This Right Bank Merlot based blend is a deep garnet color in the glass with long, lingering legs. The nose is gorgeous- plum, steeped blackberry, cassis, licorice, vanilla bean, graphite and blueberry mixed with fresh oak and a touch of espresso. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are silky on the mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this just-maturing wine has got waves of blackberry, blueberry and plum flavors intertwined with a dash of vanilla, coffee and oak. It is just starting to offer tertiary flavors and will develop nicely in the coming years. It finishes long with a black tea component alongside cassis. Very smooth and certainly delicious, this $55 bottle will drink nicely till 2032 and pair with most meat dishes and stews. 94 points from me make it a 5 star wine. Salut…..
I have owned and stored this Magnum for nearly 20 years. I chose it for our dinner with friends Keef and Arty at our favorite restaurant, Chez Francois where we dined on Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Rack of Lamb and Chateaurbriand. An amazing evening that lasted 3+ hours and culminated with their signature Soufflé. This bottle was decanted and the sommelier and I agreed that it was youthful in color, showing no bricking- just a clear, deep ruby color. With a touch of air in the large decanter the nose was stupendous. No notes were taken but I can say that it was all there. Cassis, leather, tobacco, cedar, blackberry, black cherry. The tannins were so well integrated and the acidity was en Pointe. The mouthfeel on this wine was exceptional- balanced to a tee with fruit, structure, secondary and tertiary flavors and aromas- the whole lot. It is drinking at its prime now and will last another 5-8 years methinks. If you have it in 750 ml, start consuming it sooner rather than later. A stunning, smooth and delicious Right Bank Merlot that was worth the wait. 95 points from me. If you can find a regular bottle it will run you $250, a Magnum would be roughly $600. Drink this beauty with friends for a very special occasion. 5 stars. Salut….
I’m cooking peppercorn steaks tonight and had a hard time deciding between three wines- this Merlot/Cab Franc blend won the honors. It is opaque AF, inky purple in the glass with glossy legs. The nose is spectacular- pronounced aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry, vanilla, coffee bean, spice box, leather and iodine. The palate is dry, fiercely tannic and has medium acidity. It runs a hefty 15% ABV and shows off a full body. The flavors are yummy. Pronounced black and dark blue fruit with nicely integrated oak nuance alongside a sanguine thrust of iodine and iron. This wine is young with a great tannic structure and the mouthfeel is beautiful, decant it if you like them a little softer. The pro’s were all over the scoring map with this $50 effort, but I have to say the higher end wins. 93 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2034 with hearty stews, well marbled steaks or a bold cheese tray. Salut….
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.