Wine Talk

Snooth User: MW45

MWW

Posted by MW45, Apr 6, 2015.

I am a life long wine enthusiast with a preference for Bordeaux, particularly if consumed at maturity. I do enjoy wines from other parts of the world but find I like the ones that have a claret style best. I dislike CA/domestic  fruit bombs that seem so prevalent and popular in the U S.

My bias toward Bordeaux was probably set when a friend of mine from college shared some of the great 1st growths from his cellar, and others also. We shared 1945s, 47s, 50s,55s, 61s,66s ,70s, 75s as well as 1920 vintage ports. I could never afford those wines but was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to partake of such purely sensual delights.

I buy young highly rated, 92+, Bordeaux at under $40 with the thought of keeping them up to 10 years before drinking. I try them occasionally along the way to try to catch them at their peak and decide if I need to buy more.   

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Replies

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Reply by EMark, Apr 6, 2015.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum, MW.  There is a dearth of commentary here on Bordeaux wines and, so, we look forward to hearing about and learning from your discoveries. 

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Reply by GregT, Apr 6, 2015.

"I buy young highly rated, 92+, Bordeaux at under $40 with the thought of keeping them up to 10 years before drinking. I try them occasionally along the way to try to catch them at their peak and decide if I need to buy more."

Me too! Because if it isn't highly rated it probably isn't good. I would say go even higher. 92 is OK, but 94 is awesome! If you ever get to try some of those, your life will change.

And forget about California. Even if they're highly rated, most of the wines usually aren't very good.

Welcome!

Good to have some fellow travelers!

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 7, 2015.

Welcome MW,

You sound like my kind of guy!  Except that I can't afford much of that higher-end Bordeaux.

The government liquor stores in BC buy huge quantities of Bordeaux and have a release event every year.  The prices for some of it are apparently something of a bargain.  I've heard of people from Washington coming up to get some that they have difficulty finding or at better prices.

My boss has a friend that's beyond wealthy and he occasionally receives something special.  I attended his wedding which took place at this guy's house and he gave me some '82 Bordeaux (small glass) and wouldn't tell me what it was!  It was like heaven though.

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Reply by GregT, Apr 7, 2015.

Yeah but was it highly rated? What if you accidentally liked it and found out it was 1982 Pontet-Canet from Pauillac, which only got 90 points from WS or LaGrange, which only got 89 points?!

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

Ratings are somewhat subjective but it is a starting point for me along with any tasting notes I can find. Anyone with the $ can buy expensive wine but a lot of my enjoyment from wine comes from finding gems at reasonable prices that excel over the more expensive ones in blind tasting. I may be fooling myself but I believe the nose, after proper decanting and swirling, reveals what the wine will be like at maturity thus becoming a guide to my value purchases.

I did buy some 2010 Pomerol rated 92-96 at $35. I believe it may have the greatest promise over 15-20 years, cellared, from among my meager collection, aside from a few 2nd growths. I will be 70 this year so am not planning on waiting that long. If blessed for another 3-5 years of life, I plan to consume with great food, friends and family.

WINE IS GOOD FOR WOMEN WHEN MEN DRINK IT-DRINK UP GENTELMEN !  

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

Forgot to mention that other than a few 09 Bordeaux, and 5 bottles of 07 Col Solare, all my collection is 2010 Bordeaux due to the fact that it was a classic vintage with bountiful production allowing for some real bargain finds.   

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Reply by EMark, Apr 7, 2015.

 I will be 70 this year 

Hallelujah!  Somebody older than me.

I plan to consume with great food, friends and family.

Sounds similar to the plan that I have had in place for the last 40-something years.  I can assure you, MW, it works well.  Actually, I have to confess, I am often ready to pair with, pretty much, any kind of food--and, if I happen to be alone, then there's more wine for me.   :-)

 

As you might be able to tell, MW, many of us, here, don't take things too seriously.  However, your comments on the wines that you are drinking will be read with great interest.

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

Thanks EMark.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Apr 7, 2015.

I've enjoyed a few Bordeaux wines but I haven't tried anything over $100 (in a restaurant) yet from this region.  I hope to enjoy a few from Bordeaux and Burgundy during the last few weeks of April on our Viking River Cruise down the Rhone and Saone rivers though.   Sometimes I have found Bordeaux wines a little flat in the finish, but not in a bad way.  Maybe it was the food pairing or something.  

My favorite wine of all are the high-end cabs from Napa.  I would take those over the French wines I have tasted so far....

 

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

I also like the high end Napa Cabs, but as a personal preference, I usually prefer a Bordeaux in the same price range, due probably to a perceived greater amount of what I consider to be finesse among Bordeaux. Typically Bordeaux are blends of Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc certainly rendering them less bold and full bodied. You raise a very good point  , in that a CA Cab will probably hold up on the palate with heavier and spicier food fare. Some foods and cheeses cover up that lovely floral and earthy finish a good Bordeaux may possess.

Lightly seasoned grilled lamb or tenderloin sprinkled lightly with slightly sautéed chopped garlic is my favorite fare with a quality Bordeaux. A CA Cab I enjoy with a more  highly seasoned steak.

I am researching 2012 Napa cabs and intend to stock a few as they are getting rave reviews. Keenan, Hall, Ramey, and some of the claret style blends are among my favorites.

Enjoy!     .    

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Reply by Really Big Al, Apr 7, 2015.

Yes, seasoned steak with a Cabernet Sauvignon.  I also would prefer a nice lamb or perhaps even a pork chop with a Bordeaux wine.  I wonder what wine pairs well with escargot?  Not that I would try it.

Try a few Napa / Somona cabs from Barnette and Repris.  I also like Silver Oak but they can be pretty expensive.  

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

OH YEA- The Barnett Rattlesnake Hill is an absolutely sensuous experience. Two years ago my boss gave me 6 bottles since he and his wife preferred Pinot style wines. Lucky me.

Had a 94 Dominus last Sat that my sisters boss gave her. I thought it may be over the hill but it was elegant and had a delicate long finish. He has over a million.$ worth in his cellar and is very generous. Every XMAS he gives me a Lafitte or Latour. Still hasn't sprung for one of his Petrus. HA

I love escargot with a lot of garlic and butter/wine sauce. I enjoyed a BV Private Reserve with the last escargot I had.

Thanks for renewing my interest in some good CA Cabs. Over the years I've really enjoyed Stags Leap, Joseph Phelps, BV and Mondavi reserve releases etc.. I have sworn off CA and domestic Merlot as they are ,,to me, fruit bombs. For Merlot Ill stick with Pomerol, St Emilion   and other claret style blends. The Col Solare I have, 07, is holding up very nicely and still needs a couple of hours decanted. to open up . 

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Reply by MW45, Apr 7, 2015.

Big Al, be sure to try the Montrachet and Mersault on your trip although sometimes they are more expensive in France than stateside. If used to CA Chardonnay, a medium cheese like 1 year Mancheco  or a good shellfish dish.

 

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Reply by EMark, Apr 8, 2015.

MW, you mentioned Keenan above.  I have been one of their apostles for quite a few years because I believe they are (1) good and (2) fairly priced (which means that I can afford them).  I am bringing this up because, while you say you do not care for CA Merlot, I might suggest that you check out a Keenan version.  Keenan has two Merlot bottlings:  Napa Valley and Carneros.  I generally prefer the Napa Valley bottling.  Most of its fruit comes from the Keenan Estate Vineyard on Spring Mountain.  So, it is quite tannic and has the heft of a Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is not, particularly, fruity.  To me the Carneros bottling is not as consistent.

I will also speak up for Merlot from Washington.  One of my good wine experiences in the last few months was the Uriah bottling from Spring Valley Winery in Walla Walla.  Again, more CS-like than the wimpy style that almost killed domestic Merlot.

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Reply by MW45, Apr 8, 2015.

Thanks EMark. I am a fan of Kennan so will on your recommendation try their Merlot. I know WA state produces some award winning Merlot but the ones I've had that I liked were upwards of $80+/bottle. I am reluctant to experiment at that level but buy a 2005 Pomerol or Margaux  with enough age to have characteristics of the  more mature Bordeaux that I favor. If you have any recommendations at $40-$50 or less that you think would appeal to me, I will try some domestic Merlot. I do need to branch out and find some variety now that I am well stocked with Bordeaux selection although I intend to buy them when I find good value. Each year in Jan after holidays, Total Wines has a 30% off old world wines under $50 so some of the excellent Bordeaux can be had at really good value. 

I will look for the Spring Valley in the Dallas area.

Thanks again.

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 9, 2015.

MW,

I don't understand when you say, "but buy a 2005 Pom or Marg with enough age,,,".  Wouldn't it be ten years old?  If you can buy a 2005 of either of those (or any Bordeaux), then you must be a rare breed around where you live.  2005 was the last great vintage and it's difficult to find.  Also, I'm confused that you will buy a Pomerol or Margaux vs. $80 for a Washington wine.  There's a massive disparity there! 

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Reply by MW45, Apr 9, 2015.

Thanks DVOGLER. I say that because those Bordeaux are my personal favorites vs me paying that much for a wine I'm not familiar with or have not tasted before. There is very good availability of 2005 Bordeaux around Dallas under $100 and a few good ones under $50. Also, 2010 being a great vintage, 09 very good, there are many bargains still available. A local wine boutique has a 2010 Lalande De Pomerol and a 2010 ST Emilion for $20 that drinks beautifully after 3-4 hours of decanting. He has ordered another case for delivery today. I've already bought a case and a half of the Pomerol but at that price/quality I'm drinking it up pretty rapidly and giving friends some.

One of the large wine store chains with HQ in Houston has vast inventories  of virtually all vintage Bordeaux but keep them properly stored in their main warehouse and not sitting in a store in heat and light. they do release as they sell.  I was in their store yesterday and saw at least a dozen 2005s, most in the $75-$100 range.

Enjoy.   

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Reply by MW45, Apr 9, 2015.

My girlfriend thanks you all for getting me to diversify and try some other wines. I am having a 2012 Titus Cab tonight after a couple of hours decanting with  lightly marinated pork chops and garlic sauce. 

I've tasted the Titus and believe it will deliver at $35. 

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Reply by EMark, Apr 9, 2015.

MW, I have found that Titus Cabs have yielded a very good return on my investments.

FYI, winemaker Phillip Titus has been the winemaker at Chappellet since 1990.

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Reply by GregT, Apr 10, 2015.

And Chappellet puts out very good wine at all price points. At the lowest end, the Mountain Cuvee beats anything from Bordeaux at its price point. At the mid and higher ends there's competition.

In the 1990s, Bordeaux had plenty of wine to compete, but they've increased their prices dramatically and as they say a rising tide lifts all boats, so the wines that should be $25 are now $40 or more. Something like Cantemerle, which I used to buy for $18, is $45 for the 2010. Easy pass. The brett bomb Gruard Larose, which not long ago maxed out at $50 for older vintages, is now $100 for the 2010. Another easy pass. I feel like I should take the EZPass transponder from my windshield and carry it into wine stores.

.

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