Domaine Montesquiou, Terre de France, Vin de France, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, 2014
This wine: no ‘L’ prefix lot number, though 50694104:42 is stencilled on the glass; this wine, rather than being dry, at <= 4 g/l residual sugar at fermentation end, showed 8-12 g/l owing to a high level of grape ripeness and a consequent stuck fermentation, hence the declassification from AOP Jurancon Sec to VdF; biodynamic, a blend of 65% petit manseng, 30% gros manseng, 5% camaralet; aged in oak barrels over 10 months, Diam 5 agglomerate cork closure, 14.5% abv, Leon Stolarski, £12.50 (04/17)
Consumer tasting note: a rich ripe honeyed nose, with lightly bruised dessert apple, stone fruit and very ripe citrus; off-dry, full-bodied, wearing its high(ish) alcohol well, with a palate of honeyed yellow apple, ripe stone fruits, coconutty gorse flower, and a touch of tropical with pineapple skin. Finishes long. Decant for 30 minutes ie into a jug then back into the bottle and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears, and a very low-key spritz which dissipates quickly.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of lightly bruised dessert apple, stewed cooking apple, a touch waxy, a lightly candied dimension, unripe nectarine, white peach, a floral lift of honeysuckle, over-ripe grapefruit tinged with yellow peach, becoming more honeyed with time.
Palate: off-dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, with a velvety texture and a low-key grip from exposure to old oak, with flavours of honeyed ripe yellow apple, apricot and nectarine, touch of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like), lightly bruised dessert apple, hint of almond oil, pineapple skin. A long length with a clean gorse flower tinged stewed lightly honeyed ripe dessert apple finish, and a low-key grip, with gorse flower again on the end.
Quality: very good, nicely balanced acidity with residual sugar and alcohol, which is well integrated, as is deft exposure to not new oak; good intensity throughout with a similar concentration level, showing moderate complexity, with a light grip on the palate from the oak, and bottle age, with a tertiary stewed, honeyed and waxy dimension. Finishes long, as expected.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for ageing, over say 2-4 years – there is a sound acid backbone, concentration and complexity, and primary fruit to work on, with possible development along the lines of dried fruit – there is the merest hint of sultana now, and nuts.