Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2005 Bordeaux Tasting - January 22, 2008

This may seem like a crass statement that I am about to make, but I’m about 30 minutes away from taking the most expensive pee of my life. Let me explain.

I have just returned from Vintages (as in the LCBO) 2005 Bordeaux Tasting event where I sampled some of, if not most of, the great Cru Bordeauxs and some lesser houses: I tried Chateau Angelus ($391.70); Chateau Troplong-Mondot ($329.00); Chateau la Conseillante ($309.00) and Chateau Pape Clement ($319.00) – all wines, because of their price, I felt the need to swallow. I also enjoyed some of the lesser priced wines, flying in the face of a recent study that showed people like wine based on its price (the higher the price the better they liked it), because I feel I have an outside chance of buying them one day – why fall in love with something you can’t have. I thought the Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot ($114.05 - #580274) had a wonderful mouthfilling smoothness with lots of blackberries and raspberries. The Chateau Figeac ($173.55 - #580381) had a good nose and beautiful sweet red and black fruit flavours in the mix. The Chateau Grand-Mayne (#580407), which seemed like an absolute steal for this room at $66.45, with its lovely red fruit on both the nose and palate with its black licorice finish. The La Tour Figeac ($54.55 - #567495), a 75-25 blend of Merlot and Franc smelt of cherries and tobacco with sweet vanilla oak on the finish. The Troplong-Mondot ($329.00 - #567537), mentioned previously, was a real beaut with red fruit, sweet herbs and vanilla on the sniffer and elegant mouth presence that started smooth, tightened in the middle and finished woody. The Chateau Clinet at $185.00 (#567545) was a tasty sucker, most notably for its red licorice smells. The La Conseillante, previously mentioned, ($309.00 - #580480) was a massive, spicy, black fruit dominated number that had plenty of woody tannins and a red fruit middle – my notes say, “this one’s nice” – it had better be for that kind of scratch.

There was Chateau Tertre ($83.00 - #580654) that smacked around my olfactory lobes with black raspberries then proceeded to put sweet vanilla and herbs on my palate … I would be very happy to drink this one right now, if you’ll throw in the extra 63 bucks. The Chateau Kirwan I can dream about owning for at least the next few days … no price listed in catalogue and “currently not available for purchase” – what are the chances it’s under $20 for this red fruit and cinnamon nosed beauty with the spicy-herbed taste … I didn’t think so.

The Talbot ($71.40 - #580787) showed good promise as a cellar candidate; the D’Armailhac ($62.50 - #580811) was juicy and smooth with a touch of tannin; and the Pichon-Longueville ($197.35 - #580878) had a bunch of cedar on the nose that didn’t follow through on the palate – that’s good because I didn’t feel like sipping, or chewing, on a stave … instead the wood translated into sweet vanilla and red fruit flavours.

Finally, the most appropriately named wine of the afternoon was from Chateau Ormes-de-Pez ($46.95 - #580910) … this one was sweet with vanilla and cherry, red fruit and I just kept taking sip after sip – it was like back in the day with my Popeye Pez dispenser loaded with cherry Pez candy … popping brick after brick of those sweet treats.

Speaking of sweet I journeyed into the Sauternes section where d’Yquem was not, and why should they be, we all know what they taste like, right? I sampled the Chateau Coutet ($39.70 - #500702 – 375ml), which was stupendous with tropical fruit and wildflower honey on the nose … the palate was reminiscent of dried fruit dipped in honey. Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau ($31.75 - #500397 – 375ml) added lilacs and lilies to their mix of dried and tropical fruits. Chateau Guiraud ($45.00 - #533562 – 375ml) had a very distinctive kiwi smell sprinkled in-and-amongst pineapple. And then there was the Chateau Suduiraut ($114.00 - #580993) which had all the above with citrus and a creamed honey sensation in the mouth.

Alright, so after all that I figure I have well over $500 worth of wine ready to be expelled from my body, and as Tony Aspler once said to me (and I’m paraphrasing here), ‘no matter how much you drink, it’s all oui-oui in the end’ – so now if you’ll excuse me …

1 comment:

Matthew Sullivan said...

Dear Grape Guy -

I hope your fantastically expensive pee did not segue into an extravagant hangover.

I know the deadline for ordering Bordeaux futures in Ontario is almost upon us (Feb. 8). Did you have any particular recommendations?

I've got my own top picks here. They are mainly little gems from the out of the way nooks and crannies on the Right Bank.

Thanks again for the great preview of 2005!