Friday, October 5, 2007

Binny's Bordeaux Tasting

Thursday night was a disappointing evening. The Cubs gave some false hope early on, and it was all downhill from there.

Fortunately for me, my evening was saved by a wine tasting at Binny's Chicago. I mentioned in my last 'Highlighting Some Upcomming Events' post that Binny's was doing a Bordeaux tasting. I also alluded to the fact that there might be some blockbuster wines on the list. I had no idea what might actually be in store for the evening, but the writeup and the price of the tasting led me to believe that Binny's would pull out some interesting wines for the evening. Turns out I was right.

Most of the wines ranged from $20-$60 late vintage run of the mill Bordeaux. There were several great wines and even a couple treats thrown in. I'll start with the "good stuff". A pair of '86s (Angelus, Latour) were the old men at the tasting. I don't get exposure to a lot of older vintages, and these were an interesting departure for me. Both of them seemed a little over the hill to me. There wasn't a lot of weight left on either of them, and any subtleties that may have been in these wines were too far gone for my inexperienced senses to detect. On that same table were a pair of Younger stars, '99 Mouton Rothschild, and an '03 La Mission Haut-Brion. Both were very good and very young. I swear Every vintage of Mouton Rothschild I've ever had has the exact same nose. I suppose that is one of the defining characteristics that make it a great wine. Rounding out the "Ticket Only Table" were a pair of Sauternes including an '03 D'Yquem. I've never cared for Sauternes, but given that this si one of the most famous wines in the world (and most expensive) I had to give it a sip.

The rest of the tasting saw a peppering of '00-'04 wines spread all across Bordeaux. 21 wines in all. Most of them had a unique character to them, and overall this served as an education in regional character, and vintage quality.

One of the interesting points in the tasting came when I ran into a trio of '96 wines (Calon -Segur, Duhart-Milon, Pontet-Canet). All of these wines were stellar. I was amazed that 11 years on these wines still had so much flesh and weight to them. I would be interested to
know if 10 years from now these wines were as delicate as the pair of '86s from the other table. I was amazed by the profile of the Pontet-Canet, and despite its steep price tag, I had to pick up a bottle for Christmas Dinner.

Overall it was a great tasting. Lots of good wines, and the pourers were full of knowledge on the wines they were pouring. I can certainly say that I came home significantly poorer than when I arrived.

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