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Bordeaux 2015 tasting in Napa

February seems both long ago, yet only recent, with both the rhythm of seasons and life partly frozen and confused by lockdowns. This tasting took place in Napa in February 2020. Writing in September 2020, in Melbourne, we remain in lockdown. In our city, this means being permitted only to travel up to 5 kilometres…Continue readingBordeaux 2015 tasting in Napa

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Wine Reviews

Château Capbern Saint-Estèphe 2015

We see so few Bordeaux wines in Australia that are from the left bank appellations of Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Margaux and Saint-Julien and are not a cru classé. This is a mistake, as with the improvements and price increases in Bordeaux, there is wonderful value in these villages at below cru classé level. This wine, from…Continue readingChâteau Capbern Saint-Estèphe 2015

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Château Cos Labory Saint-Estèphe 2003

2003 was a drought vintage in Bordeaux, and despite many of these wines being dismissed as a consequence, the vintage continues to provide very enjoyable drinking 16 years later. So some are wrong. Certainly, I would be a buyer of 2003s for current drinking. The 2003 Cos Labory has brooding aromatics of earth and cedar.…Continue readingChâteau Cos Labory Saint-Estèphe 2003

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Wine Reviews

Château Beau-Site Saint-Estèphe 1999

Good Bordeaux cru bourgeois lack the label prestige of the left bank cru classé, but on the evidence I have seen to date, they develop along similar lines in the cellar.  They therefore represent a smart and economical choice.   Here’s an example.  This wine – a Château Beau-Site from Saint-Estèphe – is quite delicious…Continue readingChâteau Beau-Site Saint-Estèphe 1999

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IMW Annual Bordeaux tasting – 2013 vintage

Held in Sydney by the Institute of Masters of Wine on the weekend, this was a first close local look at the 2013 vintage of Bordeaux. The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was, of course, rather dire. It saw a dismal spring, an early summer and catastrophic flowering. The vintage culminated with tropical weather at the…Continue readingIMW Annual Bordeaux tasting – 2013 vintage

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A couple of 2012 Bordeaux (Sénéjac and Lilian Ladouys) and an Orange merlot (Gartelmann)

It has been a quiet tasting week.  Nonetheless, a couple of mid priced Bordeaux from the 2012 vintage and a new release Orange merlot caught my interest.  Notes follow. Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc 2012The spell checker would have me call this Chateau Senegal, which I shall seek to avoid typing.  Oh, wait.  For its modest price, this…Continue readingA couple of 2012 Bordeaux (Sénéjac and Lilian Ladouys) and an Orange merlot (Gartelmann)

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Wine Reviews

Château Montrose 2001

Back at the (wine) desk after a few days off, I’ve been looking at a few new release Bordeaux.  But before I write those up, here is a delicious Château Montrose from the 2001 vintage.  As a left bank Bordeaux vintage, the 2001s were in the shadow of the 2000s, but time is proving this…Continue readingChâteau Montrose 2001

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Wine Reviews

Cos Labory Saint-Estèphe 2000

Cos Labory is a cru classé from Saint-Estèphe in Bordeaux that is seen infrequently on these shores.  This particular bottle from the outstanding 2000 vintage, provides further evidence of my practical theory that there is merit in buying almost any left bank Bordeaux (cru bourgeois and above that is) in the stellar vintages.  The aromatics…Continue readingCos Labory Saint-Estèphe 2000

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Montrose 1970

Reflecting on the 1970 Montrose, life’s not so bad sometimes.  The label was in great condition, as was the cork.  The wine completed the trilogy.  It has ethereal aromatics of tobacco, dried herbs, old cedar and blackcurrant.  The length is long and the palate the essence of old blackcurrant and cedar.  Frankly, it has few…Continue readingChateau Montrose 1970

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Beau-Site 2009

Chateau Beau-Site is a reliable cru bourgeois wine from the Saint-Estephe appellation in Bordeaux that I regularly buy.  The 2009 vintage is the best release yet that I have tasted from this label.  It has classic left bank Bordeaux aromatics of pencil lead and cloves.  The palate is quite structured, with medium length (and perhaps a…Continue readingChateau Beau-Site 2009

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Montrose 1982

The fill level was good.  The bottle appeared in good shape, a bit of gunk under the capsule, but not too bad.  Would the cork survive opening or break?  No, it opened cleanly – the French always seem to have those extra long corks that hold up to age … The moment of truth.  A…Continue readingChateau Montrose 1982

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Two good cabernets and a shadow

Every now and then a blind tasting just knocks your socks off, and teaches you something too.  In this case, it was helpful to learn that a “super premium” label that I have recently had doubts about gave rise to the same doubts when tasted blind, and two prestigious labels that I am very partial…Continue readingTwo good cabernets and a shadow