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Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Arômes de Pavie is the second label of Château Pavie, and is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009—a warm, ripe vintage is drinking beautifully now. Tight on opening, but after three hours aromas of earth and dust, and freshly turned soil emerge and subside, followed by Damson plums, mulberries, camphor, and Tandoori spice. Fine, supple tannins lend structure and finesse to this wine's well-balanced acidity and focus, as it glides to a lingering finish of spice and pu-erh tea. Château Pavie 91 Points...

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Lovely and accessible, the 1995 Angélus shows off its pedigree and high percentage of Cabernet Franc with only minimal decanting. A slightly woodsy bouquet of black currants, plums, cedar, forest underbrush, spiced orange pomander, dried lavender, and incense. On the palate, poised supple tannins and a fine acid backbone underpin steeped blackberry, crème de cassis, bay leaf, dried herbs and delicate minerality. This legendary Saint-Émilion dances in the glass, and ends triumphantly, in a grand jeté. Château Angélus 9.4 Points ...

Paul Barre Château La Grave 2011

Paul Barre Château La Grave 2011

I would like to revisit this wine, perhaps from a less challenging vintage. As such the 2011 Paul Barre Château La Grave is somewhat austere, requiring ample time to open. Initially reserved aromas of black cherries, plums, and red currant are followed underbrush and earth. The attack is soft, giving way to fine, powdery tannins and high-toned, tart acidity that co-mingles with swirling and subdued tones of ash and dried leaves. 13.0% ABV | Sample Vignoble Paul Barre Château La Grave 8.8 Points  ...

Château Les Charmes-Godard Francs Blanc 2014

Château Les Charmes-Godard Francs Blanc 2014

I'll admit, I'm always happy to have a Nicolas Thienpont wine in my glass. The Thienpont family are associated with other great Bordeaux properties including Puygueraud, Pavie Macquin and one of my personal favorites, Vieux Château Certan. The 2014 Les Charmes Godard is slightly austere, with pronounced herbaceousness. Smoky minerality swirls around boxwood, cherimoya and gooseberry notes. It's lean and racy on the palate, hemmed in by oak. Here lime zest, white grapefruit, and white pepper take the center stage. Château Les Charmes-Godard 9.0 Points...

Château La Fleur De Gay 1986

Château La Fleur De Gay 1986

Sanguine and supple, this 100% Merlot delivers a bouquet of flowers, strawberries and seedy raspberry along with a high note of Madagascar vanilla. What it communicates on the nose is a far cry from the palate, there, it reminds me of an aged Châteauneuf, there is a gaminess, smoke, asphalt, tar, green peppercorn…despite all of this, its very silky and fine, and nimble for a medium-bodied red. Despite low marks from the critics, it has been a favorite. Bright acidity, leading to a lengthy finish. Château La Fleur De Gay 9.4 Points You'll find my recipe and pairing for Veal Chops and Pomerol here....

Veal Chops

Veal Chops and Pomerol

This recipe, albeit simple, hails from the year I spent in Carmel, California, at the invitation of a former wine buyer and his wife. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this story, my year in Carmel is what launched my career as a writer. One could see the ocean from the house, and it was there—to the constant rhythmic sound of the sea that I learned about Bordeaux. Not just any Bordeaux, but bottles that had been lovingly and properly cellared for years—the couple waiting for just the right moment to open them. Our meals were quite simple, as is the case with these veal chops, prepared with little adornment or fuss, so that one could focus on the wine. Evenings spent around that dinner table were about discussing the wines, appreciating each bottle’s merits and charms. At this particular meal we opened a 1986 Château La Fleur De Gay that proved to be an exquisite match with veal’s delicate flavor. A word about veal. As with foie gras, veal is a food product that engenders controversy. And rightly so, animal cruelty is not something I’m keen to serve at the dinner table. I was pleased to find, in doing a bit of research...

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

My take on classic Scottish Beef Stew—the butteriness Phyllo dough crust adds a delicious dimension of flavor and texture. I've also substituted leeks for yellow onions and flat iron steak for beef chuck. The flat iron, while more expensive is ultimately more tender. And for me, this is the perfect sort of dish to serve on a winter evening along with a hearty red. It's pure comfort food. In this case, a bottle of 2000 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse fit the bill nicely. I had a brief moment, pondering the addition of a tablespoon or two of beef demi-glace. In the end, I decided against it. The liquid develops more than enough flavor to carry the dish, and it felt suitably rich. [amd-yrecipe-recipe:5] [caption id="attachment_9860" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Fill each ramekin with stew, then top it with layers of phyllo dough. Brush each layer with butter.[/caption]...

Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2000

Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2000

A splendid Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse. Opens with floral aromatics that descend to deeper notes of steeped blackberry, black cherry, charcoal, camphor and dried sage. Structured, powerful fore-to-mid palate tannin with acidity to match, this feels too young at this point, as though it's not yet fully knit together. Medium-plus finish with herbal notes, and subtle minerality. Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 9.1 Points You'll find my recipe and pairing for Scottish Beef Stew here....

Château Belleuve Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2000

Château Belleuve Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2000

Earlier this year, I was invited to attend a dinner showcasing several vintages of Vieux Château Certan. François Thienpont was on-hand to explain the wines, and I felt lucky indeed to be seated next to him throughout the evening. Château Bellevue is managed by his brother, Nicolas and vigneron, Stephane Derenoncourt. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cab Franc, the 2000 offers up a bouquet of spring flowers, lavender, black currants, and minerals. Finely-hewn, with well-integrated tannins bolstering notes of leather, black fruit and graphite. It's just now entering its prime drinking window, with plenty of acidity to carry it forward. Château Belleuve 9.0 Points...

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion 2000

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion 2000

Ruby-hued and breathtakingly fresh, with a deep perfume of black cherry and cassis, forest notes, cedar, graphite, violets and an unexpected top note of smoke and coal dust. In the mouth, the 2000 Beau-Sejour Becot is silk over sinew, with penetrating black fruit neatly framed by polished tannins and moderate acidity. There are decadent notes too—carmelized sugar and sweet plummy fruit at the center. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 9.2 Points...