Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting March 5, 2014

Vincent Jacques was looking forward to turning the club onto some really nice 2000 Bordeaux and did so at the Narragansett Grill in Narragansett, RI. While dinner was delightful consisting of dinner salad, broiled lamb rack with mashed potato and julienne of green beans, or choice of menu, the wine was out of this world!

In Bordeaux during the summer of 2000, all the right pieces seem to have fallen into place. A combination of ideal weather conditions and improvements in vineyard management and winemaking placed 2000 among the great Bordeaux vintages of all time. Quality was high throughout the region, and the wines of 2000 show remarkable consistency. Starting with a dry period in late May that allowed an even and problem free flowering, 2000 was blessed by wonderful weather. July rain in was followed by a sustained period of dry weather until the end of harvest. Warm conditions allowed fruit to ripen evenly and retain freshness and perfume. Selection was strict with some leading producers putting little more than a third of their production into their first wine, with improvements in the winery too, many estates made their best ever wines in 2000.

The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuary into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves and a Right Bank area which includes the Libournais, Bourg and Blaye. The Médoc is itself divided into Haut-Médoc (the upstream or southern portion) and Bas-Médoc (the downstream or northern portion, often referred to simply as “Médoc”).

Here was our line-up.

red wine tasting

Chateau Sociando-Mallet; Haut-Medoc 2000
“As one might expect, proprietor Jean Gautreau has produced an uncompromisingly, potentially enormously long-lived 2005 that is as good as most Medoc cru classes. Based on previous vintages, it will undoubtedly require 10-12 years of cellaring. Its saturated blue/purple color is followed by a sumptuous bouquet of blueberries, white flowers, and minerals. Fresh, full-bodied, well-defined, and already revealing plenty of nuances, this intensely concentrated, impeccably pure effort is a classic vin de garde. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.” 92-94/100 points. (Robert Parker)

Chateaux Lynch Bages; Pauillac 2000
Beginning to open magnificently (2011), the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years. 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Talbot; St. Julien 2000
One of the best Talbots over recent years, and possibly the best since the 1986 and 1982, this sexy juggernaut of a wine struts forth with an opaque plum/ruby/purple color and terrific notes of creme de cassis, licorice, roasted herbs and smoky barbecue. It is a brilliant effort, with full body, wonderful fruit, a savory, expansive mouthfeel, sensational texture and a long finish, but no hardness or astringency. This is a fabulous Talbot to drink over the next 20-25 years. 94/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Pichon Longueville; Pauillac 2000
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and a whopping 10% Petit Verdot and a touch of Cabernet Franc – “This is one of the great wines of the vintage, and certainly a candidate for one of the finest wines made at this estate under the management of Christian Seeley and proprietor AXA. Showing incredibly well at two tastings of 2000s, the wine has a dense bluish/purple color and a beautiful nose of incense, melted asphalt, and creme de cassis as well as hints of new saddle leather and licorice. It is superbly concentrated and very pure, with excellent texture and opulence. The acidity seems low, the tannin high but well-integrated. This is a compelling 2000 that is just closing in on its window of maturity and should stay there for at least 20 or more years. Bravo!”. 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Les Ormes de Pez; Saint-Estephe 2000
“Deep ruby/plum/purple in color, with a nose of sweet melted licorice intermixed with lush, easy to appreciate flavors of black currants, tobacco, and incense, this is a fleshy, medium-bodied wine with excellent definition, and good, plump, chewy fruit as well as purity. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2013.” 87/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Leoville Poyferre; St Julien 2000
The plushest, most ostentatious and dramatic of all the Leovilles in 2000, this wine is already sumptuous, displaying some nuances in its huge nose of vanilla bean, black chocolate, jammy black cherries, cassis, and graphite in a flamboyant style. Opulent, savory, rich, and full-bodied, it is a head-turning, prodigious wine and a complete contrast to the extracted behemoth of Leoville Barton and the backward, classic Leoville Las Cases. The Poyferre’s low acidity, sweet tannin and an already gorgeous mouth feel make it a wine to drink now as well as over the next 25 or more years (2010). 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

red wine tasting

Chateau La Tour Blanche – Donation Osiris – Sauternes 1995
Semillon: 70% / Sauvignon Blanc: 28% / Muscadelle: 2% – Very nice nose dominated by banana, honey, and fresh mint, nicely voluptuous. Very well made – rich, wide and quite impressive with butter – roasted almonds.

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