A Gift To The Living (Oct. 10, 2011)

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man
of wealth
and taste

Doesn't a good claret always make you feel like you're the richest fellow in the world? That's due to the confident, self assured poise of a robust, mature Bordeaux.

If you want to do right, woman, do right, man - serve a claret!

Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, 1989

This used to cost like 10 bucks twenty years ago, but this bottle set me back over a hundred, and recent vintages are just as expensive. But, damn, it was worth it.

Initially, the fruit is very red, with trimmings of iron fillings and invigorating, meat-laced spices I find vaguely Nebbiolo-ish. In time, the fruit grows darker and deeper. It's nothing like Pauillac or Saint Julien or Graves - rather more of a feminine version of Saint Estephe. Despite the freshness in mid palate, it is less elegant than I'd expected. As is always the case with mature Bordeaux, I love its sweetness of fruit,which is, as expected, deftly skewered by savory, palate-cleansing tannins. Aromatically, I sense a bit of weariness after a couple of hours, as it shows hints of balsami, but the Sociando retains its yumminess until the very end - there's nothing at all tired about the fruit, acidity or tannins.