|My wine of the night,|
although arguably not your typical Saint Estephe
2009 is a "Vintage Of The Century". And priced accordingly.
No wines are as heavily scrutinized as the new Bordeaux vintage, even when it's a "Vintage Of The Century". Especially when it's a "Vintage Of The Century". Thus, the annual stand up tasting in the basement of the Tel Aviv branch of WineRoute turned out to be a convention of skeptics looking for hidden rays of glory. Loads of fun, despite that. But then again, Bordeaux is my jail bait.
Chateau l'Arrivet Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, Blanc
A healthy dose of minerals, slightly tropical. Balanced. Savory. Lovely, just lovely.
349.90 NIS. I still struggle to force myself to buy white Bordeaux and the price tag, especially this year, isn't helping.
Chateau Fontenil, Fronsac
Very ripe on the nose, even moreso on the palate. After drinking this wine, the fact that owner Michel Rolland consults to so many wineries is not a comfort. Although the nose gains a streak of minerals, the fruit and tannins are not in tandem and the tannins are not up my alley. I wasn't overly thrilled by the 2003 and chalked it up to the vintage. Guess it's the producer, although I'll admit I like some of his consulting gigs.
Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan
Very Pessac on the nose, maybe blacker than I'd like, but there's earth and tobacco leaves, which is always a good thing. The tannins are on the sweet side but there's good balance overall and they become grainier with air, which makes the whole package more interesting, for me.
Chateau La Grave, Pomerol
Black, dense fruit. Minerals. Very much Pomerol, yet with enough structure to avoid over-lushness. Quite nice.
Chateau Bourgneuf, Pomerol
A step up. Mineral-laden complexities. Leather. Maybe less typical of Pomerol.
Chateau Magdelaine, Saint Emillon Premier Cru
The Merlot hits hard here, to good effect. Currants and fruitcake. Seems more Pomerol than the actual Pomerols. A lovely wine.
Chateau Talbot, Saint Julien 4me Cru
Saint Julien under the filter of a big vintage: classic claret in very vivid technicolor. Savory. Balanced. Not a lot of breed, though, despite the fireworks and despite the price.
Chateau d'Armailhac, Pauillac 5me Cru
Very Pauillac. I like how the wines here are typical of their respective origins, which can be a concern with the bigger vintages of recent years (say, 2003). Thus, there's lots of currant fruit and the boldness typical of Cabernet dominant Pauillac. Very tasty.
350 NIS. This is the most WTF price here. I still recall this selling for about 200 NIS when the 2000's and 2001's hit the shelves.
Chateau Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estephe 4me Cru
More mysterious than any wine in the tasting and less masculine than I'd expected. Ripe black fruit, minerals, tannic but in balance. Saline yet sweet. Very tasty.
Chateau Giscours, Margaux 3me Cru
This is arguably less typical of Margaux, although I get the finesse on the nose where the black fruit dissipates into a mineral laden nose. Same on the palate. One of the night's elegant wines, but a bit of a bore at this point.
Chateau Doisy-Verdines, Barsac 2me Cru.
Tropical fruit, light botrytis. Sweet and hedonstic, but I loved it. Which is an odd sensation for me these days: actually loving a Sauternes. Just about everyone at the tasting complained about the lack of acidity, but all I could perceive was the lack of flagrant alcohol. So it worked for me.
That's Bordeaux for you: give the people what they want, when they want it, and they'll want it all the time.