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Bob Ross

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WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Bob Ross » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:59 pm

1985 Simard St. Émilion Bordeaux France. $90 at Morton's of Chicago, Riverside Square. 12% alcohol; according to to the wine steward: "This wine is drinking beautifully just now." He was right.

A pretty performer at one of the birthday dinners that permeate our social calendar in August and September, this one at a favorite steak house in our area. Pretty red color, light hue, slight browning on the edges, wonderful aroma at the get go with a somewhat tannic edge which smoothed out very quickly, the fruit was wonderful for the first half hour, and the wine slowly gave way, but held its own well during dinner and made a great accompaniment to aged filet mignon and baked potato. A very pretty wine holding well but clearly near the end of its drinking window. 4*.

Note: It was very interesting to discover that Janet, Kathy our host from Washington, and I all liked our meal very much, but agreed that we make much better steak house food at home. It's remarkable how learning excellent technique for simple meals coupled with being very picky with the ingredients makes it possible to produce better meals than you can buy in even an excellent restaurant.

Regards, Bob
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Paul B.

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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Paul B. » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:30 pm

Bob Ross wrote:It was very interesting to discover that Janet, Kathy our host from Washington, and I all liked our meal very much, but agreed that we make much better steak house food at home. It's remarkable how learning excellent technique for simple meals coupled with being very picky with the ingredients makes it possible to produce better meals than you can buy in even an excellent restaurant.


Bob, this has been my credo for years. Only recently have I been looking at possibly visiting a French restaurant or two in Toronto just to see what they've got and maybe get some new ideas of my own.

Traditionally, I have always eschewed restaurant dining in favour of cooking at home from scratch. Buying fresh vegetables and meat at the market and preparing foods at home is not something I approach as a chore but rather as an enjoyable activity. That's not to say that restaurant dining is for people who don't like to cook - quite the contrary, as there will always be food ideas that one hasn't thought of on one's own. But eating at home is certainly part of life and one of its joys, I'd say.
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Covert » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:16 pm

Simard is an upscale cousin of Domain de la Gaffeliere, which Dale Williams explained to me a while back. The properties hold a portion of the production for 10 plus years before releasing them to cash in on the “aged Bordeaux” cachet.

I paid less than $20 per bottle for a few of the recently released 1990 D d la Gaffelieres last year and found them interesting in that they had held up well. There are no complex tertiary flavors, except asphalt; but that’s not bad, because the predominant flavor of 1990 Angelus is asphalt, and there was a distinct, albeit distant, family resemblance. It tasted very woody, too, as if a tremendous amount of oak had been used for preservation. If I didn’t know better, I might guess it used wood chips. It was still very interesting to me that an $5 dollar or so wine at production time could last 16 years and still taste okay.

I gave it to my wife as a ringer. She had no idea what it could be. She guessed it was a ’97, but thought it tasted too old. I had to agree that there was no other vintage that tasted as close to that wine as the average ‘97. Lynn would have never expected a 1990 on a Friday night – our regular night for bargain, Right Bank or suspect wines. It was obviously in the latter category and wouldn’t have been a loss to toss, if necessary.
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Bob Ross » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:18 pm

Thanks for the additional information, Covert. I didn't think I knew anything about this wine, but after reading your post I checked my wine diary. I was really surprised to find this entry from the a few months after I started to drink wine seriously.

9/16/96 1986 Château Simard St. Émilion Bordeaux France. Black Forest Inn, Stanhope with Janet after craft show at Waterloo Village. [There was a wine festival at Waterloo Village in connection with the autumn craft show.] $48. Wine list: “One of St. Émilion’s most consistent wines, Château Simard is slightly lighter than wines from the surrounding regions of Bordeaux. Soft, supple flavor with an abundance of fruitiness.” Aroma of fruit and berries, gaining intensity after 15 minutes in the glass, medium mouth feel, well balanced tannin and fruit, with tannin predominating, 15 to 20 second finish. Excellent with trout and beef. 5*.

I don't think I've even seen the wine since that September day, but the note brought back a wondeful memory of a perfect day Janet and I shared. The 1985 showed less tannin (except in the early going) than the 1986, but both had the lovely soft fruit that grew in intensity for several minutes in the glass.

The wine steward decanted the 1985 before I could stop him; I wonder how it would have fared had I been quicker off the mark.

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Bob Ross » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:26 pm

"Traditionally, I have always eschewed restaurant dining in favour of cooking at home from scratch."

Paul, my life experience has been different, at least since I left the farm in my late teens. For many years, it was a great treat to dine out and for business reasons and time reasons, that was our standard operating principle.

Friends in Italy always told me though that eating in restaurants was never as good as eating at home -- it seemed so hard to believe since we love Italy so much, in large measure because of the wonderful food.

But, over the past few years -- particularly with the help of folks on FLDG -- my cooking has improved so much, I've started to agree. It sure would have been true for the simple steak/potato/salad meal we shared two nights ago -- even though Morton's did a fine job.

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Covert » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:09 pm

Bob Ross wrote: I was really surprised to find this entry from the a few months after I started to drink wine seriously.

[i]9/16/96 1986 Château Simard St. Émilion Bordeaux France. Black Forest Inn, Stanhope with Janet after craft show at Waterloo Village.


Bob, I had a similar fine restaurant experience with an '86 or '88 Simard (I'm pretty sure it was one of the two, but I can't remember which year) in a restaurant overlooking the Baltimore Bay, whatever it is called. I think some people might look down their noses at the property because of the somewhat contrived way in which they promote their wine, but I remember being very pleasantly surprised by it.

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Covert
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:37 pm

Gonna look for this one!!

http://www.cellarnotes.net/chateau_simard.html

Have to think that label looks familar!!
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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:47 pm

I've got a '90 Simard at home here. I think it cost something like $25 at the NH liquor store (and more like $40 at the local MA shops). We had one a couple of Christmas's ago and it was very enjoyable.

1990 Chateau Simard, St. Emilion. 13%abv, Decanted. dark inky color. At first overpowering tobacco, pencil aromas that mellow out in about an hour. Dinner was 3 hrs after opening and the taste was mellow, with dark fruit and tobacco. Med-long finish. This wine went quite well with beef.
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Mike Conner

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Re: WTN: 1985 Simard St. Emilion Bordeaux France.

by Mike Conner » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:31 am

Bob,

Simard was one Bordeaux that I sorta-kinda grew up on . . . the wines were released into the marketplace quite a few years after other Bordeaux, and usually at a reasonable price. Nothing extrordinary, but well worth the tariff. I see listings on Wine-Searcher for the '95 vintage priced from $21 to $35 per bottle.

So, it struck me as a little strange that the restaurant price of the '85 was that high . . . (especially since release retail price of the '85 was probably $15-$18 at most) . . . but we are talking storage for 10 years...

Anyway, the '82 Simard has passed my lips several times (none recently). A tasty wine but nothing that will keep you awake at night. Same of all the vintages I've had ('78, '79, '81, '82, '83, '86). Don't recall that I've had the '85, and we don't see the wine around here. Guess they end up in the NYC metro area or the left coast from the wine-searcher listings. A wine my uncle served a lot as it was relatively well priced, and had some age on it!

And, one more confirmation of the winemaker's philosophy of releasing his wines (from Pearson's Wine August 2005):

http://www.pearsonswine.com/print.php?sid=520

Thanks,

Mike


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