Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beating the Bordeaux Blues

So, how are your purchases of 2009 Bordeaux futures coming along? If, like me, you decided to sit out the hysteria this year (the prices are epic and the hysteria just as epic), you may be feeling a little blue. For me, its budgetary. I just don't eat enough of the kind of food that goes with a fantastic bottle of aged Bordeaux to warrant the splurge. Riesling or Champagne? That's another matter.

It's not that I don't like the taste of Bordeaux wines--I do. But I think I've got enough 2003 bottles in my cellar (none of which will be ready to drink for another few years) to keep me going.

Meanwhile, if you are watching/listening/participating in the 2009 Futures Follies, you may want a nice bottle of Bordeaux to go with it. Here are two bottles--one unusual bottle from Bordeaux and one Bordeaux-like bottle from California--that will help see you through the process.

The first bottle I'm recommending is the 2007 Château Tire Pé DieM ($7.99, Garagiste; available currently for $10-$14) This is not your father's Bordeaux, but it's just fantastic. Imagine, if you will, the vinous love child of a wine from Bordeaux and one from the Beaujolais and you've pretty much got this wine. It's a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon that oozes personality and old world charm but is much lighter in weight than most bottlings from this part of France, which tend to be heavy, complex, and age-worthy. The first impression of the wine is crushed raspberries, some soil, and some rocks--very Beaujolais, in my book. The feeling of the wine is silky in the mouth. Then the funkier notes kick in, along with some vegetal greenness, some spice, and a hint of pencil lead--all very Bordeaux. And it's a terrific excellent QPR buy that certainly constitutes a great candidate for a house red (and when was the last time you said THAT about 2007 Bordeaux??) For food pairings, think of any foods you would pair with Gamay or Cabernet Franc, such as roasted chicken, sausages, or pork.

If you are looking for a heavier, more complicated wine made with true Bordeaux style, reach for the 2007 Trefethen Double T (available for $16-28) from the Napa Valley. I was extremely pleased with this blend that includes all five classic Bordeaux varieties. The wine was unusually complex for an excellent QPR bottling, with cassis, plum, and tobacco leaf aromas. Layered cassis, graphite, and herbal notes are present in the flavors, with a juicy aftertaste that lingers long enough to invite you back for another taste. Excellent with heartier fare, like this molasses/mustard marinated pork tenderloin.

Full Disclosure: I received the Trefethen Double-T as a sample.

1 comment:

Karin said...

Okay, you had me at "pencil lead"...