Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cesseras vertical

I promised myself I'd have some real wine tonight. Here it is.

A dual vintage, 2002/2003 Chateau Cesseras, AC Minervois La Liviniere. There's a story to these particular wines. These are the first wines that I bought in multiple bottles - I fell in love with the 2002, and it was the first wine that I really wanted to put away. So here it is. I've had these wines for nearly 3 years - still waiting for LCBO to release the 2004.

Starting with the 2002: A dark, inky colour, full saturation to the rim. Intense, rustic nose, with lots of Provencal flowers and dark fruits. Earthy, and definitely a more old-world, farmer's wine. I'm transported back to the hillsides of Provence. Very lean on the palate, great acidity. Rustic qualities carry through. Bitter, herbal finish. Fine tannins, silky texture. My favourite of the two.

The 2003: Again, very dark. Much more fruit-forward, indicative of the vintage. Fresh, red berries on the nose. Again, very lean on the palate. Floral, but bitter finish. Dry tannins, and much more perceptible than the 2002.

You clearly see the familial qualities in both wines, but each show off the vintage very well. A nice, austere example of natural winemaking. Let's be honest - I'm not blown away by either wine, but it's an extremely interesting exercise in how vintage conditions can affect a wine. They're so similar in the mouth, but they have radically different bouquets.

It's funny - my father and I both felt the 2002 was the better of the two. More rustic, more old-fashioned, more complex. My mother liked the 2003. More upfront fruit, juicier, fresher. Always a very educational thing to taste different vintages together. Now, where's the 2004?

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