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A Grecian Sojourn and Tasting Notes of Early Bowes Offer Wines

Joseph finds ice cream perfect for maintaining a baby-soft complexion

Greece is very hot at the moment. I know this because we have just returned from a fortnight in Kos. The thermometer topped out at 37C on a day when a high wind roared up from Egypt and smothered us like a gust from the roasting oven of an AGA.

Joseph loved the entire experience. The childcare on offer enabled him to play in air-conditioned comfort with a group of his like-minded peers and when out in the heat he was either bobbing about in pool or sea or stuffing his face with rapidly liquidising ice cream.

We tried a couple of decent local wines, more of which can be read about on the home page of our website:

Shortly before we left for our holiday, I extracted from Octavian a couple of cases of wine that I had purchased from the first ever Bowes Wine offer. I was very interested to see how they had aged over the interim period. Here are the tasting notes:

2000 Chablis 1er Cru Les Montmains, Domaine William Fèvre
The colour is still a pale lemon-gold, although it has deepened slightly with time. The nose is very ripe, the heat of the vintage evident in its richness. Aromas include furry peach skins, nut and dried yellow fruits. There are hints of ripe banana and crushed minerals; fresh pears and gingery spice. The vintage shows again as a richness in the mouth, yet the focus is all about the wijne's minerality and the medium, citrus acidity. The palate is quite lemony. Long, with excellent concentration. There are powdered minerals at the end. Nice grip at the back. Fine finish follows. This got better and better with air. Why don't people breathe mature white wines (including champagnes)? It's only fair! Drink in the next year or so.

1999 Boreas, Côteaux du Languedoc, Abbotts
The colour is a medium-deep plummy garnet and there's a medium band at the rim that's veering towards mahogany. The nose is lifted and spicy, full of aromas of smoke and new leather and the creamy red and black fruit. There are hints of dried herbs, plus liquorice root and cocoa. The palate's spicy, too. There's a wealth of very fine tannins welded to the brambly fruit. Crisp acidity gives focus and grip. This is long. Meaty-but-fresh. Delicious stuff. Couple of years or so left in it easily, IMHO.

and one red burgundy from our offer of three years ago:

2003 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains, Georges Chicotot
The colour is a deep rosy garnet. There's perhaps a touch of volatility to the nose, but who cares? This is burgundy! This smells absolutely delicious, with aspects of dark chocolate and black cherry liqueur; grilled meat and spice. A really rich, warm nose. There's a rooty, beetroot smell. Beef tea and pastille-like blackcurrant aromas. Almost a touch balsamic. Initially in the mouth this is a bit soft and loose-textured. Then a little, quite firm, tannin kicks in and the wine pulls itself into focus. There's a fresh lift to the finish, which seems quite natural. The tannins are a little bit raw, but not the least unpleasant. Good length and grip. The fruit is cherry-ish, both red and black. Could do with food. How nice to have proper, old fashioned burgundy in one's glass!
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