It is not everyday that I get to taste a 100 points Robert Parker wine, let alone 5 different wines as it happened last night. Organized by a fellow blogger from Pitesti, Dan Micuda, at the Tasting Room by Ethic Wine restaurant on str Putul lui Zamfir, the event gathered quite an audience considering the 180 Eur fee.
Wines were opened 24 h in advance, and hopefully (pun intended) guys from Tasting Room did keep and serve the appropriate liquid from each bottle, the tasting naturally raised many expectations. I saw many people from the wine trade, owners and winemakers from Romanian wineries, several wine importers, posh restaurant owners and passionate drinkers. Everybody came to see the Holy Grail. It seemed more like a professional audience that wanted to see and learn from this experience, more than just a crowd that came to enjoy a hedonistic wine dinner.
None of the wines was in my humble opinion a 100 pointer however, there were some that came very close. Among many other things I lack – here it is: I am not perfect, I do not have the background and the experience that people like Robert Parker and other professional wine critics have: the history of tasting all these wines from Bordeaux for over 30 years and knowing what to expect. Probably the most important knowledge that matters when you try to forecast how these wines will develop over time from the first sip during the en-primeurs to 10, 20 and 30+ years aging in bottle.
So it was a fun night with epic wines that seemed to have a strange effect on people. After the 5 wines were served and drank and some of the participants left, there was a frenzy of new bottles being popped up by some of the remaining attendees. I am not sure if that was just an innocent act of generosity or a challenge thrown to show that other lesser wines that were served blind are a match for the five Grands. Eventually, everything turned into a wine bath.
So here are the wines:
photo credit to Cristian Radu
2009 Chateau Leoville Poyferre is the first 100 points wine made by this producer. I know that they sold the entire production within 4-5 h during the en-primeur campaing and I know this because I paid them a visit in 2011 and they were very happy about that. Show me someone who’s not happy to have revenues of close to 30 Million Euro within a day.
There is a dark red garnet color. A discreet nose that does not reveal too much at the moment. The mouth is a different story: full bodied, plenty of glycerol, viscous, with ripe black fruits, cocoa flakes and spices, it feels to me like a great Californian Cabernet that retains Bordeaux mineral freshness. Long finish. It seemed the lesser wine of the 5 tonight. (93/100)
2010 Chateau Montrose is a different story. I liked this wine from the first smell, sip and I actually liked it a lot. And I was not the only one. Very dark opaque red garnet. Nose is expressive and intense, it shows clear St-Estephe character, with a mineral dominated profile, creme de cassis, graphite, dry paprika and spring flowers. After 30 min in the glass it gets completely different aromatics of bacon, tobacco leaf and violets. Full bodied but supple and precise like a ballerina, gravelly tannin, layered, sweet black fruit, dark cherries and refreshing minerality. Deep, profound and intense, with a long lingering finish. (97/100)
2010 Chateau Pontet Canet has a dark, opaque red garnet color. It reveals a moderate expressive and intense nose where you could find creme de cassis, crushed rocks, cocoa flakes and leafy aromas, constantly evolving in the glass for as long as it lasted. A very smooth mouth-feel in spite of its incredible tannin structure, very dense, glycerol is at high rates here, very fresh with a mineral and cassis scented palate and layered. It has more harmony that the 2009 Leoville Poyferre. Long and lingering finish. (96/100)
photo credit Cristian Radu
2010 Chateau Pape Clement is more expressive on the nose. A dark, opaque red garnet color. Highly mineral nose, very typical to a Pessac-Leognan, pencil shavings, cassis, smoke and hot stones are evident on the first nose, but in time it leaves room to charcoal, dried green bell pepper and violets. It explodes in the mouth with flavors of sweet cranberries, blackberries, spring flowers and dark chocolate, with assertive but very well mastered tannin, full bodied with refreshing acidity and a very long lingering finish. It has a more leafy character in its taste. (97/100)
The only Merlot dominated wine tonight: 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Caberner Franc. It is the wine I felt it was the best to drink today from the rest we had. That doesn’t make it the best wine of the night.
2009 Clos Fourtet has an opaque dark red garnet color. Very expressive nose of sour cherry, smoke, plums and fresh minerals spring from the glass. Thick and full bodied, ample mouth-feel with medium acidity that makes it very approachable today. Fine grained tannin and amply textured, layered, with sweet black fruits, tobacco leaf and dark chocolate. Long lingering finish. Worked really well with the rib eye steak we had. It reminded me of the 2000 Chateau Cheval Blanc I had in 2011. (95/100)
I could get used to do this everyday.