I set a new personal record (not counting wine festivals) of four wine tastings in six days--the NYC offline at La Sirene on Sunday, the Antinori wine tasting at Ca Va Brasserie on Monday, a Port wine dinner (Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca) at Ruth's Chris Steak House in North Hills, Raleigh on Thursday, and a wine lunch Friday with a distributor from Bordeaux Fine and Rare at Zely & Ritz, Raleigh. As is the style of these wine lunches, food was passed family style--sausage pizza, pumpkin risotto, salad with watermelon radish, quinoa and other nice touches. I liked all five wines poured on this day, and I ordered bottles of two of them for later pickup. All were priced at $30 or less a bottle. The weather was great so we sat at two long tables on the front patio.
2011 CHATEAU MAGNEAU GRAVES BLANC. A blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadel. I generally find white Bordeaux wines uninteresting but this one was nice. Slightly floral on the nose and crisp and minerally enough to be versatile with food.
2010 CHATEAU BOUREE COTES DE CASTILLON. 75% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot plus other grapes. The Merlot shone through in the plummy fragrance and taste. Well received at my table and the favorite of Jolene who sat next to me.
2008 CHATEAU PONT DE BRION GRAVES (rouge.) Blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, average of 40-year old vines. Elevage in 1/3 new oak barriques and 2-year-old barriques for the remainder. Viscous with hints of red cherries and red currants. I think I prefered the brightness of the previous red, but this was also pleasant.
2009 CHATEAU BARCELOTTE (spelling is approximate; I will correct when I pick up my bottles), Margaux. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. 12.5% alcohol. Lusher red fruits, possibly less graphite notes than the previous wine. Not much new oak used. I ordered two bottles.
2008 GAUDIOT LOUPIAC A botrytized wine outside the Sauternes/Barsac region so lower priced. No oak used. Peachy fragrance and flavor. From 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillion. I ordered two bottles (500 ml.)