Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Chateau Picque Caillou 2005 (Pessac-Leognan)

This Chateau Picque Caillou 2005 from the UK's Wine Society is a decent buy at £18 per bottle if you are a Society member.

It's from a region of the Medoc, Pessac-Leognan, that I'm just starting to explore.

Pessac-Leognan seems to combine a spiciness with a smoothness that's quite surprising as a combination.

The 2005 is still of course, very young. I can see it aging very well.

It has a very compelling, rich and long finish that makes it go well with the oyster mushrooms with garlic and chilli I just cooked as an accompaniment. At £18 a bottle, it's worth a punt.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Chateau de Chantegrive 2000: A lovely bargain from the Graves

Back in 2003 Parker said of this wine: "The excellent 2000 displays aromas of scorched earth, ripe black cherry and currant fruit, tobacco, and cigar smoke. Ripe, medium-bodied, soft, and attractive, it will be drinkable young and last until 2012."

He gave it an 88. I'd give it an 86 personally. But what do I know?

It's certainly still going strong. A friend of mine had this bottle direct from the Chateau and had it well stored for a number of years.

It saw light of day this week, and whilst I didn't get the scorched earth part, the black cherry and hint of smoke, with a certain softness, means it is well worth a try.

It's not so easy to get though, according to wine-searcher.
However, if you can pick it up for less than £20-25, it qualifies as a bit of gem. It has aged well so far.

An evening to remember at Le Lion D'or, Margaux, 30 September 2011

I would point out that there were five of us...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Château Picard 2005, Saint-Estèphe: A genuine value gem

At £14.95 you'll find it hard to beat Château Picard, 2005, Saint-Estèphe from the UK's Wine Society, for sheer value.

Yes it's still very young, but it is undoubtedly developing wonderfully.

Spicy, with dark berry character and classic Saint-Estèphe minerality, it's also deliciously fruity with a long finish.

The Wine Society describes it thus:

"Still young and spicy on the nose, with marked freshness from majority cabernet, this is broachable now if decanted but will probably start to show at its best after another two or three years in bottle. 2010–2022."

It's clearly exceptional value, given the quality of the year. Highly recomended. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A guide to good value 2009 Bordeaux

 2009 was a year for high quality Saint-Estèphe wines, due, as usual, to the combination favourable weather conditions and geographical location of that region of the left bank of Bordeaux.

That's according to this article by Panos Kakaviatos, who says that these are the good value 2009 Cru Bourgeois to keep an eye out for:

Recommended Crus Bourgeois:
In its own class: Château Sociando-Mallet (Haut-Médoc)

Other excellent wines:

Château Bernadotte (Haut-Médoc)
Château Le Boscq (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Chasse-Spleen (Moulis)
Château Clauzet (Saint-Estèphe)
Château de Gironville (Haut-Médoc)
Château Haut-Bages Monpelou (Pauillac)
Château Haut-Marbuzet (Saint-Estèphe)
Château La Haye (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Le Crock (Saint-Estèphe)
Château de Pez (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Lilian Ladouys (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Pibran (Pauillac)
Château Pontac-Lynch (Margaux)
Château Poujeaux (Moulis)
Château Phélan Ségur (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Preuillac (Médoc)

Top three in a blind tasting were apparently: "Château La Haye (about $30 retail) in first place, Château Clauzet ($20 retail) in second and Château Haut-Marbuzet ($45) third."

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cantemerle 2000: A good buy, but only at the right price

I tried the 2000 for I think, the first time last night with a friend.

We overpaid for it, in London's Planet of the Grapes wine bar (fair enough in a way; they have to make a living).

They charge £60 for it. Wine websites have it for around £40.

Fine and Rare has it for £32, before tax.

At the price we paid, I was a little disappointed.

The aged fruit taste was wonderful, and there was a hint of minerality and some lovely complexity, but it just didn't stick to the palate as I would have liked.

If you can get this for £30-40 a bottle, and can let it breathe (which may have been our problem, as it only got 30 minutes of breathing before we drank half of it), then I'd say it's worth it.

I'll keep an eye out for a bargain case of this. But at the plus £50 price range, when you can get a 2003 Gloria St Julien at less than £50, I'd say one could do a little better in terms of value elsewhere.