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Bordeaux Weekend, Plus Random Thoughts

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Somehow, last weekend happened to evolve around Bordeaux. First, there was “Lafite Around The World” tasting at Saltwater Grille restaurant in Stamford, featuring Lafite-Rothschild wines from around the world (don’t worry, there was no “all you can drink” Chateau Lafite). The actual French wines (2008 Chardonnay from Languedoc and 2009 Lafite Reserve Speciale Blanc and Rouge) were rather unimpressive (drinkable, but not necessarily enjoyable). Chilean Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is usually a good wine, and the 2008 was no exception. Amancaya, which is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, produced jointly by Lafite-Rothschild and Nicolas Catena, was best of tasting, with silky smooth tannins and soft full-bodied fruit expression. It perfectly complemented couple of excellent appetizers served at the tasting, such as steak tartar and roast beef.

The next Bordeaux experience was courtesy of Cost Less Wines and Liquors, which was running a Bordeaux tasting. Two of the wines in that tasting were from 2009, which is being touted as the best vintage in Bordeaux in many decades. In general, comprehending young Bordeaux wines, especially from the great years (like 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009) is not simple, as Bordeaux wines really need time in the cellar to shine. The good thing about great years in Bordeaux is that you really don’t need to look for top producers (and deep into your retirement savings to be able to afford it) – pretty much any producer will deliver a very nice and enjoyable wine. I don’t know if it is just a year, or is it a widespread change in production methods in Bordeaux, but 2009s are a lot more approachable than 2000s – and quite enjoyable already.

As we discussed before, a lot of factors influence taste. I don’t know if this is just because of the widespread notion “2009 Bordeaux are great”, but when I was drinking these 2009s, a little voice in my head was saying “just think how amazing it will be in 10-15 years…”. If you can only learn once thing from the wine world, I think that “thing” should be … patience. From harvesting the grapes at the best moment to waiting for the wine to reach optimum age to even moving very slowly while pealing a label from the bottle – patience is a friend around wine…

To give you quick roundup on the tasting, the last two wines were my favorites – 2006 Marquis de Pez, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, was austere and fruit forward at the same time, and 2009 Chateau Haut Beyzac was very round and polished already – it’s good now, just imagine it in 10 years! And a bonus “feature” of these two wines – they both are under $15.

As Bordeaux 2009 start coming on the shelves, you will have to make a hard decision – drink now or wait. Not so hard, you say? Well, I heard that while 2009 was vintage of the century, 2010 might be even better….

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