The third tasting of this amazing wine over several years. Bright purple, but with quite a lot of sediment- the nose is classic Pauillac. Cassis, leather, tobacco and hazelnuts. The palate is rich, refined, smooth and very balanced. The primary fruits have given way to tertiary notes of blackberry reduction, that musky leather, dry tobacco and damson torte. There’s a touch of oak, by way of a vanilla note that I’m enjoying. The nuttiness I caught on the nose reappears on the mid palate where I do get some plums alongside the cassis. The tannins gradually build up and really peak on the finish- with black tea, cassis and cinnamon. Delicious and still young. This is a 94 point wine that just keeps getting better. Drink till 2029. Getting pricy at $175 now but tasty as hell and worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
We just had a delightful dinner at our favorite restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois located in the D.C suburbs. They have a great wine list but this evening was a very special occasion so I took a bottle of the amazing 2000 Lynch Bages to start off with. It was spectacular and did not last long. We needed more vino and my friend wanted a Pinot. I figured we should order something a little more stout, Gevrey being the obvious choice in a French restaurant.
See-through medium intensity purple. On the nose sage brush, cherry, oregano. On the palate it’s very smooth with cherries, cedar, asparagus and lithe tannins. Medium intensity acidity gives the wine a cutting edge without sourness. The mid palate shows raspberries alongside the cherry- very tasty and full bodied. The finish is all sour cherry with acidity, medium tannins and a touch of wood. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 Burgundy. Drink till 2035. Salut….
This rose’ is quite dark, almost orange in the glass. On the nose I get Lychee, rose water and strawberry. The palate is crisp, with red berries, strawberry and honey. There is a vibrant acidity which is in check that gives the wine a freshness. The honey component carries through the mid palate where I get more red berries. The finish is decent with a lingering tartness alongside that strawberry component. Overall a very charming and easy drinking summer rose’ that begs for burgers, some salami and olives or just by itself poolside. 88 points and 3 stars for this $12 Grenache from France. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Really dark purple, very striking. On the nose I get blackcurrant, nutmeg and tobacco. The palate has some nice black fruits and an astringency that is a touch heavy. It’s not tannic, perhaps from green stems left in contact with the juice for too long. It takes a turn for the better on the mid palate- more Ribena and a touch of oak. The finish is quite dry with the appearance of some nice tannins alongside a mineral tone that melds nicely with the currants. Overall a decent wine that is slightly out of kilter at the beginning with the astringency but it comes around. 89 points= 3 stars for this $25 wine. Drink till 2025 with hearty stews, or a lamb chop and mint. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….
The second tasting of the Les Vergelesses. See-through reddish-purple with some hints of bricking. On the nose I get fresh cherries, blackberry extract and nutmeg. On the palate it is light, refreshing and young. There is a red cherry component alongside strawberry coulis and pomegranate- which is adding some zesty acidity. The mid palate is somewhat one dimensional with just strawberry and juicy acidity. The back end finds those darker fruits again with black cherry dominating. There’s a cedar note in there alongside some fruitcake. This wine is still way too young and primal. I foresee some great evolution in the next ten years, which is quite a stretch for a nine year old. If you like refreshing, young Pinot- five in. I’m holding my other bottle for a few years, looking for more secondary Burgundian flavors to emerge. 92 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
Nearly black and opaque in the glass. On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint. On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis. Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux. The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness. 92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple with nice legs. On the nose it’s quite bland. Black currants, blueberry pie and rubber mat finally come out of the glass. On the palate I’m getting a subdued dose of blueberry pie, cedar, breakfast tea and warm blackberry cobbler. The tannins are of medium intensity and the finish has some dark fruits and tannins. I think this wine is closed right now but it has potential. I’m gonna go with 90 points for now. The pro’s ranged greatly- from 91 to 95 points. I’m not seeing it at this point in time, hopefully it will awaken from slumber as a real powerhouse 3rd Growth Margaux. Drink from 2022/2030. Available for around $50, making it a 3 star wine. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass with medium opacity. On the nose I get a definitive old oak meets rustic plums and evergreen. On the palate there is not much fruit, but lots of tertiary flavors including mushrooms, leather, cedar and black olive. Tannins are plentiful right off the bat and there’s a hint of acidity. The mid palate and finish continue with the earthy, dry profile and add a touch of blue fruit. The tannic finish runs for a while. This wine has matured very quickly, losing fruit yet the tannins are still fresh and young. 87 points and 2 stars for this $15 Cru Bourgeois. Drink till 2022. Salut….
Very thick purple color. On the nose it’s all blackberries with a hint of nutmeg. A strange one for sure but I like it. On the palate it is a touch thin but tasty. Blackberries and black currant make me think this wine will develop into a cassis laden beaut if cellared for a few years. There is a delightful tannic grip that builds as I transition to the mid palate. An oak component that hits me on the mid to back end, adding depth to the black fruits that are still prominent. However, a touch of black tea alongside some astringency on the finish that makes me wonder. Overall this is a nice wine with potential. It’s drinking young right now unless you fancy a pretty dry drop. Cellar till 2022 then drink for seven more years with steaks, pot roast or even moussakka. 88 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….