Last night I attended the Strictly Bordeaux wine tasting at Bacchus, a wine store on the Upper West Side. Perhaps akin to speed dating, this event armed us with a Riedel Crystal Stem and one hour to revel in the cellar tasting room where we roamed from table to table, sampling their selection of twelve Bordeaux wines.
Beginning with the whites, I swirled a few scant mouthfuls of Chateau Greteau Medeville Blanc, which had a little spice on the nose, tart citrus (grapefruit) on the palate and a smooth mineral finish–a good deal at $13.99. The Chateau Tour de Goupin, an organic wine, possessed minerality on the nose and palate, and citrus in the mouth, with perhaps a touch of anise. This was also nicely priced at $12.99.
The rosé, Chateau la Mouliniere, was unfortunately not that interesting (and I am a big fan)–strawberry with a mineral, fruit finish, but small mouthed, and lacking lustre.
The reds were all over the place, some dull, others needing to age for a few years, like the Frank Phelan, Saint Estephe, 2004. Deep red and earthy with a bit of wet leaves on the nose, this wine possessed dark fruit and a bit of spice on the palate, but it was also green. Not grassy green, but unripe. I suspect that in a few years, this will age to become a more sophisticated wine.
My big regret of the night was not running straight for the Chateau Cantemerle Grand Cru, 2004, from the Haute-Merdoc region, because by the time I’d reached the bottle, it’d been open for two hours and was past it’s prime. (Lesson learned, sprint for the good stuff first.) With an earthy bouquet, this wine expressed mushrooms on the nose, and oak and leather on the palate, but the finish was disappointingly tart. Not extremely acidic, but enough to inform that this wine had exited stage-left for the night. Perhaps it needs to age for a few years, but I did overhear others expressing disappointment upon re-tasting at the end of the night.
The biggest surprise was the Chateau Menota Sauternes, 2003, made from fruit that has achieved “noble rot.” Not generally a fan of dessert wines, I found this full of pineapple, passionfruit, and tropical fruits, thick and sweet, but pleasant, with a touch of spearmint at the end.
Overall, this was an interesting event. Not mind-blowing nor intoxicating, but worth the $15 paid in advance. After an hour I walked out the door, my senses slightly stimulated, into the balmy summer night.
[Where: 2056 Broadway, New York, NY 10023]