Earlier this year, I did two things - I swapped a load of old boxes for a bottle of Champagne from photographer Jean-Luc Benazet and I bought the remnants of sommelier Oscar Malek's wine collection.
I can't help feeling I got the better side of the bargain in both cases.
What these two wines have in common is that they are made at the margins of where wine production is possible and yet, they have a richness that comes partly through production method and partly through age.
The Loire was born in the year I went to university; the Champagne is NV but has signs of extended cellaring.
Champagne Meteyer NV Cuvee Marine fresh apples-and-pears orchard fruit, yeasty brioche and autolytic flavours; some aged character with a hint of briny oyster shells. Very fine mousse.
Fresh, elegant and deft.
Drink as an aperitif or match with light starters.
Vouvray Moelleux Reserve 1989, Daniel Jarry complex and aged with baked apples, fresh peaches, sweet spices and beeswax, waxy lanolin and old leatherbound books. Long, mellow yet energetic, rich and substantial with a fresh, mineral streak. Feels barely more than off-dry.
Very Good Indeed.
Matches with savoury and sweet foods as well as cheese, but shows its best as an after-dinner sipper.
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