On a frigid night following one of the gazillion God forsaken snowstorms that we’ve had thus far, I headed downtown for La Soirée des Grands Cru–a lux goods sponsored fine wine event. At 82 Mercer, wearers of gold bands (including early access ticket holders and press) arrived early to peruse the spacious warehouse floor, dark and slightly underground, and lined with tables showcasing 17 young chateau owners from Bordeaux.
Director Jean-Michel Laporte (pictured above) poured Château La Conseillante from Pomerol. Lucky me, earlier in the afternoon, I’d attended the Wine Media Guild’s Bordeaux Luncheon, featuring three chateaux, including La Conseillante, but there’ll be more about that later. At 82 Mercer, Jean-Michel poured the 2006–a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc–with notes of baked plums, blackberries, a touch of tobacco, and cedar box spice. And though I really enjoyed tasting through the years at lunch, the 06 was not my personal favorite.
Mrs. Lise Latrille, the manager at Château Prieuré-Lichine, poured at her table, a 4th Classified Growth Bordeaux from Margaux with 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Big and warm on the nose with fruit–aromas structurally supported by rustic bramble, earth smoke and spice. Not seamless but textured like raw silk with a nice spicy bite on the finish. Listed at $48.99, it’s not a bottle that’ll bust the bank.
Not that many of the attendees need worry about picking coins from the splintered piggy bank. Well-heeled and dressed but unintimidated by the storm and cold, some penciled notes while others sipped and socialized. For their purchasing pleasure, Le Dû’s Wines sold on the spot, offering 15% off each case of any mixed and matched wines.
Representing Château Lafon-Rochet, the son of the owner, Basile Tesseron (pictured above) poured a 2001 and 2005. Currently practicing organic and in the process of becoming a biodynamic vineyard, which Basile said would take a few years, Lafon-Rochet is a 45 hectare estate in Saint Estephe on the Left Bank. 50 percent Merlot, 45% CS, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2001 vintage is vegetal with notes on the nose of spicy green peppers cooked. On the palate, the fruit jumps forward, accompanied by an earthy spiciness and lovely acidity that’s well integrated with its tannins on the finish. The 2005, with 55% CS and 40% Merlot, offers spicy notes that titillate draped in silky tannins that show all the right curves. Here too, the acidity shows promise, and for $55.99, one could cellar this baby for a few years.
Cheers to La Soirée des Grands Cru and all their sponsors for organizing such a delectable event.