We were suppose to be in Napa this weekend. Sadly, no one should be in Napa/Sonoma except Firefighters and first responders. However in lieu of; the Sodhani party, appointments at Beau Vinge, Mark Herold & a steak at Cole’s Chop House, what the next best thing? #STEAKANDCLARETNIGHT at home in the backyard. This 86 was amazing with my ribeye. The kind of pleasure that causes great pause and rolls the eyes a bit. On the nose; menthol, eucalyptus, dry herbs, soft ripe blackberries, dark cherries, strawberries, baked plum, perfectly stated baking spices, stones, soft unstated spice, clay, rich dark earth, touch of black cherry cola and fresh & dark florals. The palate is heaven as it coats. The body medium full, layered and the tannins are nicely resolved but not completely...still a fair amount of life in this bottle. I’d say it’s still around it’s peak. The fruits are ripe and still fresh. Blackberries, baked plum, dark cherries, strawberries, dry cranberries, hues of blueberries, black cherry cola, sweet darker spice, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, dark rich earth, dry stones, tobacco, suede leather, dry clay, menthol, eucalyptus, touch of dry herbs, fresh & dry dark flowers, beautiful, round acidity, perfect 12.5% alcohol and a long, even, elegantly balanced with beautiful structure, tension & length that’s lasts two minutes. It’s in a really excellent spot. 9.6 with the ribeye and 9.4 on it’s own. Photos of; an aerial shot of Chateau Canon, owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer who made their first big money on Chanel, own Rauzan-Segla and are worth just under a paltry 10 billion, their barrel room and their Saint-Emilion vineyard. Producer notes and history...Chateau Canon is a premier cru with a history of fine vintages. This Saint-Emilion property has long been recognised as one of the best in the appellation. It is believed that Canon was named after Jacques Kanon, the naval officer who bought estate in 1760. He built the château here and surrounded it with plantings solely of vines...a rare agricultural practice at the time. However, he then sold the estate to a Bordeaux négociant just ten years later. In 1919 it was purchased by the Fournier family, who owned the property until 1996. When they sold it to the Wertheimer family, owners of Chanel and of Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux it unfortunately had some serious problems. The cellars were contaminated with TCA, the chemical compound which causes cork taint. Many of the vines were infected by viruses and in need of being replaced. As well, part of the vineyard above the quarried cellars had subsided. Fortunately the Wertheimers had the money to fix these issues and a manager, John Kolasa with the skills. The first decade of the 21st century saw Canon begin to regain its reputation once John Kolasa retired and Nicolas Audebert at Rauzan-Ségla took over. The substantial estate covers 22 hectares on Saint-Emilion’s famous limestone plateau close to the town. The vines have an average age of 25 years and are generally planted with a southerly or south-westerly exposure. 75% of the vines are Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. After the grapes are hand-picked, they are fermented in traditional cone-shaped vats, before spending 18 months ageing in oak barrels, 50% new and 50% used. — 4 days ago
Wine is a product of nature. This fact was all too real for Ormes de Pez in 2014 as the estate suffered through a brutal hailstorm in May that took with it a third of the potential crop. Yet, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and the positive result here was that the reduced yield resulted in an unusually deep, powerful vintage for this St. Estèphe property that belongs to the Cazes family, owners of Lynch-Bages. A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2014 Ormes de Pez offers up a compelling mélange of purplish and black fruit, smoke, grilled herbs and graphite, with quite a bit of density. Rich and voluptuous, the 2014 is a gorgeous Ormes de Pez that will drink well relatively early. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Feb 2017) — 6 days ago
I have opened the 2010 Chateau Cantemerle Haute-Medoc. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
The nose upon first opening is a little tight and at first not willing to show its true self. After awhile this wine starts to open and its true self becomes obvious. With vigorous swirling the red fruit comes through. There is cherry, strawberry, plum, red currant, herbaceous notes, mocha, sweet licorice, sweet oak and violet floral notes.
On the palate we have black cherry, strawberry, plum, raspberry, herbaceousness, mint, slight oak notes and crushed gravel.
The wine is medium to full bodied, medium + acidity, medium + sandy tannins that leads to a long lingering enjoyable finish. This wine is everything I look for in a good Left Bank Bordeaux. Drink now or cellar for another 10 years. Have a great start to your work week and please be safe. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷 — 10 days ago
Celebrating a 10 year anniversary only happens once. Tonight is all about trying to recreate as much of our wedding day as possible. I cooked two pasta dishes the restaurant in Cortona made for us family style. While good, there’s no substitution for truly well done Italian cooking from the old world. What the restaurant did for our reception was truly amazing and done with wonderful Italian hospitality. Those of you that know my wine habits, I’m the guy who brings Bordeaux to an Italian wedding reception and that’s what I did. After all, It was our/my wedding. I brought an 1986 Haut Bages Liberal magnum with me from the U.S.. So in remembrance of our wedding reception, we are enjoying another magnum on our 10th anniversary tonight. I was concerned about finding another magnum in good drinking condition. However, this bottle 10 years further removed is better than the one we enjoyed at our wedding. In magnum and larger formats, I think it has another 5-10 years left of good drinking ahead...properly stored of course. On the nose; dark cassis, blackberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries, cherries, dry cranberries, a touch of pyrazine, black rich earth, stones, old tobacco leaf, cedar, saddle-wood, baking spices and dark fresh floral bouquet. The body is somewhere between medium to full. The tannins are nicely resolved. Fruits are ripe, fresh and juicy 31 years down the road. Blackberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries, cherries, dry cranberries & pomegranate extract. Black licorice, a touch of pyrazine, black rich earth, wet stones, dry top soil, old tobacco leaf, light expresso roast, softly understated asian spice, mint, cedar, saddle-wood, baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, light clove & a hint of nutmeg), violets and dark fresh floral bouquet. The acidity is round and like a waterfall over the palate. The finish is rich, ripe, balanced, well textured, elegant and lasts well over a minute. The quality of this magnum wildly exceeded our expectations. One would think this bottle was stored at a Chateau it’s entire life prior to my purchase. The alcohol comes in at 12.5%; which is one of the reasons I love the good years of 80’s Bordeaux and prior. Too bad alcohol levels are negatively impacted higher now and going forward due to climate change. Additionally in some cases, because of producer marketing decisions largely based on consumers who crave higher alcohol levels! Sofia, I am lucky to have found you to walk through life together. I love you now and forever. What a 10th celebration tonight and a celebration of our life together. All under a nearly full moon. Oooow, I ❤️ you! Photos from our 5th anniversary trip back to Cortona; the building we were married inside & out and one of the vistas surrounding (Cathedral) this beautiful hilltop town. — 11 days ago
Vintage 2014 - got this wine as a present. I like it: a honest petit #Bordeaux from the vineyards between Dordogne and Garonne. Indeed: Entre Deux Mers. Frivolous bouquet with predominant #merlot and both #cabernetsauvignon and #cabernetfranc, smooth drinking. Does exactly what it is made for: gives pleasure! — 11 hours ago
Montrose is one of the most famous Chateaux in the region, and one of the fifteen Second Growths in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Montrose’s second wine, La Dame de Montrose, is consistently excellent value. The 2014 La Dame de Montrose presents a distinctly savory profile. Sweet red cherries, flowers, orange peel, herbs and white pepper give the 2014 much of its aromatic lift. Beautifully layered to match its gracious, understated personality, the 2014 impresses with its striking balance and laid-back sense of power. All the elements meld together in a wine of total grace. This is a very sexy second wine from Montrose. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Feb 2017) — 6 days ago
Every year on my birthday I share a wine from the year I was born. The ‘66 Duhart-Milon did not disappoint. Decanted it about 30 minutes before the first taste. Still had soft fruit. Holding up really well for a 51 year old wine. Flavor continued for another hour beyond the first taste. Cork was in ok shape and this old girl still has a good bit of life left in her. — 11 days ago
In looking for some older photos, I ran across photos of the 14 En Premier. Since I wasn’t using Delectable then, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a story and some key Bordeaux history. One night during the En Premier, we went to dinner with the Director of Chateau Latour, Frédéric Engerer at Lion d’ Or. Frédéric reached into their library cellar and pulled; a 78 & 90 Grand Vin, 99 & 03 Forts De Latour and a Mag of 67 Grand Vin. Overall score is an aggregate of the evenings wine. Certainly one of the best nights of food & wine in my life. However if you go to Lion d’ Or, read the menu carefully as they cook with every part of an animal. Oh...the menu is all in French. So, ask for assistance if you struggle with French. While remembering this night, it got me thinking about another piece of Bordeaux history I thought I’d share for those that might be unaware. Did you know we have the Dutch to thank for making these wines possible? Here are my historical and producer notes... the earliest history of Bordeaux dates back to the Romans in 60 B.C. They were the first to plant, cultivate and make Bordeaux wines. They referred to the area as Burdigala. The Bordeaux appellation was perfect for cultivating grapes for wine. It offered the unique combination of the right soil for growing grapes used in the production of wine coupled with easy access to the Garonne river, which was needed to help ship the wines. The marriage between King Henry and Eleanor made sure Aquitaine, which included Bordeaux, was owned by England for over 300 years, coinciding with the conclusion of the hundred years war; which really lasted 116 years and ended in October 1453. By the time the Hundred Years War had finally concluded, Bordeaux wine had already been discovered by British wine lovers! In fact, Richard the Lionheart, the son of Eleanor and Henry II made Bordeaux wine his everyday beverage. The Bordeaux wine buying public agreed saying, if Bordeaux was good enough for the King, it was good enough for all loyal British wine lovers. From that moment forward, the Bordeaux wine trade began expanding. Bordeaux wine continued taking on more importance in trade with England. Twice a year, just prior to Easter and Christmas, several hundred British merchant ships sailed to Bordeaux to exchange British goods for wine. The next major event for the Bordeaux wine trade took place when the Dutch needed to build roads to make it easier to transport goods/wine throughout the region. The Dutch, along with the British were major purchasers of Bordeaux wine. They needed their Bordeaux wine to be delivered more quickly, before it spoiled. Their short-term answer, the Dutch merchants came up with was to burn sulfur in barrels, which aided the wines ability to last and age. However, more needed to be done. By the 1600’s, numerous Bordeaux vineyards were already planted, cultivated and producing wine. However, much of the region still consisted of unusable, swamp land and marshes. Dutch engineers came up with the idea to dredge and drain the marshes and swamps. This allowed for quicker transportation of their Bordeaux wine. And suddenly, there was a lot more vineyard land that was perfect for growing grapes and making more Bordeaux wine. Yes, we have the Dutch to thank for creating Pauillac. For this post, specifically Chateau Latour. Had the Dutch not dredged and drain it, many great Chateaus might not exist today. The man in charge of the project was Dutch engineer, Jan Adriaasz Leeghwater. He changed the face of Bordeaux forever. At the same time they dredged, new water channels were created. This helped improve the drainage, so the swamp like conditions would not develop again. Many of the original water channels are still in existence all over the Medoc. So, the next time you drink your Medoc (Pauillac) Bordeaux wine, drink a cheers to Dutchman...Jan Adriaasz Leeghwate. Photos of; our dinner bottles, the Latour library cellar, stainless steel tanks, barrel room and the iconic and majestic 17th century tower the property takes it’s name. The Latour cellars are so clean and pristine, you could eat off the floors.
— 13 days ago
Pichon-Lalande is the single hottest property in the Médoc right now. Although the Chateau has a long and esteemed history, a Second Growth in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, no less, it is the winemaking today that is taking the property to new heights. If you are looking to treat yourself with a wine that is truly world class in every sense, then look no further. The wonderfully nuanced, finessed 2014 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande exudes pedigree. Crème de cassis, licorice, lavender and sweet spices are front and center, while beams of supporting tannins and acidity give the wine its energy and overall tension. All of the elements are simply in the right place. Powerful and also remarkably delicate, the 2014 Pichon Comtesse might very well be the wine of the vintage on the Left Bank. Don't miss it! (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Feb 2017) — 6 days ago
Cheateau Belle-Vue is located in the Haut-Médoc region, which is an excellent place to start when looking for high quality, great value wines from Bordeaux. The 2014 Belle-Vue is dark, supple and exceptionally beautiful, especially at this level. Raspberry jam, spice, new leather and cinnamon are laced together in a supple, racy super-expressive Haut-Médoc loaded with personality. This is a fabulous effort and superb value. Belle-Vue is a very serious wine in 2014. It's as simple as that. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Feb 2017) — 6 days ago