Category Archives: Bordeaux

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé: Delicious Wines, Relative Values

There are delicious wines available from this region for a tiny fraction of the price of the top names. I had a chance recently to taste through wines from a representative sampling of these middle range Saint-Émilion producers, from both the 2010 and 2009 vintages. Both were strong vintages there, and virtually all are delicious, crowd pleasing wines. Lovers of Napa Cabs and Merlots will find themselves very much at home with these wines. And some of the best of this group are available for only $35 to $45 a bottle. Continue reading

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2010 Bordeaux: Quest for Values in Another Excellent Vintage

So given the rarefied prices for the wines presented here, does their quality and the drinking experience justify them? That’s not normally a question I ask at a high end wine tasting, but the highly attuned market mentality of Bordeaux requires one, I believe, to look at these products through that prism, more so than in the case of other regions’ wines. In other words, when it comes to evaluating Bordeaux these days, I find I have to rely not only on my sensory evaluation and tasting notes, but also spreadsheets I populate with market prices, my scores and my own specially designed logarithm for quantifying price to value ratios. Continue reading

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Fabulous 2009 Bordeaux: 2012 UGC Tasting

Bottom line: much of the hype for this vintage is, in my opinion, justified. The ripe fruit absorbed the oak treatments much better than the prior few years, and the sheer deliciousness and appealing nature of the vintage, from top to bottom, is pretty self evident. I don’t think it’s quite a top vintage for Sauternes, due to lower than ideal acidities, but it’s a very good one. For white and red Bordeaux, it doesn’t get much better than this. Continue reading

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Cabernet Sauvignon: A Question of Style

Cabernet Sauvignon is a major “gateway drug” into the joys of drinking wine. Some styles emphasize the rich black currant, cassis, plum and/or berry fruit and de-emphasize the grape’s huge tannins. It’s those very tannins that can help a Cab to age into something with even greater complexity and range of flavors but that often keep it from being something enjoyable to drink in the short term. Continue reading

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Mature Burgundies and Bordeaux at Gravity Wine Bar; Upcoming Donato Enoteca Italian Winetasting

Is there a better way to spend a Tuesday evening than sharing Burgundy and Bordeaux from great years with old buddies? I don’t think so. In honor of one of peripatetic, legendary wine offline host Jonathan Dinh’s rare visits our way these days, since he moved to Singapore a couple years ago, we gathered at Gravity for good food and some stellar wines from specific years. The Burgs hailed from the great Burgundy vintages of 1978, 1985, 1990, 1993 and 1996 (okay, so a ’91 crept in there too). The Bordeaux were products of the incredible years 1982 and 1989. And our lone Super Tuscan, which turned out to be my WOTN, was a 1993 Tignanello. Yeah, a memorable Tuesday alright. Continue reading

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50-year-old Wines at the 5th Floor to Celebrate a 5th Decade

We celebrated Sandy’s fifth decade at the Fifth Floor with a special menu that Executive Chef David Bazirgan came up with to pair with our wines. The food was creative and outstanding. Our wines were very good overall, and nothing was corked or faulty. As 1961 was not only a good year for people, but also an excellent year in Bordeaux, Barolo and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it was a treat to have a bottle of that vintage from each of those appellations, all of which were in remarkably good shape. In short, it was a memorable night, and a great celebration. Continue reading

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Lifetime Top Wines

To date, my top 15 wines, wines that I’ve rated 99 points or higher, are dominated by some of the world’s priciest first growth Bordeaux, rare vintage Madeira, and powerful, great Rhônes. There’s six Bordeaux, four vintage Madeiras, and three from the Rhône. There’s also one Napa Cab on the list–the ’93 Screaming Eagle–and a single Port, the exquisite 1994 Quinta do Noval Nacional. Continue reading

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