The other week, the Wine Media Guild hosted a Vertical Tasting of three chateaux from Bordeaux–a luncheon at Felidia‘s that began with a one-hour self-pour tasting of twelve wines, before everyone sat for lunch. For the first portion of the tasting, we sampled Chateau Angelus 2005-2008, Chateau Figeac 2001-2003 and 2006, and La Conseillante 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2005. With lunch, we drank Angelus-1990, 1995, 1998, and 2001; Figeac–1995 & 1998; and La Conseillante–1995 & 1998. And while there were plenty of beauties on the catwalk, there were a few that stood elegantly poised and stiletto’d above the rest.
Chateau La Conseillante 1998– vegetal with wood spice–aromatic tea leaves and green bell. bright fruit, in acid headlights, still fresh. horseradish. his name scratched in graphite.
Chateau Figeac 1998-baby’s breath laced with mother’s milk. flesh and spice. soft tannins underfoot. from the earth. tea leaf fused fresh dark fruit. the tip of her pencil broke as she wrote it.
Chateau Angelus 1998– roses. fresh mint on deep berry fruit. silky yet talc’d. acidity–starlight brilliant.
La Conseillante. Right Bank. Pomeral. Nicholas owned since 1871. Twelve hectares of land. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. Green vine management. Manual harvest. Added yeast. Aged in 80-100% new French oak and bottled 1.5 years after harvest.
A cold night
Beneath a full-mooned sky
They sat on a bank of violets
A gown of dark fruit glistening
A voice of softness and balance
He sang a song of tea
And licked harmony from his kiss
—La Conseillante 2005
Chateau Figeac. Graves de Saint-Emillion. Elevated sites with gravel that drains. 30% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon, 35% cabernet franc. Manual harvest and natural yeast. New oak and gravity. Granted Premier Grand Cru Classé B status in 1954.
A blackberry pie
On a sandalwood sill
And a fingered candy necklace
–Chateau Figeac 2005