I’ve accomplished enough in my life to say I’ve lived a good life. One of these accomplishments (leave your notions of prestige at this particular websites ISP’s door) is that I have tasted great Bordeaux for free. Bordeaux with good company. Bordeaux with a rather obedient canine that sat among us, seemingly above all of our human antics. Actually, the canine looked at us with some sense of disappointment, like he had other meetings that were far more important than being with us. But that hardly spoiled his character; he took to petting and patting on the forehead with great humility.
How many of us can say that about ourselves?
Every tasting needs a good canine to keep a watchful over us. It only makes sense. EXCEPT for all those people who insist on bringing in their Pomeranians into the tasting room. You know who you are, and you know your dog serves no purpose other than being a decoration.
Like your finest diamond earrings, please leave your Pomeranian (poodles, too) at home. Your home is where they belong. Besides, have you ever been to a Paso Robbles tasting room? In the skies, there be owls.
One very important premise, or angle, if you will, of this blog (Oh, do I detest the word) is that I don’t have the means of tasting fine wine. I, however, do not feel sorry for this apparent impediment. The sort of colonic journey of the frequent fifteen to twenty dollar range wines is vast and full of innumerable surprises and delights. I don’t need two-hundred dollar bottles to keep me grounded and happy when I can just as well be swept of my feet by a solid wine at a bargain price of $21.99 like that one Disney princess with the blue dress –– where she is whisked away into the dark, sensual, cloak of the film’s end credits.
But I do leap upon opportunities when they present themselves. Especially when they are free. This decree had gotten the better of me in my college years, but I am alive, so it must be a good enough credo.
K&L Merchants here in Los Angeles recently put on a great tasting of some truly fascinating wines I would otherwise never have access to. Not all of the wines were out of my budget, however.
One interesting discovery of the evening is that a high price tag is in no way indicative of the actual amount of enjoyment you can get from your bottle. This is apparent to anyone who has put down some hard cash on some serious glass. But, it is nice being reassured that I’m drinking some fine wine at the bottom of the crimson pool that is the wine industry.
Do not misconstrue the above statement: buy expensive wine. Buy the living hell out of it. Every vintner that loves their wine and puts their heart and soul into each vintage deserve every last penny. And then some. I’d pay the exorbitant prices myself if I could. But that’s hardly up to me.
What’s the statement?
“If you’ve got it,
Put on your Birthday suit.”
Yes. That works.
The first wine showcased was the 2011 Chasse-Spleen Blanc, Moulis. This may very well be the first white wine that has thoroughly agreed with me. To anyone who knows me personally, this is a rather sizable complement.
The best wine? Well, yes, it was the 2005 les Forts de Latour. But whether or not the wine was worth the $250 price point is something more of a metaphysical inquisition, something I have not the pedigree to justly answer succinctly.
2011 Château Chasse-Spleen Blanc – 24.99 WORTHY
A grassy and light nose with a good hit of melon.
A really crisp finish. Very bright and light. It has a shocking affect on the tongue. Really sturdy, with a clean finish. Snappy and satisfying. One of the better whites I can honestly say I’ve had. Very lip-smacking and juicy without feeling like it’s compensating for anything.
2010 Château Belair Saint-Georges –– 24.99 Worthy
Meat and grass in the nose, with a light dark spice. Tannic, heavy and full with a solid mouth feel. Packs a deep flavor without any subtle floor in which to explore. Straight-forward, very “new world,” whatever the in hell that means. But it seems right to classify it as such.
2010 Château Certan de May –– 139.99 Worthy
A very nose-opening smell that hinted of spring leaf. A taste of aged, bright sugars that melded with twee nuances of citrus peels and dry leaf. This is a delicate wine that begged for further exploring other than the single glass I got. If anything, the flavors seemed to be reserved.
2010 Château Lynch-Bages –– 189.99 WORTHY
A very discreet nose consisting of wood an apple. Lovely.
A very silky mouth feel. Small bite of tannin that creeps in after a moment. Lychee fruit. Dry, but snappy and full of life. A terrific wine that may have room to grow.
2009 Château Brown 39.99 WORTHY
Sweet-sharp nose, like a knife of lovely in the nostril.
Race-y like Clinton was in college; a little fruity, direct and pretty damn fun. Direct, cucumber. Ever-changing. A tingling affect in the mouth. Very interesting study.
2005 Les Forts de Latour –– 249.99 WORTHY
A deep nose that really tries to hold back its deep woods finish.
Concentrated, without the heat. You get a sense of blueberry being tossed in the flavors. A great deal of balance…but depth? The wine drinks far too well. You could spends weeks with endless glasses. A good, clean time.
2004 Château Malescasse –– 19.99 SKIP IT
Deep wood nose. Flutters of dark wood were present.
Very dark on the tongue and back of the throat. Really presented a cherry-mulch kind of attack. Can’t say the mouth feel or finish was fulfilling, but this is a robust wine that can deliver the punch, if you are in such a need for one. It’s boldness, a terrific signifier of a brooding Northern France wine.