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David M. Bueker

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WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:39 am

Thoughts from a tasting at Table & Vine last night:

Despite the theme of the tasting being Bordeaux, the first wine poured was the 1999 Le Brun Servenay Blanc de Blancs which was biscuitty, fruity and quite delicious, especially for its modest (low $30s) price.

The 2007 Doisy Daene Sec was also intruiging, but I really could not decide if it was smoky on the nose or reduced. Either way it was quite tart and grassy on the palate, so not a wine I would pursue. No shock of course - it's Sauvignon Blanc.

We went through several low priced wines, and while I'm not in any need of budget Bordeaux in the cellar (heck I'm not in need of anything in the cellar), I thought the 2005 Les Vergnes (Bordeaux) was a cute little wine for $7.99. It was fruity and quite easy to drink, and while not worth thinking about it was something that could serve quite well for a party or a warm day of grilling if you want red wine. Their "prestige cuvee" of 2005 Vergnes Beaulieu (bordeaux Superieur) was an all Merlot wine with some new oak, and really became a bit non-descript despite its still fruity core.

The 2005 Hourtin Ducasse (Medoc) was very linear and direct in its cherry fruit and herb aromas and flavors. No significant oak here, and quite nice for the $14.99 price.

There were a few other wines I did not care for as much (comments on request but not enough time now), but at the tail ed we did a group of three more well known wines:

The 2005 Beychevelle (St. Julien) was very polished to the point of almost no rough edges at all, thus quite drinkable, but it was clearly holding a lot back. I very much liked the balance, and hte fact that it wasn't showing a lot of wood, even while being so closed.

The 2005 Branaire-Ducru (St. Julien) was fleshy and rich, though also rather closed. I actually found its breadth and plushness a bit offputting after the Beychevelle.

Finally for the reds, the 2006 Pontet Canet (Pauillac) belied the Parkerized criticisms that this wine has taken over the last few vintages, as it was very linear, focused and holding back a lot in reserve. It was not overly oaky, did not have any of the plushness of the Branaire and finished very long and clean. I liked everything about it except the $82.99 price tag. If I was buying this I would put it away for 15 years.

The final wine was the 2005 Doisy Daene (Barsac) which I thought was fruity, honeyed and spicy, but lacked the depth of the better 2005s (not to mention the 2001 Doisy Daene).

There were several more wines which I will try to get to later.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:54 pm

Adding a note: 2005 Haut Marbuzet (St. Estephe) was very closed, but showed quite a lot of material in reserve, though it was not nearly as tannic as I would have expected from a St. Estephe (the unusual blend with about 60% Merlot may play a large role in that).

I did think it quite funny that as we were having some of Bernard Margrez's wines (e.g. Fombrauge) that the guest speaker referred to Margez as a complete egomaniac. :wink:
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Re: WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by Jenise » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:45 pm

It's pretty amusing to read of any Bordeaux that could be called a "cute little wine" as categorically most would think Bordeaux the antithesis of cute little wines.

Speaking of which I drank a very pleasant South African chenin last night that I liked quite a bit called Herding Cats. Now THAT'S a cute little wine.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:21 pm

Jenise wrote:It's pretty amusing to read of any Bordeaux that could be called a "cute little wine" as categorically most would think Bordeaux the antithesis of cute little wines.


To a degree I think both of the Vergnes wines are the sorts of things AlexR was always busting us for not drinking.
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Re: WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by Dale Williams » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:51 am

Most of us drink more classified growths, cru b, etc. But plain Bdx AC can often be little wines, cafe quaffers.
I've heard Beychevelle has been on an upswing, thanks for note.
Glad the P-C was nice. Certainly quality isthere, but I'e thought the 2003-2005 versions were a bit much for me to want to buy (stylistically and pricewise).
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Re: WTN: Bordeaux Quick Hits

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:12 pm

Yeah, as much as I like Pontet Canet the pricing is not where I want it to be for my limited Bordeaux dollars. I bought the 2004, and have found it to be an excelletn wine that is not at all overdone, but I think the "impression" of moderism for this chateau has created more backlash than any reality in the wine's style.

I certainly would not want to go back to the old Pontet Canet as much of it was crap unworthy of its place as a classified growth.
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