Friday, September 2, 2011

Chateau-Wine Estate-Bordeaux-Burgundy And Mr. Boyer Quickens My Interest

Chateau Pesquie 2004 Quintessence , $22.99, 92 points, is probably a good choice in trying French Red Wine, a Syrah-Grenache blend (Ventoux appellation) having a deep red-purple color , a fragrant aroma, with a fair amount of fruit and spice; the finish is long and sweet-spice. Pesquie is a wine for the American palate (Me), and Robert Parker scored this wine 91 points, but the 2005 he scored  the Quintessence 93 points. So, you can't go wrong with that one, and if you find the price in the vicinity of $20.00-$25.00, you'll be a "happy camper".

Chateau Coufran 2005 Merlot, $20.17-$32.99, 88 points, from the Haut-Medoc appellation, is an earthy wine  of leather and black fruit on the nose and on the palate. Wine Enthusiast scored this wine 93 points (He's the expert), but my "young" palate was a bit over-whelmed, and since I bought two bottles, I'll try this again next year. My advice is, if you are like me, if you find this Merlot for the lower price-point, experiment, let me know what you think, but if the "earth-tones" are too much for you, I'd go with the "Bad-Boy" Bordeaux (Merlot) or the Quintessence.

Laurent Tribut Grands Vins DE Bourgone 2009 Chablis, $21.24-$24.99, 89 points, is clean, crisp, and, oh so Chablis, like a transparent jade jewel in a glass, light aroma of citrus, generous minerality and acidity: pairs nicely with scallops and haddock, light salad, or alone.


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  1. Dear Sir,

    As always, a very well written review of important wines. Why are they important? Because they're French wines, which is undeniably the epicenter of wine and haut cuisine. But I must say that French wine can be an acquired taste, kind of like Scotch or coffee. I've always wondered why we force ourselves to acclimate our palates to something that initially is off-putting but in the case of French wine, the rewards are great.

    The US and other regions are capable of making fine wine to be sure, but they rarely give everything a grape is capable of giving. And where grapes are grown, how the vines are tended, how they are processed and ultimately find their way into a bottle, matters. Once you taste a 100 point mature Bordeaux, everything you understand about wine and everything you've always wanted to know about wine will come together for you, at that moment, with startling clarity. There is nothing like it on earth and it will ruin your life for a while because you will be in search of similar illumination for some time. The same is not true of a 100 point wine from any other region.

    I am pleased that you would check this out and remember that many of the better wines from Bordeaux need cellar time. The 2005 was a great vintage but I wouldn't approach a Left Bank Bordeaux for another three or four years yet and a Classified Bordeaux from a great vintage often needs 12 years or more of cellar time. If the tannins in the Haut-Médoc ate your lunch it is because it was too soon to drink.

    With time in a bottle (no Jim Croce pun inteded), the tannins attach themselves to the phenolic compounds present in the wine (mostly color pigments) and eventually get so heavy that they fall out of solution (sink to the bottom of the bottle), which is why older wines will have sediment or particles in the bottom of the bottle (although sediment can also be from a non-filtered or non-fined wine). Without the initial presence of tannins, the wine would not have enough structure to age because tannins are anti-oxidants and we know that oxygen is the enemy of wine. So without getting crazy with scientific junk, this is essentially how Bordeaux develops its complexity and there is just no other way to accomplish this.

    It's probably difficult to find older vintages at retail in NH and I don't know if your state laws allow wine to be shipped in from other states but that's an option to find Bordeaux in its perfect drinking window. There are a lot of sources to find older vintages on the internet but always find a reputable merchant because there are scams out there too. Remember if it seems too good to be true . . .

    I hope you continue to check out wine from France because you really have a good palate and knowledge so I know you will someday come to appreciate these treasures. I understand that like any wine region, France makes its share of plonk too, which not difficult to find in the US, but with careful selection you will find the good ones.

    Thanks again for your ever-excellent reviews.

    Your Friend,


  2. Thanks David, this is French wine 101 for me and any of my readers, especially those who (Like Me) feel like Frodo Baggins Treking his way to the monetary Mount Doom of French Wine Futures.
    What a fine statement you've penned, one I'll review again and again.
    I don't know how many of my readers are interested, but David (David Boyer's a list of approachable French wines, all of which I have copied for a reference.
    And as anyone can "see" is a wealth of information.