Menach and Yossi, Hi......
Sometimes you guys grab me just at the right time. Today's tastings were devoted largely to kosher Bordeaux releases, those matched during my session by parallel releases from the same wineries as well as a host of other Bordeaux releases from the same vintage years. An interesting tasting and some very good wines indeed.
Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild, Haut Medoc, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Deep garnet, medium-bodied, with firm tannins that seem not to want to settle in and integrate but opening to reveal blackberry, currant, Oriental spices and, on the medium-long finish, a hint of mint. Drink now-2010. Score 87. K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Barons Edmond and Benjamin de Rothschild, Haut Medoc, 2005: When tasting this wine blind, I was ready to take an oath that it was the 2001 wine that I was sampling, so similar are the two. As was that earlier release, medium- to full-bodied, with chunky tannins that give the wine a Provencal note but opening nicely to reveal black fruits on a background of minerals and white pepper. Drink now-2012. Score 88. K (Tasted 3 Aug 2008)
Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St. Julien, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Full-bodied, with firm tannins starting to integrate with hints and vanilla from the oak in which it aged. Opens to show traditional currant and blackberry fruits, those on lightly spicy background. Needs some time. Best from 2010. Score 89. K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St. Julien, 2005 (Kosher Edition): Perhaps the best kosher edition ever from Leoville Poyferre. Deep garnet towards royal purple in color, full-bodied, with gently caressing tannins and just the right hint of spicy and vanilla rich oak. On first attack blackcurrants and blackberries, those followed by hints of blueberries and, on the long finish notes of lightly minted chocolate. Approachable and enjoyable now but best from 2010. Score 92. K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Pontet Canet, Pauillac, 2005 (Kosher Edition): Whomever is "doing it" at Pontet Canet is doing it very well indeed and this kosher edition, although not the regular edition (that scores a generous 95 points) is just fine on its own. Dark, almost impenetrable garnet in color, full-bodied, with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins. On first attack currants and mint, those opening to reveal blackberry, licorice and mineral notes and, on the super-long finish the tannins and fruits rising a generous note of espresso coffee. Approachable by 2009 but best starting only in 2011 and then cellariung comfortably until 2025. Score 93. K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Pontet Canet, St. Julien, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Medium- to full-bodied, showing traditional Caberent Sauvignon blackberry and black currant fruits, those complemented comfortably by hints of spices, minerals and licorice. Long and near-elegant. Best 2010-2014. Score 91. K (Tasted 3 Aug 2008)
Chateau Labegorce, Margaux, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Think of this as the younger brother of the non-kosher edition if you will – younger, ready to drink earlier but reflecting much the same personality. Medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins only now starting to recede and opening in the glass to reveal blackberry, raspberry, black cherry and white chocolate all leading to an appealing After-8 minty note. A generous wine, but not one for long term cellaring. Drink now-2012. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 3 Aug 2008)
Chateau Giscours, Margaux, 2003 (Kosher Edition): Garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and hints of spicy wood integrating nicely to show black cherry, blackberry and vanilla notes. On the long finish a generous hint of olives and Mediterranean herbs. Drink now-2013. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Giscours, Margaux, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Dark garnet, full-bodied, with gripping tannins and rather generous sweet cedar notes, those opening slowly in the glass to reveal black fruits and hints of mocha. Best 2009-2013, perhaps longer. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Giscours, Margaux, 2005 (Kosher Edition): Well done indeed and very close to the standard (i.e. non-kosher) edition. Garnet towards royal purple with orange reflections, full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely. Opens on the palate to show red and black berries, cherries and notes of citrus peel. Long, mouth-filling and generous. Best from 2011. Score 90. K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Piada, Sauternes, 2006 (Kosher Edition): Not the superb 2001 but a wine that stands quite comfortably on its own. Medium- to full-bodied, with light botrytis influence, generously sweet and with good balancing acidity. Opens to reveal citrus peel and butterscotch, those yielding to show notes of summer fruit-flavored marzipan. Approachable now but best from 2011. Score 90. K (Tasted 6 Aug 2008)
Chateau Malmaison, Barone Nadine de Rothschild, Moulis, 2004 (Kosher Edition): Not much here to exite this year. Dusty garnet in color, medium-bodied, with soft, almost flabby tannins and showing basic black fruits and spices. Drink now-2010. Score 84 K (Tasted 1 Sep 2008)
Chateau Malmaison, Barone Nadine de Rothschild, Moulis, 2005 (Kosher Edition): Deep, almost impenetrable garnet in color, full-bodied, with smooth tannins and opening in the glass to reveal currant, wild berry and citrus peel notes all leading to a long chocolate-rich finish. Very close in style and personality to the non-kosher edition but approachable somewhat earlier. Best 2010-2020. Score 91.K