WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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Finca L’Argata Grenache 2016, Joan D’Anquera, Monstant

Wish I’d cleaned the glass better (and the windows)…

I bought this from Bordeaux Index (BI – yes, they’ve changed their name back to the original, and frankly, I thought BI was much easier to say/remember/refer to) a few months back, and excitedly took delivery earlier this week. They loved this wine, and I think they are right!

The wine comes from 40-60 year old Grenache vines on sandy limestone soils, next door to Priorat. Fermented with whole clusters and aged in neutral oak for 14-16 months. The wine was £23 all in.


Translucent light ruby, reminiscent of a light bodied pinot noir. I could swear it got darker as the evening wore on.


Red ripe jammy cherries, strawberry jam, cherry lollipop, cherry liqueur, with an explosive wild floral , dried thyme, oregano, dried rosemary, freshly sawn wood, and some funky deeply ripe fruit note that I’m having trouble putting my finger on. Salty blood comes out after a couple of hours. So perfumed! If tasted blind, my first impression would likely have led me to Volnay in the Cote de Beaune.

A truly spellbinding nose, I just want to sit and take in all the aromas!


Intense yet light ripe cherries, alcohol-steeped strawberries, strawberry jam, with a sharp, tart palate cleansing wash of acidity. I would say acidity in this is medium+. The taste deepens with time in the glass, developing a more broody, bloody/meaty concentration, darker cherries and plums, with that funky aroma supporting the overall taste.

Tannins are very fine, higher than I expected, medium to medium+, dusting my cheeks fully with just a little prickle of electricity.

Alcohol is a little separated from the fruit, leaving a warming flush in the mouth then throat. The finish is really long, ending sweet and savoury with that funky dark ripe fruit afterglow. I think the finish must be 1 minute +.


This is a super complex wine just at the start of its life, I’m not sure how I will hold onto the other bottles long enough to let them develop (especially if I tell Adam about this…..Oops)

The funky aromatics and taste (a good thing) are explained by the whole cluster fermentation, and I can’t help thinking the complex perfumed nose could also be attributable to this winemaking technique. The age of the vines likely helps explain the concentration, acidity and tannin levels which all contribute to make this a truly complete wine.

A steal at £23. Highly recommended.

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A biggie – Chateau Haut Brion 1982

I am fortunate to have some wonderful old friends who have spent decades assembling enviable wine collections, and whose generosity seems to know no bounds. I spent Friday evening in the garden of one of these dear friends and he decided that we should open another bottle, after having nearly finished one at lunch earlier! I gratefully agreed to find and decant.

The cork was in marvellous shape, fully saturated but easily came out intact using a Laguiole corkscrew – my better sense said use the Ah-So, but we actually couldn’t find it…decanted and served almost immediately

I had a taste of the first bottle which had been decanted several hours before, then went on to this second bottle and have condensed the note as one tasting note. The bottles were very consistent in overall impression, with the second bottle retaining more of the fruit characteristics.


Medium garnet, lighter than I expected. Definitely showing its age.


In one word – fascinating.

Slight ferrous oxide/rusted tin gives way to fresh tobacco, wet earth, a bit of cedar, fresh red currants, ripe plums and then a little bit of tomato. Certainly showing mostly tertiary characteristics (age), and no hint of the warmth of this vintage in terms of baked or dried fruits.


Tannins are so ripe and soft, fully embedded in the wine, yet there remained a little sparkle, flecks of tannins around the gums, to remind you that this wine still has some of its original teeth left.

Acidity level was beautifully high, providing a good tension to the wine.

Fruit more prominent in the mouth than on the nose, concentrated red plums, blackcurrant, black currant leaf, tobacco and then a savoury almost meaty finish. The concentration of this wine is very high, even though it has lost some of its sweetness over the decade, it leaves a blast shadow of its former concentrated glorious self.

The balance between the tannin, acidity and fruit was near perfect given its advanced age.

The finish was immense, lasting a full 2 minutes, leaving a lingering sensation of this beautifully aged graceful princess still clinging to its former beauty.

Overall, a blessed experience, thank you again to my dear friend!

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Château de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape 2009

Friday evening, time for wine – but what to try?

I went for a bottle of the CdP, first coravin’d in January this year. I knew this is a mere pup in terms of its evolution but I was curious and needed something bold.

Popped and poured, no decanting, but let to sit in the Zalto for a half hour before tasting.


Medium to deep ruby

No signs of age on the rim

Numerous red hued tears working their way down the glass, clearly a powerful wine


First impression on the nose: wild cherry and wild herbs – thyme, oregano. Then a spritz of black pepper, black liquorice, kirsch, just a hint of acetone, old leather chair, ripe blackberry, cola, blood, and a little background smoke. The nose is so complex and constantly evolving.


Real energy in this wine, with a strong streak of savoury tannins that shoot down the tongue (Syrah), followed by a sensation of prickly bitterness in the cheeks that just linger (Grenache), along with drying upper gums (Mourverdre).

Acidity is unexpected, medium +, and lingers deceptively.

The finish is very savoury and dry, with the Mourverdre showing its character in this very young wine, very savoury, a little bitter. The sweetness is in the bottom of the wine (thinking of it in taste layers) as the Grenache comes out to play leaving a sweet impression in the mouth. Fruit is perfectly ripe, possibly a little baked.

This is very very long, and with that lingering sweetness you get a better sense of the weight of this wine. There is some heat on the finish too, and at 14.5% ABV, I guess that this is to be expected. It feels like the wine has not quite knit yet, the elements are all a little separate at this stage of evolution.

Powerful, complex and youthful, this is going to be a wine for the ages, likely drinking well into its 3rd decade – a wine for the patient who will be handsomely rewarded! Well done, famille Perrin!