Several weeks ago I was walking past a local wine merchant, Wine of Course. It’s always seemed a decent place, and the buggy I was pushing contained a totally unconscious infant, so I went in, told the bloke there that he should give me a bottle of wine which would make me want to go back, bought it and left again. It was a fairly simple transaction, really.
And this was it. I was warned that it might stink a little bit of poo, a suggestion I accepted with rather more grace than many might, and that it would therefore benefit from a bit of decanting, which is exactly what it got. I also, while at the shop, ignored the comedy pun title, which would ordinarily have scared me off right away.
So côt = malbec, and I know malbec. It’s that big, brassy, bad-ass inky mother from Argentina. But this, and that, are not really the same. They’re only vaguely similar. “A veritable wilderness of yeasty madness,” says Les Caves de Pyrene, who import it. “This is Malbec sauvage, sans filtration and sans sulphur.” I think they’re overdoing it slightly. Sure, there’s a farmyard pong, but the wine itself, once you’ve fought your way to it, is really quite restrained. Much less full-bodied than the malbec I know. Really very smooth. Flavourful, but restrained at the same time. It’s a prince dressed as a pauper, Sir Ian McKellen playing Wurzel Gummidge.
A good wine, interesting. I paid, I think, £17 for it, which I think is probably a little bit more than I would expect, but then it’s from a small local merchant, deliberately selling the kind of stuff that Tesco’s don’t. Even if it does smell like manure.