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Château Cantemerle Les Allées de Cantemerle 2010

Château Cantemerle Les Allées de Cantemerle 2010

Another wine tasted in Transylvania at the ROVINHUD wine show in Timișoara. Les Allées de Cantemerle is the second wine of Château Cantemerle, as such it's a good value. The 2010 is endowed with a classic profile of cassis, black cherries, blueberries, cedar, and an alluring top note of freshly turned soil. It's still youthful, medium-bodied, and bright. There is perhaps a touch of astringency that gives way to cedar and bay leaf. The finish is a tad short, my only criticism of this otherwise charming Bordeaux. Sample Château Cantemerle 9.0 Points...

Château Lafite Rothschild 1999

Château Lafite Rothschild 1999

The 1999 Lafite Rothschild, is a ruby-hued beauty with a translucent rim—this bottle was incredibly fresh and vibrant on opening. Initially, seemingly more red fruit-driven, the nose evolved into a darker expression with time in the glass. Nuanced aromas of loamy earth, rose petal, black currant, and pencil shavings led into a wine that, while restrained and elegant, boasted ample sweetness at its core. Ultra-fine, polished tannins gave way to a medium-plus finish that culminated in bay leaf, cigar box, and spice. Château Lafite Rothschild 9.4 Points ...

Château Le Crock Saint-Estèphe 2011

Château Le Crock Saint-Estèphe 2011

A nicely-styled Saint-Estephe—from the Cuvelier family, owners of Leoville Poyferre—in a modest vintage year. The 2011 Château Le Crock opens with lush, inviting aromas of black currant, smoky black cherries, pen ink, leather, and earth. There are no hard edges on the palate, black fruit luxuriates against a framework of well-structured tannins, moderate acidity, and an unexpected yet welcome dusting of creosote that emerges on the finish, co-mingling with cedar and dried herbs. 13.5% ABV | Sample Château Le Crock 9.0 Points...

Clos du Jaugueyron Haut-Médoc 2012

Clos du Jaugueyron Haut-Médoc 2012

The first impression is of minerality with black currents, blackberries, forest floor and sweet spice firmly seated beneath a fine layer of chalkboard dust. The 2012 Clos du Jaugueyron Haut-Medoc is slightly reserved, trussed in polished, slightly chalky tannins that give way to sweet black fruit at the core. There is perhaps a touch of black tea on the finish and subtle greenness, albeit slight. All in all a pleasant bottle, the fact that the vineyards are Biodynamically farmed and Demeter certified is a plus. 12.5% ABV | Sample 8.9 Points  ...

Château de Camensac Haut-Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2011

Château de Camensac Haut-Médoc Grand Cru Classé 2011

The acidity in this wine is searing, a pity given that Carmensac is a Grand Cru Classé. I can only guess that it's one of the 2011 vintage that didn't fare well. Aromas of blackberries, black currants and black cherries are bolstered by vanilla and cedar. It's quite thin and tight on the palate, lacking in generosity, with (as previously mentioned) very high acidity, firm tannins and a green, cedary finish. 13.0% ABV | Sample Château de Camensac 8.6 Points...

Château Léoville Las Cases 1989

Château Léoville Las Cases 1989

The 1989 Léoville Las Cases possesses a deep inner perfume of red currant, rose petals, balsam, graphite and sandalwood. Elegant and weightless, with fine tannins that spread evenly across the palate, like damask silk. There is a wonderful, regal and almost undefinable quality to this second growth. It exhibits both fantastic purity and balance, and is well within its drinking window. The finish is long and lingering, offering graceful notes of cedar, spice and traces of minerality. Château Léoville Las Cases 9.4 Points You’ll find my recipe and pairing for Herbed Rack of Lamb and Fingerling Potatoes here....

Château Calon-Ségur Saint-Estèphe Grand Cru Classé 2000

Château Calon-Ségur Saint-Estèphe Grand Cru Classé 2000

A Classic Saint-Estèphe, the Calon-Ségur 2000 offers up sumptuous aromas of steeped blackberries, forest floor, wet wood, game, char, asphalt, saddle leather, violets, and brown sugar. The influence of the estate vineyard’s deep gravelly soils is evident in the nose and in a delicate vein of minerality, that sits like filagree atop velvety, caressing tannins. It’s developed nicely, with no hard edges and a pleasing and lengthy finish. Château Calon-Ségur 9.2 Points Find my pairing and recipe for Crêpes with Oregon Marionberries reduced in a Red Bordeaux here....

Château Margaux Grand Vin Premier Grand Cru Classé 1990

Château Margaux Grand Vin Premier Grand Cru Classé 1990

Tasted with awe and much contemplation, the 1990 Margaux was one of the crowning jewels at my last tasting in Carmel, a parting gift opened the evening before my move to Portland. Garnet-robed with no bricking, this bottle was delightfully fresh and vibrant with pronounced aromas of forest floor, leather, earth, plums, black cherries, sandalwood, roses and dried spearmint. On the palate, ethereal lightness, with fine-boned tannins and infinitely evolving complexity. Velvety, from start to finish, save for a dash of minerality at the close, rather like throwing oneself into a an impossibly soft, luxurious feather bed. Château Margaux 9.8 Points ...

The Winemakers' Collection Michel Rolland Cuvée No. 1 Château d'Arsac

The Winemakers’ Collection Michel Rolland Cuvée No. 1 Château d’Arsac

Conjured by Michel Rolland himself—the man behind the curtain—the label touts "He currently offers advice to a hundred wine growing estates in 13 countries, on three continents. Considered the ultimate modern winemaker." Cuvée No. 1 is big-boned with saturating aromas of raspberry jam, caramel popcorn, and buttered rum ball. Sweet on the palate, like plum tart with ripe tannins. One feels the character has been polished out of it, white rice in milk (a childhood dish) with cinnamon and sugar on the finish. Château d'Arsac 8.8 Point...

Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge 2000

Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge 2000

Pavillon Rouge is the second label of Château Margaux, and the 2000 is a perfumed, silken blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Freshly tilled, loamy soil, leather, forest floor, seedy berries, and black currents evokes the memory of some distant springtime, under cloudy skies. I'm especially struck by the distribution of tannins, which are fine and lovely. There is a lightness to this wine, and a certain elegance that rolls out gently, without bravado. Château Margaux 9.2 Points ...