Good wine is like a gift that keeps giving. If you’re lucky, when you give someone a decent bottle of wine, there’s a chance you will be invited to share it with them when it’s time to open it.
Such was the case last weekend at my parents’ home. Sunday lunch was to be roast duck with roast potatoes and all the trimmings. So far, so good.
About an hour before lunch, my dad asked whether we might like to have a bottle of wine I’d given him for Christmas 13 years ago. I’d bought two wines in a presentation box from John Lewis.
The first was from the Domaine du Crampilh in Madiran, in the western Pyrenées. We drank that some years back.
This time, we had the final bottle of the set: a Cahors from the Château de Gaudou, a family estate in Vire, overlooking the Lot valley. Aged in oak, the Cuvée Grand Lignée 2000 is a blend of 85% auxerrois, ten per cent merlot and five per cent tannat.
It came with notes suggesting it should be left to age for ten to 15 years. Fourteen seemed close enough.
I’m glad we opened it. It was rich and full bodied, with tannins that had matured over time and a gentle brownness about the colour that was testament to its age. On reflection, I think we judged it correctly – any longer and this wine would have gone past its best.
Of course, I hadn’t bought the wine so that I would get it back. But would it be too cheeky to buy him another good wine next Christmas for use to enjoy in future…?