We tasted these wines blind and the glasses were labeled 1-6 from left to right and the tasting notes and identities of the wines were revealed after evaluations. I am not sure if the wines were properly decanted before hand.
We started out with glass number one, The 2005 Chaumount, Premieres Cotes De Bordeaux, $31.00 and referred to in the tasting notes as a sexy, seductive ruby colored effort, exhibiting chocolate covered black cherries intermixed with tobacco. My notes: In the glass, displayed a dark velvet core,the nose was full of dark fruits, after the first sip, soft tannins and a velvet mouth feel with black cherry and touch of leather. This wine shows promise, that would be rewarded by further cellaring. However far from sexy or seductive, more like demure or coy! I scored this wine 86 Pt's. My Recommendation: Nothing special, definitely not worth $31.00 compared to it's peers in a similar price range.
Next in glass number two, the 1996 Lagrange Saint-Julien; composed of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot. $92.00 Wine makers notes assert, opaque purple colored, with a backward yet promising nose, nicely layered, plenty of structure and a layered mouth feel. My notes: Looking at the wines brick orange rim and pale ruby core, I knew this was an older wine. So I allowed this wine to open further before tasting some 32 minutes. Upon first sip, essence of cherry cola, leather and earthiness and a sophisticated structure and but lacking any appreciable notes of dark fruits, in a word restrained. My Score: 88 Pt's. Seriously folks, this was disappointing. My recommendation: don't bother for $92.00 you could get much better wine for half of this price.
Next up in glass number three, the 2003 Ferriere, Margaux; composed of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot. $40.00. Provided notes indicate, aromas of blackberry, toasted oak, a beautiful nose, chewy tannins and a austere finish. At first swirl, the core is a pale ruby and a fading to garnet colored watery rim, not much in the way extraction. Upon first swirl, the nose is not particularly inviting. Upon first sip, chewy tannins dominate the faint appearance of dark fruits with a subtle spicy finish. It did however nicely pair with the lamb ravioli, served at the tasting. My recommendation: The notes say best after 2008, but in my book this wine scored a paltry 84 Pt's and I would not waste my money on the asking price when there is wine of better of a better caliber for a lower price waiting upon the shelf of your local wine store.
Here comes wine number four, the 2005 Petit BOCQ, Saint-Estephe; composed of 80% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc with a $33 price tag. The back label notes refer to this wine as the "little bug" a primarily Merlot based, medium bodied with fine tannins and considered "fresh and fruity" with a fantastic black fruit finish! My notes: Upon first swirl, medium bodied ruby core and fading to garnet colored rim. Upon first sniff, I had to send out a search party as none could be found. Upon first sip, it has a nice mouth feel, some interesting yet tight intermingling of of dark fruits and the fully integrated tannins linger nicely into a complex yet austere finish! My recommendation: the lush fruit promised on the label does not exist, and I am not sure if the recommended 4-5 years of further cellaring will make a impact upon this wine. If you do decide you want to pursue this bottle, decant for at least 2-3 hours before hand as this wine is tightly wound.
Now we are getting somewhere, in glass number five the 2004 Lucia, 'Bortolussi', Saint Emilion Grand Cru with a price tag of $47. Wine makers notes: This Garagiste made wine is committed to the wine consumer and limited production winemaker/artist. This estate sits on a 'tiny' 7.5 acres and Stephane Derenoncourt Feature Teaser - Stéphane Derenoncourt Wine Spectator consults on the decisions surrounding this wine. Terrific textures, with a flamboyant modern style. (Read that as austerity is out the window) My notes: Here we go St. Emilion Grand Cru, upon first swirl a deep crimson core surround by a lighter ruby rim. Upon first Sniff, an elegant bouquet of cherry, and spice effortlessly float upward, delighting my senses. In the glass are what I would call super-ripe dark berry fruit and my palate spent an afternoon upon "blue-berry hill" lingering gracefully upon my mid-palate and with long but mildly restrained finish. This wine by the way paired the best with the Lamb Ravioli. In a word wonderful! My recommendation, make sure you have more than a few of these in your cellar. This wine is complex and is built to age and consume over the next 12 years! This vineyard takes boutique to a new new level, with fewer than a 1000 cases produced, run don't walk to snatch up a few of these beauties. I scored this wine 91 points and included availability and price in the score. Here's a link: Red Wine - Chateau Lucia 2004 - Vintage 2004 - Saint-Emilion Grand ...
Finally, last but not the least in glass number six, the 2001 Beau Soleil, Pomerol; Composed of Merlot and Cab. Franc and a price tag of $40.00. The winemakers notes, say this 2001 possesses abundant amounts of dark fruit flavors and notes of vanilla and espresso, completed with nice texture and structure and maybe the sleeper of the vintage. My notes: Upon first sniff, the nose is subdued and "chillin like a villAIN", but coat the glass nicely. Upon first swirl, the color is very interesting. The core is rose petal, and amber colored rim. Upon first sip, the wine featured a chunky personality of raspberry and blackberry melding nicely together with spicy vanilla notes leading to a persistent and long finish. Which paired ever so nicely with our meal much more eloquently and unobtrusively than the rest of the lineup, as if the meal was prepared with this wine in mind. My Recommendation: this wine is well built and a excellent food pairing gem. I would seek out 3-4 bottles to keep on hand as an food pairing friend and would consume within the next few years as this wine is already in it's maturity window. Enjoy!
Overall my advice (and I'm no expert), especially in buying Bordeaux is know what you like ahead of time. This means take some time to attend a few tastings and figure out if your a left or right bank kind of person. Many wine stores and wine bars will feature tastings of certain types of wine from different areas of the world. After attending a few of tastings you really start to get a sense of where your palate lies, so if you been drinking mainly California red wines or what some folks call "new world" wines. The wines of Bordeaux will take a little time to appreciate and understand their focus is different than many new world wines. So give it some time and go to a few tastings than you will get a better understanding of what New World vs. Old World means. Until next time, Cheers everyone!
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