Navarre Vieille Reserve 45%
From Gondeville with Love
A few centimeters away from the Charente river, in Gondeville, you find the Renclos Estate. After the very convincing Cravache d’Or, it’s time to taste another one in Navarre’s core range. This Vieille Reserve is a 43yo++ G.C delivered at something like a cask strength ABV (45%).
Colour: Amber, gold lights. Heavy regular tears.
Nose: Strong heady perfume at first. Nice mix on fresh and rancioted notes. Thyme, basil, bay leaf fighting with goat milk (yes, no joke) scents. Lingering herbs notes. It goes on honeyed nutty notes, like nougat and walnut sweets. “Sunny” shades on melon and turmeric. Poached pears in the background and still heady perfume, this time on orange zest peel.
Mouth: Acidulous texture on red berries and quite rancioted aftertaste on nutmeg and goat milk (again). Nutty notes on walnut oil and hazelnut shell. Still a great dash of herbs, mainly on honeysuckle and bay leaf. Rancio goes wild on burnt wood and meat juice. Plums eau-de-vie and a tad of green Charteuse aftertaste. Strange, brutal, and a little imprecise. But what an aromatic bomb. Humid cellars you said?
Last Notes: Musk and herbal scents with more air. You find back these sunny notes on overripe melon and some rancioted shades, this time on rancid butter. Hints of wet undergrowth too. Roasted notes on cocoa powder. Waves of balsamic notes. Back on the palate, strong dried prune aromas and acidulous notes of various red and blackberries. Blackcurrant juice, blackberry syrup, raspberry syrup. It ends on walnut oil and some umami shades you find in old P.X. (God Bless you, Luke).
Very Grande Champagne but very uncommon in terms of style. Rancio monster, quite unbalanced. But undisputed quality. Speaking here about the price would lead me to prison, so I’ll remain silent.
My very subjective note: 90/100
A very interesting article about small producers by Jason Wilson (Booze Columnist/Brandy Advocate)
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