The 13th Virtual Wine tasting included this Right Bank Merlot. It was stunning, mature and a hit. The wine is at peak, the color showing a bit of bricking on the rim. The nose is classic Bordeaux- Earthy, smoky, molasses, black fruit jam, leather, tobacco, licorice, cloves…. that’s a lot of descriptors from the panel. On the palate it was delicious, even dreamy as one member piped out. Black cherry, blackberry, tobacco, mushroom and leather were really the key components. The wine is still robust, with very well integrated tannins and a hint of acidity. The mouthfeel is great and lingers on the decent length finish. On my 20 point scale it got 19. Technically speaking, it is a 93 point wine in my book, way higher than the pros rated it back in the day. 2010 was a great year for the Clarets and this example is showing how well the wines have held up and how they have evolved so nicely. Drink till 2025 and for $35 buy a case if you can find it. 5 stars. Salut….
This is my first 100 point wine and was brought by a good friend to celebrate his promotion and pay off a football bet! At $450 per bottle it’s a pretty steep price to pay for perfection but you only live once.
Nearly black in the glass. A stunning nose of leather, tobacco, blueberry, coconut. Young is my first impression. Fresh fruit, bright tannins, good acidity… blueberry tart, leather and spice box with maybe some plum on the mid palate. I’m also getting graphite. Did I mention the mouth coating tannins? They go on forever. This wine is extracted, polished, deep and complex, but it’s also a baby. It needs another 5 years minimum before it starts maturity but will last till 2040 at the least. It currently shows primal fruit but will evolve in a massive way once secondary flavors develop. I am lucky I got to taste it at this stage of its life cycle and hope to be so fortunate in the future to experience it at peak. I can only imagine how great this wine will be. We drank it with some cheese and crackers, that is about all you need. I would think this wine is worthy of 98 or 99 points, but the man himself gave it 100 on several occasions, so who am I to argue! Shall we say 5 stars? Salut….
From Montagne Saint-Emilion comes this Merlot/Cab blend. It was very dark in the glass and bitingly tannic with some hidden fruits lurking. I think I drank it too young as the main flavor was the dryness of my teeth. I did manage to get plums and coffee with some interesting oak on the back end, but generally a muted wine. I paid $18 for it and give it 87 points making it a 3 star effort for me. I think it might improve but the fruit is going to really need to shine and the tannins need to recede for it all to balance up. Salut….
Moxie and I went out for dinner with friends and after perusing the menu I decided on this wine. I was going to order Venison, my mate was getting a braised and roasted Beef rib. We needed a somewhat tannic and juicy wine to pair with these two meaty dishes. The wine was spot on. The precise blackberry on the nose and palate was delicious. I later got a slice of blueberry pie and some vanilla bean on the finish. The tannins are what impressed me the most. Crisp and linear but not over the top. The dryness was perfect and the mouthfeel was exactly what we needed to cut the fat of the beef yet not too dry for the venison. The wine was definitely old world and not overly fruity which worked to our benefit. The acidity was excellent and the overall balance was great. I love it when a plan works out! We paid around $56 at the restaurant but I believe it can be had for about $22, a veritable steal. 90 points and 5 stars from me for this Merlot based St. Emilion. Salut….
A St. Emilion Grand Cru from the heralded 2009 vintage that is predominantly Merlot based. Delicious, fruity and possessing 10+ years of aging capacity, shame about the price though. Solid purple in the glass, it offered up a nose of blueberry and black fruits. On the palate, some oak integration to go along with a cassis and spice concoction. Very nice tannic framework is allowing this relatively young wine to be enjoyed now, but giving it the ability to last. Somewhat complex, this is a good wine, worthy of 91 points easily , but 3 stars for its $30+ entry fee. It’s a shame as I reckon a case of this in the cellar would reward your patience: one bottle/year so you could watch its evolution would be rather fun too. Oh well, yet another reason to seek out the excellent 2009 vintage from the Bordeaux region.
I bought two magnums of this St. Emilion several years ago to test a theory on storing magnums versus regular sized bottles. I just needed to prove to myself that a magnum ages slower. Damn straight. This bottle is still young and exhibits plenty of youth with its rather obtrusive tannins. Not overly complex or heralded, it is nonetheless a Bordeaux. Bright cherries on the nose translated into cranberry and leather on the palate. A decent finish and balance were evident as were the tannins. I don’t think I paid very much for these magnums and am pleasantly surprised. I will hold the other one for another 3-4 years and re-visit. I might mention that I drank from this bottle over three nights, with the second night being the smoothest. The third night showed too much oxidation and the first night it needed air.
I just did a quick price search, the ’09 can be had for $20. Bang for the buck, 4 stars. Quality-wise I reckon this wine would have to be 88 points.
By the time we got to this wine, it was late and our ‘palates’ were suffering ‘fatigue’. Let me re-phrase… we were plain old drunk by this point, or we would have realized that we had brought the best bottle out last. The number one rule of wine drinking (versus tasting) is to start with the best and finish with the rotgut because everyone is usually hammered and can’t taste much.
Oh well, I do remember that this was a really good bottle, yet again from the much heralded 2009 Bordeaux vintage. Beautiful purple color in the glass and a very defined blueberry note on the nose translated into a gorgeous palate of oak, cassis and plums. A certain earthiness lent itself well to this wine and should be interesting to watch it evolve. I wish I had been in a better position to really taste this wine, because I reckon it would have more depth than I was able to record. For the price, a 4 star wine that I estimate deserves 90 points. Definitely stick some in the cellar and start drinking in 2-3 years. Delicious.
A 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Emilion made in the 2009 vintage. At $15 this wine is a good deal, plain and simple. Most decent Bordeaux doesn’t even hit the shelves at under $30 these days, so this one initially makes one pause and wonder how good it could possibly be. Well, as we know, 2009 was a tremendous year in France with all levels of producers bottling balanced, fruity and ageworthy wines. This particular offering hit the ground running with dark fruits on the palate opening up to plums and earth. Oak use is apparent, but not obnoxious. Still really young, the tannins are nicely integrating and will help this wine mature over the next 5 years. I would cellar this one for another 2-3 years before it is ready. Bang for the buck, 4 stars with 89 points. At 13.5% this is an easy wine to relax and enjoy with friends, or you could pair it with Steak Frites and Bearnaise sauce (yummmm).
I don’t normally pop and pour such young Bordeaux, but this vintage was stunning and has produced some really tasty early drinkers. A St. Emilion blend of 75% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc (love that grape..). Too young I’m afraid. But I managed to massage the wine with my Vinturi, artificially aging it in the process and softening the tannins.
On the nose, blueberry and coffee lead into a tannic blueberry and earth on the palate. The tannins are very strong with this one, yet they are smooth. This bodes well as the wine has a backbone on which it can age. I cannot however find much complexity, so where it evolves is anybody’s guess.
I lit the charcoal tonight and served up some searingly spicy Jerk Lamb to which I figured this wine would match- I was correct. Most red wines cannot hang with spicy foods, especially Indian. The lamb, well trimmed and charred on charcoal, was fatty enough to warrant a tannic monster, yet was not overpowering on the spices to dull the fruit of this wine.
Post-dinner, I had the opportunity to swirl this wine some more, trying to coax additional notes. The bottle has been open for almost two hours and I am still getting loads of earth on the nose. On the palate there is a nagging alcohol compound that is worrisome. The tannins are searing now, really coating my gums. Overall, this wine has aging potential, yet lacks depth. It has tasty fruit, yet one dimensional. I can’t give it more than 3 stars and fathom it’s worth 88 points. Drink from 2015-2020.
A St. Emilion from the great 2009 vintage that is Merlot based. Unfortunately I forgot to make notes and can only recall liking this wine a great deal. Not overly tannic, drinking nicely now with several years ahead. This is the kind of wine I really enjoy finding. It offers classic Bordeaux qualities, at a very affordable price and can be consumed without the customary cellaring. I would drink this wine with a host of dishes, including meats and pasta. A 4 star effort with potentially 88 points going for it.