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WTN: Cabernets

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Jay Labrador

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WTN: Cabernets

by Jay Labrador » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:19 pm

Wines from last week's lunch at the Alliance Francaise.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 - Acidic. Has good sweetness provided by lots of ripe fruit on the palate. Candyish. Finishes long. Not too interesting. This was the only white wine we had.

Boukenhoutskloof Franschoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 - A pure Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry, gentle, lightish. Bordeaux-like. Leather and tobacco nuances as well. Good balance. A very forward style of wine for drinking now. Quite enjoyable.

Montgras Ninquen Colchagua Chile 2000 - High alcohol. Chocolate. Light, soft, sweet and slightly spicy. This wine has evolved nicely. Ready to drink now. Aside from the alcohol, very good.

Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Napa 1998 - Soft. Dry and savory. Quite tannic in the finish. A good wine but still has room to develop further.

Katnook Odyssey Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 - Sweet nose. Very young, primal tasting wine. Sweet, candied character. Too sweet for me. Quite tannic as well. Not for me.

Miguel Torres Viejas Vinas Manso de Velasco Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Chile 1998 - This had a leaky cork. Young, tannic, closed. Heavy. Not showing too well at lunch so it was hardly touched. I brought home the bottle and had it for dinner. By then it had opened up and the fruit was coming through. Quite enjoyable at dinner.

Chateau St. Jacques Bordeaux Superieur 2000 - The second wine of Chateau Siran whose owner has family and business ties to the Philippines. Dry, light, uncomplicated stuff. A quaffer at a friendly price but frankly uninteresting.

Penfolds Bin 707 1996 - My contribution to the lunch. Still youthful. Dry, tannic. Coffee aromas and flavors predominating. Slightly hot. Some mushroom character as well. Angular. Needs more time to soften the edges. Try again in 2 years
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Cabernets

by Rahsaan » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:36 pm

Who attended the tasting? French ex-pats, or people trying to learn French?

I guess there was no national competition issue over which cabernet showed better?
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Re: WTN: Cabernets

by Jay Labrador » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:15 am

The organizer was from NZ, there was one Frenchman - the Embassy's Commercial Counsellor and the other 4 were Filipino. The whole thing was organized because of conversation between the non-Filipinos whereby Lester, the New Zealander said innocently that there were some good Bordeaux-style wines made outside France. Franck (the French Commercial Counsellor), insisted there was no such thing as a Bordeaux style wine outside Bordeaux. So the whole thing was meant to educate him. Each participant was to bring a bottle of Cabernet. Franck bought a bottle off the wine list. Unfortunately, the Ch. St. Jacques wasn't really up to the quality of the other wines presented. I believe it was by far the least expensive wine we had.

I'm not sure Franck enjoyed too many of the wines since he was making comments about too much acidity and tannin. He did not comment on the Ch. St. Jacques.

There wasn't any voting as to favorite wines but it was pretty obvious the St. Jacques was out of its league.
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Re: WTN: Cabernets

by Rahsaan » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:49 am

Unfortunately, the Ch. St. Jacques wasn't really up to the quality of the other wines presented. I believe it was by far the least expensive wine we had.


Yes, it is so hard to do a comparative tasting as there are so many important variables.

Nonetheless, I'm sure you had fun. Which is the most important part.
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Re: WTN: Cabernets

by Jenise » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:44 am

Jay Labrador wrote:Franck (the French Commercial Counsellor), insisted there was no such thing as a Bordeaux style wine outside Bordeaux. So the whole thing was meant to educate him....There wasn't any voting as to favorite wines but it was pretty obvious the St. Jacques was out of its league.


Jay, I'm absolutely amazed that this guy chose the wine he did to represent France in such an exercise. Or was that the point he intended to make, that any simple Bordeaux Superior second label was better than anyone else's first try?

And "euw" on the Katnook. They've obviously not changed their excessively overripe, sweet style since I last tasted their wines.
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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Jay Labrador

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Re: WTN: Cabernets

by Jay Labrador » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:32 am

You're not going to believe this but I was glad he ordered the St. Jacques since he showed up with a Chateau Foncrose AOC Bordeaux 2002. The importer of this wine is a good friend of mine but they're not really the guys to go to for Bordeaux. So the St. Jacques was really an improvement over the wine he brought. I guess he didn't expect the rest of us to be such geeks about wine. Either that or if you grow up with it, you sort of take it for granted so you don't really give it much thought.

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