Monday, 17 June 2013

Meyney 2003 - supreme value mid-range drinking

I just picked up half a case of this, best scores for the Chateau ever by Jancis. 

I've had it once and it was very very good. The 2010 is also staggeringly good already. But is already £45 a bottle here in UK.

Seems like quite a bit left around, at around £30 a bottle. 

I swapped it for a 15 minute speaking gig ten mins from home. Seemed like a better deal than the cash.

Here's what Jancis has to say: 

Ch Meyney 2003 St-Estèphe
13 Oct 2010 by JR
Date tasted01 Oct 2010
ProducerCh Meyney
When to drink2010 to 2020
Published13 Oct 2010
Dark crimson. Translucent and appetising and so delicate and ethereal! Quite exceptional. So lifted. Very well done, lots of fruit there. Even if not that much density. (Average group score: 16.8)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Good short summary of how the Cru Bourgeois system works

This from a Forbes food and wine writer, Katie Bell:

"The short history goes something like this: in 1932, the Bordeaux wine brokers designated 444 wines as Crus Bourgeois.

In 2003, the first official classification of the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc was established and included 247 châteaus out of 490 candidates. 

Several châteaus (excluded from the classification) deemed this as unfair. The classification was annulled in 2007 and then, lo and behold everyone came to some agreement on things and in 2009 a Crus Bourgeois du Médoc Official Selection process was implemented.

Now, in order to be designated as Cru Bourgeois a wine must be evaluated each year by a select panel. Some wines don’t make the cut, but they are welcome to try for the following year."

The full article is here.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Chateau De Pez 1959: Yes really, and yes still drinking well

If like me, you sometimes like wines that are past their fruit best, you might like this.

It's Chateau De Pez 1959. You couldn't tell from the label.

It's on 'tap' at the Sampler in London, for about £18 a glass.

Quite pricey, you might say. But when else would you have the chance to taste a 1959 Saint Estephe?

They have a Calon Segur of the same year there, which I am quite tempted by. But it's £180, which is a little steep. One day perhaps.

What was the Chateau De Pez 1959 like?

Well, I had a tiny glass of the 1985 Hermitage La Chapelle 1985 just before it (what a way to prepare the palate) and the Pez had more structure, and at least the same fruit.

But it had the Bordeaux backbone, the structure, the Cabernet Sauvignon spine that Rhone wines at age can't quite compete with, given my limited knowledge.

The expert chap in the shop tells me 1959 was a fabulous year, perhaps that's why it's still very drinkable.

It's the oldest red I've yet had, by about 11 years. Over the hill for some I'm sure, but I thought it was fabulous.

Bargain 2005 St Emilion: Croque Michotte, an organic gem

Good honest right bank quaffing
Sometimes you just want a hearty well-drinking rich Bordeaux.

I had this a couple of months back, when the weather was much colder. It went wonderfully with a rich beef and bean stew.

Perhaps not so much a summer red, given its power but the ripe fruit and low acidity (OK that's from the Wine Society blurb, my notes are not that good) might mean you could drink it before winter.

This wine is about £16 a bottle from the non-profit UK Wine Society. Decent value at that price, I'd say.

The 2005's are just starting to come into their own for me. Just beginning to drink well. 

What a year it will turn out to be. They say 2010 is going to be the best year in history for Bordeaux (better than 1870, 1945, 1961 or 1982). While we wait, the 2005's will do very nicely.

Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: An Aconcagua gem

This is a beautiful boutique wine from the Aconcagua valley in Chile.

It's what you might expect from a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Lots of character, delicious big bold fruit but eventually with a subtle complexity and length of finish I haven't always found in New World Wines.

It's become much much better in the 24 hours since I opened it.

In that time, somehow, a hint of age has crept in. It's become that much more structured and balanced.

At first the fruit and alchohol and American oal (I'm guessing) is quite over powering. I was at first a little disappointed.

But give it 12-24 hours and it smooths out a little, opens up and whilst you still get the oak on the nose, it's much less so on the palate. There are few tannins that I can detect.

I tasted this at Chilean wine tasting here in London a few months ago, and it was by far the top of the list of around a dozen boutique small vineyard Chilean wines.

But then I don't much like Merlot (top right bank Bordeaux aside!) so maybe that's just me.

The winery itself, pictured here, looks stunning. I am visiting Chile in October so may try to pay a visit.

They have even looked at their biodiversity footprint. Impressive stuff. 

This was about £14 per bottle from Roberson's wines in London, but I think I bought their last case, sorry.

Chilean wine has apparently one of the lowest pesticide "footprints" due to the growing conditions in at least some of the country. I can't wait to get back there.