#steakandclaretnight

Château Canon

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 1986

David T
9.4

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. — 2 years ago

Neil, Eric and 21 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Paul, this wine crushes and even better with a well prepared/cooked ribeye. It still has teeth but has grace as well, it’s complex, elegant and flat out beautiful. It’s anything but young Napa that’s broad with tons of baking spices or even 10 plus year Napa due to it’s earthy components.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Even the 15/16 vintages are around $100. It’ll be 20-30 years before those vintages get as fine as this 86. So, you have to ask yourself, is it worth the extra $50? I’d say, yes! Those K&L arrived directly from the Chateau. So, they’re in perfect condition.
Alex Lallos

Alex Lallos Influencer Badge

Agree. Canon from the 80s and 90s are great. Current vintages are underpriced in my opinion for the quality

Château Lilian Ladouys

Cru Bourgeois Supérieur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Gary Westby
9.4

Sometimes a man has to take #steakandclaretnight into his own hands. This fine Bordeaux is worth the 28 year wait, and cuts the rich dry aged ribeye like a razor. The color of the wine is still so strong, the texture so rich, yet the wine finishes bright. The magic of Bordeaux is in this bottle- dark fruit, bright finish! — 3 years ago

David, David and 12 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Hello Ellen, if may assist. I received your question since I left Gary a comment as well. It sounds like you may have used mushrooms as you standard for pairing Bordeaux. However, dark beans, or often bitter greens with also pair. Use dark earthy notes, of black fruits like cassis, blackberries, and blueberries that you will find in Cabernet Sauvignon or Petit Verdot. Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines often shine with red fruit flavors.
When tannins and savory herbal notes counter lush, ripe fruit. This bitter component can then be a bridge between the wine and the dish. Grilled radicchio, dandelion greens, cocoa, sauces or reductions with tea and coffee, Brussels sprouts, the skins of nuts (the brown part of the almond), and burnt bits will lead your tongue to focus on the fruit in the wine, and the caramelized sugars in the vegetable. Sometimes just the right touch of black pepper, rosemary, or star anise will make a vegetable resonate with wines from Bordeaux. Try roasting cauliflower with a rub of sumac or za’atar to add depth of flavor. Or a hint of cumin or turmeric with roasted root veggies. Umami flavors in soy and tamari are another option. Try playing with different spices. Fats also binds with tannins, which is why meat has been such a classic pairing with big red wines. But you can do the same thing with cheese, nuts, and oils (smoked oils or nut oils, even more so!). Drizzle olive oil on anything, but avoid extra-virgin olive oil as it can show green notes and pull your palate rather than compliment it when used in the dish. Candied almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds tossed into your dish makes a natural connection with both Left or Right Bank wines. Other items to use as bridge components are; avocado, flax seeds, walnuts and pecans. Hope this helps and you find this useful.
Ellen Clifford

Ellen Clifford Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@David T wow, thank you for the in depth advice! I've got loads of ideas now---and am thinking of roasting some cauliflower with sumac tonight, sounds excellent!

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.4

Pichon Lalande is my favorite 2nd growth with a steak. Yup...it's #SteakandClaret night to quote my buddy Gary Westby. Further, it's certainly one of my favorite producers period. I've waited for this wine to be in the bottle for 10 years before finding out definitely how good it was or wasn't. You see, the 05 Bordeaux vintage was exceptional. It's drinking right now better than 00. 00 may turn out to be better, but not for some time. The real issue was the division of scores between RP & NM. Parker had this as low as an 86 and now has it at 89. Neil Martin has been consistently at 95-96. I found it simply inexplicable that Pichon Lalande could have bombed in such a great vintage. Tonight, I know they didn't. This wine is beautiful. Although, I don't believe it will cellar as long as their some of their very best vintages and many others I've enjoyed. On the nose, bramble, ripe blackberries, dark cherries, notes of blueberries, poached strawberries, graphite, baking spices, cedar, lightly perfumed violets and dark, fresh & dry red flowers. The body is medium-medium plus, tannins nicely resolved with 10 years to be completely resolved. Fruits of; ripe blackberries, dark cherries, notes of blueberries, poached strawberries and pomegranate with a whiff of spice. There's notes of dry bramble, soft leather, fresh violets, graphite, cedar, dry stones, dark rich earth, limestone, tobacco, spice-box, vanilla, very light cinnamon & nutmeg. The finish is very long, elegant, ripe, round, smooth, good acidity and beautifully elegant...50-50 earth & fruit. I bought more bottles of this at $85 after it's was first released in futures and I do not regret it. $85 is proving to be a steal for this wine when it normally sells for between $100-$150 a bottle and higher. Might heavy up further after tonight if I find more around the same price. Oh yes...I'm with NM on the scoring. Photos of the Chateau, estate vines, newer tasting room & the Virginie de Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande. Forgive my long post, but my passion and love for this producer is profound. Producer history and notes...as I wrote in an earlier post for Pichon Baron, Pichon Baron and Lalande started as one entity. The first mention of what is now called Chateau Pichon Lalande was the creation of Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan. Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan is responsible for forming many of the top Bordeaux estates today. Pichon Lalande was given its name when Therse, the daughter of the founder received the estate as a dowry when she married Jacques de Pichon Longueville. Pichon Lalande was essentially managed by three women, Therese de Rauzan, Germaine de Lajus and Marie Branda de Terrefort. On the eve of his death in 1850, Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville divided the property between his five children. His three daughters received Pichon Lalande and his sons Pichon Baron. What happened next was Virginie, the wife of the Count of Lalande took over the management of the estate under the name of Comtesse de Lalande. In 1850 she commissioned the popular, architect Duphot to build a residence inspired by the Hotel de Lalande, located in Bordeaux. Without heirs, Pichon Lalande passed down from aunts to nieces. Following World War I, the Miailhe brothers, bought Pichon Lalande in 1925. They were the ones who planted even more Merlot. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, the daughter of Edouard Miailhe became the new owner and general manager of Chateau Pichon Lalande in 1978. She expand the size of Chateau Pichon Lalande from 40 hectares to it's current 89 hectares. Chateau Pichon Lalande remained in the same family for more than 250 years! In fact, over three centuries, only two families have owned Pichon Lalande. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing sold Pichon Lalande to the owners of Roederer Champagnein in January 2007. This family-run company is managed by Frederic Rouzaud who owned several other wine estates in Bordeaux; Chateau Bernadotte, Chateau de Pez, Haut Beausejour and Chateau Reaut la Graviere. He sold Chateau Bernadotte in December 2012. In February, 2011, Sylvie Cazes was named the director of Chateau Pichon Lalande. She replaced Gildas d’Ollone. Sylvie Cazes was replaced in 2012 by current Director Nicolas Glumineau, who was previously at Chateau Montrose. In 2012, Pichon Lalande renovated the estate with a budget estimated at over 15 Million Euros. The new facilities included; building of a new underground barrel aging cellar and several new buildings...one that houses their new tasting room as shown. This renovation provided numerous improvements in their wine making. Most importantly, in the vinification. They created a new, triple tiered, cellar where everything moves by gravity. They also added numerous new, stainless steel, temperature controlled, double skinned vats. These new vats allow Pichon Lalande to vinify on a parcel by parcel basis as well as get much softer & gentle extractions. The 89 hectare vineyard of Chateau Pichon Lalande is located adjacent to Chateau Latour and and across the road from Pichon Baron. The terroir of Chateau Pichon Lalande is deep gravel with clay and limestone soil and is planted to; 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. — 3 years ago

jesus, Sofia and 31 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Awesome, I would even just love to smell the 1879!
François Hugueniot

François Hugueniot

2005 is not the best Pichon comtesse lack of concentration not very good maturity not at the level for the vintage. The opinion of a French winemaker in médoc area
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@François Hugueniot Thank you for your note. I appreciate you joining the conversation. However, I never said, this 05 was the best vintage of Pichon Lalande or wine of the vintage. I simply believe it's much better than Parker has given it credit and I was more inline with Neil Martin's evaluation. I've certainly had better 05's and better vintages of Pichon Lalande. In fact, I made mention in my post that as much as I enjoyed it the other night, I didn't think 05 would cellar as long as many of their other vintages. I do agree their 05 is not as concentrated as I would expect from them. However, it doesn't mean that wasn't enjoyable or taste good. Especially, paired with a very good Ribeye. Also, it was all the better for purchasing it for well under original release pricing. Cheers. 🍷

Château Lynch-Moussas

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1996

Gary Westby
9.5

The unsung wines of Bordeaux go deep. This 21 year old had so much refreshing cut and sweet black fruit to give! A 750 of claret like this is far too small, especially at 12.5% alcohol. #steakandclaretnight — 3 years ago

speedy, Dave and 18 others liked this
Jim Westby

Jim Westby

Is this a Cru Bourgeois or classified? Heard of it, but haven't drunk it.
Gary Westby

Gary Westby Influencer Badge

@Jim Westby This is an obscure cru bourgeois- owned by the family that owns Joanne.
Mike R

Mike R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Gary Westby have 2000s - drink or hold?

Clémentin de Pape Clément

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Gary Westby
9.2

#steakandclaretnight chez moi with Marin Sun Farms ribeye and this rarely-seen 2nd label of Pape-Clement. Although a little dodgy looking with a low fill and signs of seepage, this 28 year old just gained dark fruit and freshness in the decanter. Delicious, if a bit simple for a nearly 30 year old claret. — 3 years ago

David, jesus and 11 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

My cork was near perfect for 28. However, a buddy of mine, his cork came out crumbled and the bottle was bad. My bottle was excellent with lamb shank.
Gary Westby

Gary Westby Influencer Badge

@David T Cinnamon got ours out with the pull tap- as they say, no great old wines, only great old bottles of wine!
David T

David T Influencer Badge

It's for these kinds of occasions I own the Durand corkscrew.

Château Fleur Cardinale

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.4

On the nose, bright, lean, ripe cherries, dark cherries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranate juice, vanilla, cinnamon, very light spice, wood shavings, loamy soils, dry stones, and bright red fragrant florals. The mouthfeel is lean for Bordeaux. The tannins are lighter than dusty...so resolved. You can tell this is 70% Merlot & 20% Cab Franc as the cherries are singing in harmony better than the group America on the album "Horse with No Name" or for you kids "Fifth Harmony." The rest of the fruits are equally amazing, bright, lean, ripe; cherries, dark cherries, strawberries, cranberries & pomegranate juice. Vanilla, cinnamon, very light spice, wood shavings, loamy clay soils, dry, crushed, fine powdery rocks, dry stones & bright red roses/florals. This wine is pictured in the dictionary under pure elegance. The soft, round, acidity pours over the palate. The fruit driven finish goes on and on. I'm not sure this is going to continue to improve. I think it has about 5 years of good drinking left. Producer notes...Chateau Fleur Cardinale was purchased by Dominique and Florence Decoster in 2001. Prior to buying their first Bordeaux wine estate, they were in the fine porcelain and China business in the Limoges region of France. Chateau Fleur Cardinale is located next door to Valandraud & Rol Valentin & near Chateau Faugeres. Fleur Cardinale takes its name from the myriad of roses and other flowers that are planted around the estate. The 24.5-hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Fleur Cardinale is planted to 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. The oldest Merlot vines are 60 years old and vineyard average is 40 years. The soils of their terroir are clay over limestone. Since 2013, the vineyard is farmed using organic, self-sustainable techniques. For the vinification, the juice undergoes a cold maceration at 5 degrees Celsius for 5 or 6 days. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation and a warm maceration for 2 to 3 weeks. All the pumping over is done by gravity, which avoids stirring the musts and stressing the yeasts. Chateau Fleur Cardinale is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. It is also good paired with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta. Photos of, the Chateau and estate vines, beautiful fruit waiting to be delivered to the Chateau and pressed, the gate entrance and barrel room. The 05 vintage is as beautiful as advertised and drinking better than the 2000's I've had in the last two years. This 05 is a steal for just under $50 when I purchased it in 2007.
#SteakandClaretNight
— 3 years ago

Gary, Sofia and 24 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@MICHAEL COOPER It's a Sommelier thing. One of the more important things is for a Sommelier to understand are producers. Writing notes forces me to read and reread about producers. Writing it down reenforces retention. Winemakers change, wine making practices evolve and certainly every vintage is different year to year. Delectable allows me to keep my knowledge fresh and my notes available in my pocket.
MICHAEL COOPER

MICHAEL COOPER Influencer Badge

Don't get me wrong. I think it's great. I was impressed

Château Gruaud Larose

Sarget de Gruaud Larose Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2000

Gary Westby
9.5

I love #steakandclaretnight! This 17 year old was loaded with still strong cassis fruit and wonderful cutting acid. A huge treat in 2nd label Bordeaux.. — 3 years ago

Web, Jim and 13 others liked this

Château de Chantegrive

Graves Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

Gary Westby
9.1

Ripe and sweet-fruited, buy finishes dry and long. Ideal with Fred steak, and the redwood canopy! #steakandclaretnight — 3 years ago

speedy, Web and 9 others liked this

Château Cantemerle

Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2006

Gary Westby
9.3

Bordeaux improves with age so reliably, I hope I can keep my hands off some of this long enough to see it mature. This bottle had very Margaux like perfume, big dark fruit and a long finish. This is richer than most claret we drink, but still has the acidity needed for pairing with steak. #steakandclaretnight — 3 years ago

Eric, Anthony and 15 others liked this

Château Palmer

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 1991

David T
9.5

In every difficult vintage, anywhere, you will find producers that make exceptional wines. This 91 Palmer is such a wine. I have to thank Clyde Beffa owner of K&L Wine Merchants who has been traveling to Bordeaux for 35+ years for highly recommending two 91 Bordeaux's to me. The 91 Pichon Lalande; which he described as "heavenly." It's just the word I would have used to described it 5 or 6 years ago. Also, this 91 Palmer. He described as, "​I love it-soft and silky." I would strongly agree. You see, critics gave the 91 vintage a horrific review as a whole. Bordeaux had two frosts in April and a cold growing season. These elements didn't prevent either of these producers from making beautifully elegant 1991 wines. I have said it many times and will say it again, taste wines even in difficult vintages. You'll find value and some excellent wines. As for this 91, it's in perfect form. Excellent on it's own and even better with the ribeye. It's so elegant, smooth, beautiful, ripe and well balanced with earth & fruit. The fruits are slightly stewed & baked. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, touch of rhubarb, cherries, strawberries. Dried florals, used leather, tobacco with ash, slight vegetal quality, anise, not too sweet black cherry licorice/cola, figs, dark earth with crushed rocks, dry stones, underbrush, understated spice and perfect acidity that drips over the palate. The length, structure, balance and finish are in perfect harmony & the finish goes on and on and on. As many times as we've been to Bordeaux, we never get tired of the drive on the D-2 through Margaux and Pauillac. Chateau Margaux & Palmer stand side by side in beautiful prodigious history to say nothing of Baron Pichon & Pichon Lalande. Every year, for my B-day, I have a great steak and an old Bordeaux. It just doesn't get any better than that. And as many of those nights I've had, B-day or not, this might have been the best. Perhaps topping or equaling the Ribcap at Bourbon Steak and the 91 Pichon Lalande. To quote Gary Westby, "it steak and claret night." 12% alcohol is so much more enjoyable than 15% plus. ❤🍷🎉🎂 — 3 years ago

Gary Westby
with Gary
Eric, Terri and 41 others liked this
Peter van den Besselaar

Peter van den Besselaar Influencer Badge

Great description
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Thank you Ira.