricot and peach, dried apple, touch of dried citrus – more lemon than anything else, very slightly confected, hint of thin honey, hint of anise, hint of nuttiness.
Palate: dry, high acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a noticeable grip, with flavours of smoke, very low-key struck match, pineapple skin, bees-wax, touch of honey, stewed slightly caramelised apple. A medium (+) length with a clean very fresh dried fruit finish, with a slight bitterness and a touch of broom on the end.
Quality: very good, with vibrant acidity harmonious with the alcohol, body and overall intensity; fully developed showing moderate complexity from time in completely integrated wood (witnessed by the grip), and in bottle, with waxy dried fruit notes and oxidised nutty nuances; good intensity throughout, with a slightly lesser concentration, still, a respectable medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further aging, but will keep for a year or two – a sound structure, fully developed, with an interesting profile.