Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A taste of Bordeaux

Full disclosure...I'm not overly knowledgeable about French wines. I have tasted many good ones in the past, but I really don't remember their names (probably because I couldn't pronounce them). I was perusing my collection looking for something different to try tonight (good for the heart, you know...). I found a bottle that I had forgotten that I had. It is a 2000 Chateau Plaisance Cuvee Sortilege Bordeaux. As I'm typing, the wine is on the desk in front of me and it smells absolutely amazing. I haven't even swirled yet, let alone put my nose in the glass!

Very dark in color. Almost purple-ish/black ink. I swirl a little and notice that there seems to be a lot of sediment. I'm going to grab the decanter and let it settle out a bit.

Wow! I was standing over the decanter while pouring the wine in, and the aromatics are very nice. Not fruity like a lot of 'new world' wines. I'm not picking up much of the 'barnyard' scent that can be found in many wines from Bordeaux.

While waiting I did a little research on the wine. It is an approximate 50/50 Merlot/CabSauv blend. The grapes come from old vines that apparently are from either a higher elevation or are trained high on the vines. It's hard to tell from the Google Translation of the French Website. It says that they did not use chemical fertilizers and it sounds like they were very gentle in pressing and macerating the skins, to avoid tannins running wild. Robert Parker gave this wine a 90 point rating.

Ok, so I decanted for a bit and poured some in my glass. Less fruit and a touch of the barnyard has shown up. A little floral but dusty at the same time. Maybe a little raspberry or cherry on the nose as well.

Not much fruit. Tannins a little strong, but probably just needs to settle a bit more. Very interesting. Not really what my palette is used to. Nice and even throughout with a long finish. Nice red fruit flavors sneaking out, with a bit of smoke on the end. Very pleasant from start to finish. This wine is really going to open up in a couple of hours. I wish I hadn't stirred it up so much before decanting and I wish I had let it set longer. I'm going to try this again tomorrow-not because it needs it, but because I want to! I wonder if I have any steak to try with it?

Rating: Love It!

A couple of notes when drinking serious wine like this:
  • Decant it. Get a decanter. Target sells them. Bed Bath & Beyond has 4 glasses and a decanter for $20 on clearance now. This is an important tool for wine drinkers. It helps to aerate the wine and makes it easier to keep the sediment out.
  • Lay it down for a while and when you go to open it, shake it up as little as possible. Keep the sediment under control.
  • Open your palette to new experiences. These wines are not fruit bombs, taste them for what they are. The are an experience. I'm sitting here writing this, it's been a good 3-4 minutes since my last taste and it is still evolving! I'm tasting a pleasant musty (not mildewy) nuance that is very nice.
I think this wine sells for around $50/bottle. I hope someone gives me another one to sample someday!

"Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy." --- Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), the Scottish bacteriologist credited with discovering Penicillin in 1928.



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