Laborie Taillefert White 1988

I have a weakness for aged white wines.

So when I saw this '88 mystery on Wine Cellar, I had to have it!

The Wine:

The wine's  cloudy medium amber appearance promised the world. And the incredible, pronounced aromas of apple skin, cider, yeasty flor, wet musty hay, celery salt, bacon kipps, orange oil, lemony goodness, watered down brandy fumes (in the best way possible) did not disappoint.

Dry, high enough acidity, loooong finish, medium body, lemony black tea texture that I’d go so far as to call tannin, a million times more interesting than it would ever have been in its youth. Peep the lack of ABV info back then!


Vini + Viti:

This wine was initially a complete mystery. Distributors, the wine farm, and one of the most knowledgeable winos in SA had nothing. Our best guess was Crouchen Blanc. I’d started at Welschriesling and was headed towards Cape Riesling (I.e. Crouchen Blanc) based on the choice of bottle shape and Germanic branding. Other than the acidity, it was at a point where it’d lost all of its varietal characteristics. However, shortly after posting this wine a very wise Instagram friend,  @therealkwispedoor , confirmed that it is a blend of Riesling with some Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. 

I am still in disbelief that Pinot Gris was used in 1988!

Final thoughts

These old white wines aren’t for everyone...but they’re absolutely for me. Their oxidative nature reminds me of orange wines and Vin Jaune. And they are absolutely delicious! 

Find the Wine:

Thanks to WineCellar for stocking this and giving me one of the most interesting wines to mull over in 2023.

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