If there is one thing that I am guilty of, although there are many, it’s that I don’t give enough love to Bordeaux. With a never-ending supply of veteran wine critics and writers who focus a vast majority of their attention on this region and its portfolio of the world’s most highly collected wines, my reasoning is simple…Everyone else is always writing about it.
Not that I need to constantly be a black sheep, but in a world of wine that is still very French-heavy I often find it personally fulfilling to show support for the underdogs of the wine industry. But underneath it all, I can’t deny the true wonders that are Bordeaux.
And as much as the month of February seemed to have Burgundy as the main theme, March has been overflowing with Bordeaux. So it only seems fitting that I dedicate this article to some of the marvelous Bordeaux wines that have graced my glass this month and what my thoughts were on them.
1982 Château Certan De May – Pomerol
Explosive aromas of black plum, black cherry, and an old dusty sneaker store. Sinuous tannin and upholding acidity with notes of forest floor, dusty wood, sage and mocha on the finish to complete a well integrated Pomerol that is drinking fantastically now.
1986 Château Haut-Brion – Pessac-Léognan
Exposing its maturity with a ruby core and slightly tawny rim, this blend is amazingly synergized with its tannin and bright acidity. With aromas like that of a dusty barnyard after the rain, on the palate it displays black cherry, peppercorn, salted pork, menthol, and an earthy finish.
1988 Château Gruaud Larose Grand Cru – Saint–Julien
An impressive wine with pungent and satisfying aromas of charcoaled zucchini, dried roses, black plum, and blackberry. A powerful combination of gripping tannin and juicy acidity, this wine presents the palate with notes of rotisserie meat, tar, black pepper and a smoky finish.
1995 Château Monbousquet – Saint Émilion
A cloudy ruby color with intriguing aromas of dusty pinewood and black currant. Elegant yet powerful in tannin and acidity, the velvety personality of this wine shows a superb palate of black cherry, black licorice, nutmeg, cedar, black pepper, and a dry dirt finish.
1995 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande– Pauillac
A perfect combination of grace and muscle, this wine expresses aromas of smoked meat, lavender, red plum & red cherry. Tickling tannin and perpetuating acidity is well partnered with a palate of cough syrup, burnt wood, black pepper, and barbecued asparagus on the finish.
2008 Château Hosanna – Pomerol
A velvety masterpiece with an addicting mixture of sophistication and rugged masculinity. This wine layers in notes of black plum, blackberry, lilac, espresso beans, dark chocolate, tar, and minerality on the finish. With such delicious intensity and poise, it will be exciting to see how this wine develops over the next two decades.
2008 Château Brane-Cantenac – Margaux
Dense in structure yet refined in flavor, this wine is a real showstopper with aromas of freshly cut pink roses, creamy blackberry, blueberry, and cinnamon. A smooth operator with a voluptuous body and well integrated tannin, the journey is continued onto the palate with notes of cloves, savory meat, jalapeno, vanilla extract, a malt chocolate finish.
And I can’t forget to show some love to the whites…
2009 Château Lamothe Blanc de Haux
An incredible value wine retailing at about $14, a crisp white with aromas of sea grasses, bruised apple, pear, and jasmine. On the palate, its light body and fresh acidity is harmonized with notes of sea salt, white pepper, minerality, and a grassy finish.
2003 Château Climens – Barsac, Sauternes
A world without Sauternes is no world at all. The nose of this wine is absolutely invigorating with aromas of pineapple, candied tangerine, and slight nail varnish. With its full body and sensational acidity, this wine offers the palate a succulent combination of sugar and spice with notes of salted caramel, toffee, marmalade, cocoa powder, vanilla leaf, Chai spice, and Hot Tamales (the candy) on the finish.