Monday, April 12, 2010

In a Bordeaux State of Mind

OK, so writing up all those notes on the young, brash 2009's really gave me a hankerin' for some Bordeaux with a little bottle age, if for no other reason than to restore my faith in the fact that they really do reward patience and come around. Drinking them too young is a shame, too old even more so. Yeah, Bordeaux takes a bit of a beating, not exactly trendy or hot in the age of Txakoli and Mencia to name a few, it's become a little dated, sort of like your father's Oldsmobile. Sure, the very top wines have truly priced themselves out of the reach of mere mortals, and so we don't or can't really relate to them anymore. But there are a lot of reasonably priced wines made in Bordeaux, and when you hit them just right (and the window is generally pretty wide open in the 10-20 year range for good quality, mid-priced Bordeaux from a decent vintage) they are truly special wines. They are also relatively sturdy in relation to their nervy and finicky Burgundian counterparts, and made in copious quantities by comparison.

Since Kath had a couple of tenderloins of Pork rubbed with garlic, rosemary, Dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper ready to go, along with wild rice, asparagus et une salade verte ready to go,  I decided to head to the cellar for something with some bottle age for a little Bistro night. Nothing crazy, it's Monday after all (retailers weekend!) and settled on a bottle of 1989 Tertre du Rotebouef, Grand Cru Saint Emilion. I really didn't have a clue of how it would be drinking at 20+ years of age, but have had great pleasure in drinking some of the less pricey wines from 88-89-90 vintage that I put down over the years. The answer was a resounding delicious! And just to clarify, although it was only $35.99 when I bought it, that wasn't cheap back in 1990 (the sticker is still on the bottle!). Hindsight is proof of what a great buy it turned out to be! 

Still showing a beautiful color, deep ruby/garnet, no signs of fading. On the nose it has a lovely sweet wine-y red cherry fruit, a hint of charry wood, not oaky at all, but integrated and part of the whole, a bit of earth, and a totally mouth filling, supple, warm richness on the palate. The current  price for this wine is now ranging from $235 at Hart Davis to $525 at Mt Carmel in Connecticut, Park Ave in NY and 20/20 in LA - I should have sold it! But buying these younger, unknown wines (at that time), at value prices is really what it's all about for me. Enjoying it with a simple family dinner without too much guilt is really why I bought it in the first place. 

Note to self: buy some inexpensive 2009's to drink, yes it's hard to say, when I am 70!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds awesome! I was lucky enough to buy some 2000's on the lower end of the scale. Here's to drinking them in a decade and having a similar experience to yours. Chin-chin!