Saturday, June 25, 2011

2009 Chateau Peyruchet Bordeaux

I have been such a slacker with my blog, but I can be forgiven right?  After all, it's summer time now, and much easier to enjoy a glass of wine on the patio, far from the computer keyboard!  So a couple weeks ago I was at my favorite wine merchant and all around great Italian grocer, G. B. Russo's & Sons in Grand Rapids and among the delicacies I picked up that day were a few bottles of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage, still rumored to be one of the best vintages of the last three decades.  Now call me skeptical, but they said that all through 2010, and I even ordered a case of Margaux futures based on the excitement, but that was all surpassed this year, when now all of a sudden the 2010 vintage is all the rage.  So what gives?  Are these both awesome vintages, or have the chateaux come up with a genius marketing plan to sell futures based on perpetually more awesome vintages?  You know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me...

I guess I will reserve judgement until I finally get my case of Margaux and can compare it to some truly spectacular 2005 vintages I have on hand.  In the meantime, of the 2009 Bordeaux I've had the pleasure of tasting, they are all quite good, but nothing that had me dancing a jig and shooting off fireworks.  In fact, since they are all still quite young for Bordeaux, they often left me wanting, knowing that they would be so much the better having been allowed to age another year or five!

Tonight's wine is just such a creature, a nice wine drinking so-so right now, but destined to improve over time.  The 2009 Chateau Peyruchet Bordeaux is a very nice classic blend from the Gironde containing 70% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc, certainly a familiar combination to any fans of the bordeaux blends produced in the Pacific Northwest.  On the nose it exhibits hints of leather and spice, and you just get the overwhelming impression that this wine wants to be truly great when it grows up!  The taste is already quite dry, but the youthful tannins give it a bite, sort of like a really annoying small dog.  But throughout the tasting experience, you just long to forgive the youthful indiscretions of this wine and come back for more when it's had time to mature.  Even so, tonight this wine was ultimately saved by pairing it with the surf and turf I had for dinner, as even the worst wine tastes acceptable with a lobster tail and a NY strip grilled to perfection and paired with some fresh grilled corn on the cob!

For the time being, I would give this one a 7, knowing that in a year or two it could easily be a point or two higher.  And for the price now (I bought this one on sale for $12), it might be worth cellaring a bottle or two to see what happens next.  Salut!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2006 Terra D'Aligi Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

Ahhh...I've been neglecting my happy little blog, so here is a first review for the month of June!  Today, I distributed our monthly office "Wine Club" selection, the 2006 Terra D'aligi Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, what I consider an ideal selection to start off the warm summer months.  For those unfamiliar, this wine originates in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy and is made of 100% Montepulciano grapes (though technically up to 10% Sangiovese is allowed and still maintain the DOC).  Unlike it's Tuscan cousins, the Montepulciano D'Abruzzo is really meant to be consumed young given the rather dry composure and soft tannins typically associated with it.  It is also usually quite a bit lighter than many of the heavier wines we often see today (think "big bold cabs from California).

It is this lighter side that makes it an ideal wine to enjoy at a summer barbecue with a nice ribeye grilled medium rare (or in my case lightly seared), or some nice kabobs or even burgers and dogs on the fourth of July!  It would also pair well with a platter of nice aged parmesan, asiago and romano cheese, or a wonderful array of grilled peppers, zucchini and eggplant!  I need to stop now, I'm making myself hungry and I haven't even started supper!

This particular wine, though a little more mature, exhibits the essence of an early summer wine.  I saw one critic recommend letting this one breathe for an hour, but heck I don't have time for that, so on we go!  The nose exhibits hints of leather, cedar, spice and dark cherries.  The color is a deep purple, which belies the lighter mouthfeel and more composed flavors.  The taste is an interesting blend of ripe fruit, a hint of spice with an exceptionally dry finish.  Overall, I would rate this one a very respectable 8, which coincidentally matches its bargain price tag of only $8!  I picked up a case of this for the Wine Club through Wines Till Sold Out, but if you can find it at your local wine merchant, pick up a bottle and start the summer off right!