Sunday, January 29, 2017

After Dinner Trio - El Nido Jumilla Clio 2010 Warres Filhot

Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio 2010 stands up to after dinner wine flight medley that includes a Warre's Vintage Port and a Chateau Filhot Vintage Sauterne Dessert Wine  

Following our Chicago Restaurant Week dinner at Vie Restaurant in Western Springs we came home and had some chocolates, fruits and cheeses with a trio of after dinner wines - a Warre's vintage port, a Chateau Filhot Sauterne dessert wine and Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio 2010 

As shown, the two dessert wines were from 375 ml half bottles. 

Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio 2010 

After tasting the Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio 2014 at the Corkscrew wine shop in Springfield last week, I was inquisitive to try another vintage so I pulled the oldest one from our cellar, the 2010. 

Amazingly this big bold red blend stood up to the trio of wines that included the Warres single vineyard vintage port and the Sauterne.

I thought the older Clio was even better and liked it even more than the '14, perhaps since it was four years older and more settled, but also, because I thought the 2010 was more complex with notes of ripe sweet blue fruit to complement the layer of concentrated full bodied black raspberry, and with a bit more sweetness which I also like. Still, like the 2014, it also had that dark chocolate, hint of vanilla, almost caramel like, finishing with smooth polished sweet tannins on the long smooth finish. A powerful, decadent but smooth approachable wine.

Like the '14, the 2010 Clio is also a blend of 70% old-vine Monastrell with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

RM 94 points. 

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar gave this 92 point, Wine Spectator 91 points, and Robert Parker Wine Advocate 90 points.

Next to the Clio we also had these two big forward dessert wines, both from half bottles.

Warres Porto Vintage Quinta da Cavadinha 1995

Consistent with earlier tasting notes. Dark coffee color - full bodied, a bit of an edge of sweet black fruits, layer of smokey creosote with hint of expresso, cedar and cassis and dark black cherry on the finish.

From a half bottle.

RM 90 points.

Château Filhot Sauternes - 2ème Grand Cru Classé 1988

Trolling the cellar with Dr Dan looking for some after dinner wines, I found this perfectly suited vintage Sauterne that I must admit was not registered in my Cellartracker wine database inventory. I don't remember purchasing this wine or having had it previously. This should not be surprising with more than a thousand bottles in the cellar. Perhaps what is more surprising is how seldom this happens.

Château Filhot is a classic Sauterne Bordeaux, having been classified a 'second growth', a Grand Cru Classe', back in the original 1855 Bordeaux producer classification. The vineyards date back to the 1630's and the château was founded by Romain de Filhot in 1709. According to Wikipedia, after the French revolution, the estate was taken over by Romain-Bertrand de Lur-Saluces who added the estate of Pinaud du Rey and had the château redesigned to its English appearance in 1840.

Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson drank this wine and ranked it directly behind the legendary Chateau d'Yquem. During that time, Filhot enjoyed a greater reputation than today, and the two wines were comparably priced. This was during the time that Jefferson was American ambassador to France. He spent much time there and traveled the wine regions. He became a great admirer and oenphile of French wines. He actually brought back grape vines and labored unsuccessfully to grow them in Virginia at his Monticello estate.

In 1935, Comtesse Durieu de Lacarelle (the sister of the Marquis de Lur-Saluces, proprietor of Château d'Yquem) bought the estate, which was subsequently modernised by her son, Louis Durieu de Lacarelle, during the 1970s. The estate is currently run by the Vaucelles family.

Today Filhot vineyards cover 150 acres on the 700 acre estate with the grape varieties of 60% Sémillon, 36% Sauvignon blanc and 4% Muscadelle. Their annual production is an average of 6500 cases. They also produce a second label wine called Chateau Pineau du Rey.

For an almost thirty year old wine, the 1988 was still light golden honey colored. These wines start out straw colored and darken with age. I would have expected it to be weak tea colored at least, or even darker. It was medium-full bodied, crisp and clear with complex notes of honey and pineapple aromas with what Robert Parker called a "fine underlying acidity, an earthiness that added to the wine's complexity, and a clean, rich, crisp finish". This was more subdued and not as sweet or unctuous as a d'Yquem or other popular premium Sauterne. It was very pleasant and enjoyable none-the-less. It would be nice with soft moderate cheeses or even a salad course.

RM 88 points. Robert Parker also gave this 88 points.