Tuesday, 23 February 2016
The CWB Bordeaux-Off
This was more accurately a Medoc-off as all the (red) wines were from the Medoc.
We started, however, with a Chablis Premier Cru.
Domaine Ellevin 2012 Chablis Vosgros Premier Cru 2012 ripe orchard fruit, fresh, precise, mineral and just starting to gain some aged character. Very Good.
2012 was a coolish year in Bordeaux and the resulting lighter, fresher wines matched well with vegetable antipasti.
Bernadotte 2012 Haut-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois light, berry-fruited, vibrant, elegant and fresh. Well-made and adept.
Clement Saint-Jean 2012 Medoc Cru Bourgeois more depth and more substantial underpinnings. Good.
2011 was also not a great year, but these third wines matched well to a rich beef casserole.
Expression de Margaux, 2011 Margaux ripe, plump dark berry fruit, spices and supple tannins. Very Good.
Expression de Pauillac, 2011 Pauillac classic Pauillac profile; black fruits, inky, intense palate of beautifully structured black fruit, with mineral / pencil lead. Very Good.
Cheese needs acidity and low tannins, so red wine is not always a great match. However, a mature Bordeaux with secondary aromas and softened tannins worked brilliantly.
Rousseau de Sipian, Medoc 2005 ripe bramble fruits and pencil shavings; plump harmonious, supple. Good.
My wine of the night was the Pauillac - but that's hardly the point. Each of theses red wines costs around the same, mid-teens, but they are all very different from each other. Different ages, different vintages, different availability.
There is no doubt that the white-labelled Expression wines are an absolute bargain, but they are no longer easily available. The same applies to the Rousseau, which has doubled in price since I first bought it.
The Crus Bourgeois, by contrast, are current-vintage, very well made and match well with lighter foods.
Other related articles
Domaine Ellevin, Chablis
Rousseau de Sipian 2005 - And a Lesson in Aging