Domaine Le Frêche 1989 #120 49.9%for L’encantada

Nose: The only places open for breakfast in the Canaries are Jamonerias. I like high end cured ham just as much as the next guy, but fuck man, I just want some eggs benedict with thick cut black pepper bacon and a smoothie #expatproblems. The nose has the richness of the fatty layer of high end acorn fed iberico. And wafts of nuttyness. The spice cabinet is on the earthy side, cumin and saffron, with bright spots of clove. Middle eastern sweeties, Maamoul date cookies and pistachios. There is an umami to the nose harkening to some of the best dashi I had when in Japan.

Palate: Wintergreen. But none of the bitterness. In 5th grade in the US for many years all schools sent their kids to space camp. And you would go hike under the stars at night and they handed out wintergreen lifesavers. If you crunch them, they spark in the dark. So freaking cool. This pour is a powerful combination of sweet, sour and salty. Umeboshi japanese pickled plums. There is a traditional dish served here in the canaries: ultra thin tempura aubergine with sea salt and dark palm tree syrup. Like balsamic and molasses had a love child. This isn’t going to please everyone, but I absolutely love it. It’s challenging and interesting and everything I look for in a really good Le Freche.

Rating: 8 / 10 – I’m delighted I bought one. And wish I had a spare. Everything I liked in Le Freche 1980 turned up a notch. I’m struggling on the rating because for me it’s an 8, but I acknowledge it probably won’t be for others. It’s a touch too neurotic. Make sure you give it time to breathe in the glass. It really opened up.