Wines from the ‘Classic Bordeaux tasting’
We had a good time on April 2nd for our Classic Bordeaux tasting. Looking back it seems that our tastings become cyclical. In 2013 Bordeaux tasting took place at the end of March. We had a great group of participants including Oliver Bauer, the winemaker for Prince Stirbey and Crama Bauer. So there has been some interesting debate about the wines.
All wines were decanted, left to breathe for 10 minutes and then placed back into the bottle where they continued to be in contact with air. Some of the wines needed an extended decanting and were put back into the decanter just before being served.
2012 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc is made from purchased grapes by the former winemaker of Cloudy Bay. The wine is still fresh and intense, with its typical citrus fruit, cut hay, tropical fruits and green bell pepper, lively palate and pretty intense. It was a good introduction. (90/100)
2012 Schloss Westerhaus Riesling Großes Gewächs is a bit more advanced for its age but there is enough kerosene and ripe tropical fruit to be interesting and appealing. Racy acidity, very citrus and Granny Smith apple character. Medium long. (88/100)
2011 Chateau Labegorce is a Cru Burgeois from Margaux that delivers well. This 2011 seems to be the perfect restaurant wine: it does not take a lot of time to open up and creates a certain emotion in the glass. Plenty of smoke, red fruits and gravel minerality, medium bodied with assertive but already smooth tannin. Medium long and really pleasant to drink now. (90/100)
2010 Chateau Labegorce has the mark of an acclaimed vintage and comes with more concentration and focus, but seems more reluctant to show the exuberance of 2011. There is greater intensity of flavor, the tannins have a bigger grip, but there is plenty of fruit and gravel minerality to keep the balance. Very good value wine especially in 2010. (91/100)
2010 Chateau Cantemerle from Haut-Medoc is deemed by Robert Parker as the best Cantemerle since the legendary 1982 vintage. The wine seems to be more austere in aromas than its Margaux peers, with a more assertive tannin that needs some time to become soft. However there is lush black currant and black cherry with graphite and paprika, with very decent density and length. (91-92/100)
2009 Chateau Lespault Martillac rouge is a wine produced by Domaine de Chevalier. Very dark in color, it is a modern Bordeaux wine. Plenty of fruit with smoke and spices, heady. (88/100)
2004 Chateau La Tour Figeac surprises everyone at the table. We have the first wine of the evening that starts to be in a perfect drinking maturing state where it will stay for sure for another 5-8 years. Most guests liked it a lot. There is charm in the pure red fruit, spicy and warm forest floor nose. Medium bodied, the texture is smooth and the tannins silky. It is not an overly complex wine but it has charm and character. (90/100)
1996 Chateau La Lagune shows the class of well aged claret. The color is medium ruby red and clean. The aromatic profile shows a good complexity with soft red fruits on the background and plenty of gravel minerals, paprika, leather, tobacco and cured meat. Medium to full bodied, soft tannins, savoury sweet red currants, tobacco leaves and espresso, with a mild bitter sweet medium finish. (90/100)
1996 Clos du Marquis shows the greatness of St-Julien. A bit darker in color, this wine shows a tremendous balance between nose, palate and aftertaste. It just seems to be better fit. There is a paler touch of fruit than La Lagune, but seems denser and better constructed on the palate, right now espresso, dark chocolate and tobacco leaves making the scene on the palate. There is fruit but it is subdued. Medium to long finish, very fresh and appealing. (91/100)
I saved the 2009 Pagodes de Cos as the last wine because I believed the concentration of the 2009 vintage and the pedigree of the producer would most likely make it the wine of the night. Very dark in color, almost opaque. There is both exuberance of fruit and elegance in this wine. Rich cassis, chocolate flakes, spicy oak, graphite and paprika burst from the glass. This is full and dense on the palate, assertive but polished ripe tannins, juicy black fruits and freshness provided by acidity. It’s all in there. Fairly long. (92-93/100)
Overall it was a great tasting: all wines were very good and we had no bad experiences with any of the bottles – not that we had any recently, the guests engaged in the conversation and there has been a certain debate on the differences between the wines. Just to point out: 2004 Chateau La Tour Figeac really made an overall impression.