Pomerol Tasting (Jan. 23, 2011)

I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing. Not that I don't want to. I just don't have enough bottles. Even my more affluent fellows don't have enough, so this evening at local bistro Coffee Bar was a one-of. But a glorious one-of, originally planned as an all-Merlot evening that evolved into a Right Bank tasting, finally focusing solely on Pomerol.

Chateau Providence, 2006

This garagiste (1500 cases a year) doesn't even make Johnson's Pocket Book. Parker likes it more than we did. Closed shut aromatically, showing, with air, black fruit, mint. Monolithic palate, with sweet-ish fruit lurking beneath its moody, tannic facade. Very much New World.

Chateau Trotanoy, 1996

A sly and sublime nose, with subtly fruity aromas that are vaguely laced with minerals and mint. As ethereal and coolly elegant as as the nose is, the tannic palate feels as though it is lumbering stoically behind. Tastes pretty good anyways.

Chateau La Fleur-Petrus, 1999

The most open and inviting nose is also the spiciest and shows the most signs of robust maturity. The palate is not much more complex than, say, the Providence but is yet so much more delightful to me for being so Old World. A palate cleansing finish that combines languid softness with tannic grip makes up for certain void in mid-palate. A fun wine and utterly drinkable.

Chateau La Conseillante, 2001

Gorgeous black fruit with saddle leather and touch of sweat and tea. Tannic and grainy on opening, it retains most of its muscular length and spicy tannins even as it opens up and softens. I think it has more structure than fruit, but that's probably just the vintage and it is still highly enjoyable.

Chateau Clinet, 1995

A complex and complete nose along the same stylistic lines as the La Conseillante, albeit arguably deeper. The palate is packed and dense, approachable yet further from peak than the La Conseillante. Vibrant yet unassuming acidity: that's balance for you.

Chateau De Fargues, Fargues, 2003

An alcoholic bomb that calms down in time to show a complex lattice of brown sugar and toffee. Terrific nose, though, a complex, spicy candy with a dash of minerals.

Many thanks to Uri Gilboa for putting the evening together.