The Great Bordeaux Assemblage
In an undisclosed address deep in the heart of Temecula wine country the great Bordeaux assemblage occurred. Six pretty bottles lined all in a row awaited their fate with the palates of consumers, writers and photographers. Let the review commence. …
The beloved of the night had an admirable velvety soft body, enticing you with plum jam, tobacco, cedar and leather notes. As you released the glass from your lips it beckoned you back with its finish, refusing to let you forget its name: Chateau Saint Antoine, a 2009 Bordeaux Superieur. A delicious South African meat pie called Bobotie made by Karsten matched the wine as if that was its destiny.
When I think of Bordeaux wine I generally don’t think of whites, however we had a contender sashay past our council that had me rethinking that point; the 2009 Chateau Ballan-Larquette Blanc comprised of 50 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 50 percent Semillon. A bright and crisp little number that reminded me of my wife in a spaghetti strap dress in the summer: beautiful. Citrus notes of mandarin peel, pink grapefruit and lemongrass accompanied the subtle toasted oak that washed over your taste buds and filled your olfactories, leaving you with a short and tart finish. Spicy lime grilled shrimp along with some brie and crackers made by Scott did this wine true justice.
To my dear friend and confrere Todd who made an Irish stew; a working man’s stew for a working man’s wine was a most excellent choice. Even though the 2009 Chateau Legrand Verdus Bordeaux Superieur had no Tempranillo it still had what I call a dirty wine quality, and by dirty I am referring to a wine that has a nose of earth, moss and dirt. A plethora of spices, dark fruits, black licorice and cocoa rounded out this wine with a soft chewy body and finish.
When I think of merlot wine the last thing to come to mind is that it could be off-dry. The black plum, brown sugar and ripe dark fruits of the 2010 Chateau Couronneau Bordeaux Superieur lead you right into the soft and creamy body of this good-time wine, leaving a subtle tannic tactile sensation on your tongue and a dessert-like finish that lingers on. Ken soundly married it up with stuffed portabello mushrooms.
When Linda asked me what I would pair a 2010 Chateau Monet Bordeaux with I replied, “I’m going cheesy…literally.” A medium-bodied earthy wine that also has structured fruit compliments does quite well with strong bodied cheeses, and this was no exception. My selection of hard Dubliner, semi-soft fontina, and triple cream soft Le Delice de Bourgogne were crowd pleasers. Also matching the wine’s strength were triple ginger cookies, yum!
2010 Chateau La Croix de Roche Bordeaux Superieur Rouge. That’s a lot of name, but it matches well because it’s a wine that has a lot going on. Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec all lend their traits to a wine that is dark, and I mean sinisterly dark. Spice, mint, dark chocolate, bell pepper, smoked meat, leather and chai all blend into a symphony that can be identified within its nose and body. Something big needed to accompany this wine and Lisa pulled through nicely with her beef and vegetable ragout. A heavy stew whose flavors somehow didn’t blend in with but more like complimented this bottle of squeezed berries.
Contrary to popular belief work does occur at the wine councils, as you can see by the first image of this article. We all take what we do seriously and don’t take anything for granted. Doing what we do with each other, and for as long as we have we become a somewhat ragtag version of Ohana…family. We love what we do, we love who we’re with, and we love where we go.
You can view all images of the evening by clicking here.