The lack of rapture has upset some and surprised few. While the internet drowned in a sea of sarcasm, the clock struck 6 in various time zones and, as expected by all reasonable people, nothing happened. Rapture playlists sounded out and people listened to a lot of R.E.M.'s 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)' and AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell'. I know I certainly did.
A true tasting of wines for the end of the world would probably have fewer budgetary restraints. The vintages would stretch back further. An 1811 Tokaji Essencia may make an appearance. Magnums of 1976 Salon certainly would, I can assure you.
It wasn't the end of the world though. It was a drizzly Saturday afternoon in May, so we opened some good wines - a top Gavi and one of the Douro's greats.
La Giustinianna Gavi Montessora 2008
Bright, light honey gold.
Honeysuckle, White flowers and kind of a pencil shaving thing on the nose, but not graphite. Just a whiff of melon. Those corners of beeswax where the honey has crystallised.
The palate is like honeysuckle-soaked hay, with a lovely brightness and lift. Quite oaty on the mid-palate, giving great texture. Long on the finish with good balance.
Quinta de Macedos 2005
Quite dark and deep, with a purple/ruby rim. Quite foreboding.
Ripe, spicy dark fruits surrounded by dust and savoury leather on the nose. Cedar and a hint of spearmint followed by sweet pipe tobacco. Briary and warm. Very Portuguese.
My goodness, that is intense. Tightly wound dark knit fruit with fragrant wood spice and wild herbs. Fresh cured leather and bitingly, moreishly dry. Almost rasping and dusty. There's eucalyptus and lighter mint notes as well. As it opens, that sweet, leafy pipe tobacco asserts itself more and adds depth. Quite wild when you get down to it. Brilliant stuff.
Both tasted 21/5/2011 in anticipation of the Rapture.