Bordeaux: Vintage Wines Ltd, Monthly Thursday Tasting
May 12th 6:30 pm
Fourth Third Thursday Tasting for 2005 at Vintage Wines in San Diego.
The wines had been poured for about two hours before we got to them. Served in a single blind format. I’ve listed the wines in the order they were tasted with the identity as revealed at the end of the tasting.
2000 Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux $56.99USD
Dense cherry red with faint orange tint to the edge. Initially barnyard, tar and caramel aromas followed by chocolate and vanilla. Well structured with big dollops of tannin and acid but marred on the finish by some bitterness suggestive of a little greenness. (2, 2, 3.9. 10.0 = 17.9/20, 90/100 (RP 92)
2000 Chateau Monbousquet, St Emilion ($60-100USD)
Dense cherry red with red edge. Great complexity with notes of cedar and a savory character that became almost fruitcake. Medium to full bodied, with excellent balance, firm tannins and clean acidity. Excellent length to the finish. (2, 2, 4.2, 10.2 = 18.4/20, 92/100, (RP 95)
2000 Chateau Quinault, L'Enclos, St Emilion $52.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Slightly closed with hints of smoke and oak. Well balanced and full bodied with good acidity and drying tannins. (2, 2, 3.8, 10.0 = 17.8/20, 89/100 (RP92)
1995 Chateau Troplong-Mondot, St Emilion $69.99USD
Dense cherry red with a slight orange tinge to the edge. Obviously the oldest wine in the group. An unusual bouquet of tar, caramel and alcohol overlaying anise and possibly vanilla. Softer entry than the other wines but still supported by good acidity and firm tannins still holding the finish. (2, 2, 3.9, 9.9 = 17.8/20, 89/100 (RP 92)
2000 Chateau Lanessan, Haut Medoc $20.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Intriguing floral complexity with violets predominant. Full bodied, wonderful balance with bright acidity and an excellent finish. (2, 2, 4.2, 9.9 = 18.1/20, 91/100 (RP 89)
2001 Chateau Pape-Clement, Pessac-Leognan ($83-110USD)
Very dense cherry red with red edge. Very open with blackberry and toasted oak developing an attractive barnyard character. Full bodied and well balanced with flavors carrying well on retronasal. (2, 2, 4.3, 10.1 = 18.4/20, 92/100 (RP 95)
2000 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac $79.99USD
Cherry red with a pinkish/red edge. A little closed with notes of cedar and barnyard. Flavors carry well on the palate with good acidity to the finish. (2, 2, 3.9. 9.9 = 17.8/20, 89/100 (RP 91)
2002 Chateau Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $29.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Cedar, toasted oak and New World jamminess. Well balanced with drying tannins and good acidity. (2, 2, 4.0, 10.1 = 18.1/20, 91/100 (WS92)
The first point of interest about this tasting was that it was sold out and people had to be turned away. There were about 30 seats filled, usually its down to about 12-15 at these monthly tastings. Second is that this is sort of my annual venture into Bordeaux. Its not that I don’t like the wines its just that the good stuff is so bloody expensive. Also, and this applies more to white than red, I find that I usually rate New World ahead of most things French particularly when the wines are young. So call me biased! But this tasting did have Brane-Cantenac in it and I wanted to see how this 2nd Growth was doing. Brane-Cantenac is the first Bordeaux wine that I tasted that had some age on it way back in the distant past and it had made a favorable impression; and that was when Brane-Cantenac was making so-so wines. I wasn’t overly impressed this time.
The little Lanessan was impressive especially for the price. Others must have thought so as well because by the time I got out into the wine shop all the bottles had been bought; I have to learn not to sit next to people who have the same occupation as me and who are headed off to Bordeaux.
My top wines were the Monbousquet and the Pape-Clement and I vacillated over which to put as my WOTN up until it was decision time. In the end I opted for the Pape-Clement with the Lanessan in third. The group also went for the Pape-Clement as the top wine with the Quinault in second (my 6th) and the Les Forts de Latour in third (my 7th). Which is interesting only because I thought both the Quinault and the Les Forts de Latour the most closed wines of the group. Does that mean that my suspicion that Francophiles prefer wines that lack flavorful aromas is correct? Hmmm, I wonder!!!