Two From Pessac-Leognan (Mar. 17, 2011)

Two wines that Ido Galon and I had been scheming for ages to get together and drink.

Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan, 2006

Lovely, complex nose: lime, minerals, slate, honey, mushrooms - a bit of 'dirty' funk. The palate is a little hesitant and disjointed despite solid grip and acidity; started out dominated by Semillon, later giving way to the Sauvignon Blanc, but just didn't scream Bordeaux for the longest time. Still raw.

Chateau l'Arrivet Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, 1998

Initially, a cedar-mineral laden nose with sweet currants, and a tannic, puckering palate (although even at the start, the savoriness of the tannins is obvious). An hour or two later, the nose shows iron, brett and a gorgeous melange of red and black fruit. The palate by then is warm and inviting, though the tannins are still rusty, yet even more pronouncedly savory than at the start. The acidity starts out on the low side then flares up along with the fruit. Journey ends in balanced, elegant flowering.

At this point, we drank up the glass or two that had remained from the white. A couple of hours of hours had passed since the bottle had been opened, and the nose became New Zealand-ish to me, with tropical fruits, especially guayava. The palate, on the other hand, became much more elegant as the zesty acidity was mellowed by nuttiness. Which is where I felt it finally arrived in Bordeaux territory.

Both are wines purchased from WineRoute over the last two-three years, costing about 200 NIS at the time of purchase.