Day 71 – Cove

Gran Enemigo Gualtallary 2014

The way my legendarily fallible memory tells it, it happened like this…

My globe-trotting, wine-loving friend found himself in a Buenos Aires restaurant after the other customers had left, and in deep discussion with the sommelier. Bottles were opened, notes were taken, and I received an email suggesting Gran Enemigo Gualtallary would be a cracking buy at the right price. I found this 2014 at a vaguely realistic price (ie around that of a bottle of Beaucastel). The 2013 (I believe) was off the charts because some twerp had said ‘100 POINTS!!’ – and so every bottle was now in a safe labelled ‘for investment only – do not drink!’ Fortunately the 2014 only got 93 or 95 or 98 or whatever so didn’t quadruple in price before it been bottled.

So my friend and I split six. Subsequently I bought a couple of bottles of 2012 that someone was offloading at a very good price. I tried one during my extended birthday celebrations last summer… and was disappointed. Over-expectation? Wrong mood? Poor bottle? Who knows? 

Today I topped 400 miles on my virtual walk, and as a small celebration decided to open one of the 2014s. And… it is fabulous. My cork-pulling snifter was perplexing – there was no way I would have identified it as Cabernet Franc, although it was obviously a classy wine from the outset. Two hours later there was an unmistakable CF nose, but much of what I thought when I pulled the cork still held – a super-concentrated, almost sweet fruit with an intense florally herbiness and an absolutely perfectly-matched (to my taste) level of tannin. Oh yes, and a bloody stupid Argentinian mega-heavy bottle. But this is wonderful, wonderful stuff and sadly, given the price, I’ve now decided I need more than the two I have left.

‘That’s all well and good, Marchbanks,’ I hear you say, ‘but how does it compare to the Riccitelli CF that you like so much – and which, by the way, costs only half the price?’ All I can say to that is ‘please don’t ask such difficult questions!’

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