Thursday, 28 November 2013

Moulin Touchais 1983 Coteaux Du Layon

Coteaux du Layon is a style of sweet wine from the Loire Valley in France. Made using the Chenin Blanc grape, they have the ability to turn out lusciously sweet, smooth wines that are able to maintain high amounts of acidity and have fabulous ability to age. Use of grapes effected by noble rot is common as well as dried grapes called passerillage. 

Although sweet wines are something of a love of mine, I have never had a chance to try a top quality Coteaux du Layon. Thankfully, it turned out only to be a matter of time. At the Wine Society we have enomatic machines in the showroom and certainly one of the perks of working there is the ability to drop down and try the wines on show. One of them, last week, was the Moulin Touchais 1983. Here is what I thought.

In the glass it is an invitingly bright copper and caramel colour. The legs are thick and cling to the glass magnificently.

The nose is full of toffee apples, tarte tatin, honey and unctuous nutty aromas. Although strong, the flavours aren't over powering. It smells like an inviting pudding, but with the crisp acidity it still smells light and refreshing. It really is a wine I could sniff all day.

On the palate it is smooth and silky with that slightly syrupy texture you would expect from a wine of this sweetness level. It is full and fat in the mouth, coating your gums with flavours of that toffee apple and tarte tatin that is so prevalent on the nose. The flavours are elegant and polite, they almost line up on the tongue as you go from deep toffee, through soft honey to slightly bitter apple peel. They compliment each other and are perfectly happy to stand in line before showing their enriched, flavourful guts.

All of this really would be wasted however if it didn't have acidity. When a wine gets to this sort of age, 30 years, it can start to lose that sharp edge that you get from a young, powerful wine. Having checked this wine on a few sites, many believe it to have stopped drinking in 2010. This really isn't the case. Although this is probably in its last year performing, it is having its last hurrah, its curtain call.

The sharpness has been enveloped with the sweetness, combining to create a beautifully balanced, rich mouthful with unbelievable freshness for a 30 year old with a finish that lasts for an eternity. I managed to get about 1/8 of a bottle home the other day, and enjoyed it over about an hour and a half. Every small sip I would keep in my mouth for about a minute enjoying the comforting flavours and textures before plonking my nose back in the glass for a further 10.

This really is a wine not to be missed. It is available for £30 from The Wine Society and can be bought online at Corks Out for £36. The Wine Society also have a vertical tasting case of this, which I am trying desperately to get my hands on!

Grab your coat....oh du layon.

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