I Join Phil for Bottles of 2000 Bordeaux
I recently joined Phil and his tasting group for one of their periodic tastings. The theme was kept secret by Phil though he admitted there was a ringer. After we tasted through the wines people began to offer their guesses as to what we were tasting. I believe a consensus of Bordeaux or Bodeaux-blend was quickly achieved. Our attempts to narrow it down further resulted in a slew of vintages and other guesses. The ringer, however, was singled our for being something else. I was personally surprised and pleased to find out we had been drinking the 2000 vintage! As we were about to tuck into gigantic lamb-shanks with a white-bean puree Phil opened the Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot. Except for the Billecart-Salmon and Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot all of the wines were double-decanted one hour before tasting. The majority of the wines came from Phil’s wine cellar. The other wines, those with prices, were recently purchased from MacArthur Beverages. My notes are presented in the order the wines were tasted.
There were some fine wines this evening. The Billecart-Salmon was a great way to start the evening and was consumed as everyone settled down for the tasting. My favorite wine was the Chateau Giscours for its charisma and confidence. It is balanced and perfectly drinkable but will develop for some time. I suspect many others enjoyed this bottle as it kept “disappearing.” I rather liked the Chateau Monbousquet as well. It showed young with firmer flavors and structure in the finish. The Chateau La Louviere was quite nice as well and kept developing over the two hours I was there. If you try it now give it three hours of air before drinking. The Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot had primary fruit which was quite drinkable. My tasting note was taken within the first hour of being open so bear that in mind.
The Chateau Reignac was a good wine which continued to develop over the evening, perhaps a solid wine. I am curious to hear how this fared over the rest of the evening. The Chateau Potensac was awkward, at first giving the impression that it will develop with age then shutting down upon revisit. The Chateau Haut-Bergey was at its peak during my first glass so perhaps this is best to drink over the next several years. The Pine Ridge stood out when first tasted. Upon revisiting the wine I drank it while eating my lamb and it was completely satisfying. (In retrospect this is too strong of a statement. I meant that drunk with food it was not distracting.)
Many thanks to Phil for inviting me over to his house, as well as to the rest of the group who, for the second time, made me feel welcome.
NV Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose, Champagne
This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir vinified as a red wine. Alcohol 12%. This bottle had been in Phil’s cellar for 2-3 years. The color was a light, clear salmon rose. The light nose was yeasty and of delicate red fruit. In the mouth the flavors were very light with initial fruit then yeasty apple which mixed with dry, red fruit flavors. It became a bit grippy and racy in the finish. There was good acidity and a textured aftertaste with an earthy note. The bubbles were delicate and integrated. Very harmonious from age and quite satisfying to drink. **** Now.
2000 Chateau Potensac, Medoc – $50
Imported by Vignobles LVDH. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented 15-18 days then aged 12-16 months in 10-15% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was medium garnet, showing some age. The medium nose was aromatic with a little green house note. In the mouth there were tight black fruit, wooden structure then a touch of red fruit. It was a little rough in the middle with a drying finish and fine tannins in the aftertaste. It could still use more than an hour of air. Upon revisiting it seemed tighter with a developing wood note. **(*) 2016-2022.
2000 Chateau Reignac, Bordeaux Superieur
Imported by W.J. Deutsch & Sons. This wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon which was fermented in both stainless steel and oak tanks. It underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for 12 months new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color of medium garnet was lighter than the Potensac. The medium strength nose showed some roasted earth. In the mouth the dryer red fruit was supported by structure. The flavors become more tart in the middle where slightly riper, spicy tannins came up. The wine caused one to pucker a bit in the finish. Upon revisiting the nose was more aromatic and the flavors were expanding. *** Now-2022.
2000 Pine Ridge, Onyx, Napa Valley
This wine is a blend of 60% Malbec, 24% Tannat, and 16% Merlot which was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels.. Alcohol 14.1%. The color was light to medium garnet with a dark cherry core. The nose was light with sweet notes and butter. In the mouth there was cherry red fruit, which was tart and showed some focus. The flavors became overripe towards the finish as a little mineral and blue fruit flavors came out. There were a light amount of fine tannins. Upon revisiting there was still some sweet fruit. I do not see this developing further but then I suspect it will drink fine for some time. ** Now-2018.
2000 Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan – $70
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel then aged 16-18 months in 50% new oak barrels. The color was a medium cherry garnet with a dark core. The light to medium strength nose was concentrated with dark aromas and a little eucalyptus. In the mouth there was tart fruit at first which expanded quickly then thinned out in the finish. There was a gentle vein of black fruit and minerals throughout. The flavors turned tart in the finish. There were still wood tannins. Upon revisiting there were more red and blue fruit but I preferred my first glass. *** Now-2020.
2000 Chateau La Louviere, Pessac-Leognan
Imported by USA Wine Import. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot sourced from 20-year-old vines. It was fermented 21 days in stainless steel vats then aged for 12 months in 50-75% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was a medium+ dark cherry garnet. The young nose revealed focused fruit and eucalyptus. This wine was youthful in the mouth with lift from the acidity and a fine tannic structure. The youngest thus far it left appealing dry, sticky tannins on the lips. Upon revisiting it revealed more concentrated fruit which was youthful. Good potential here. ***(*) Now-2025.
2000 Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint-Julien
Imported by A.H.D. Vintners. The second wine of Leoville Pyferre this is a bled of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 20-year-old vines. Alcohol 13%. The color was light to medium. The nose was a little earthy. The flavors were of bright red fruit, a little wood note, and a general feeling of being old. Upon revisiting the red fruit showing citrus-backing with some juicy acidity. This is drinking at its best right now. ** Now.
2000 Chateau Giscours, Margaux – $100
Imported by The Stacole Co. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented 15-20 days in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 33% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The medium strength nose revealed good concentration of fruit and a cedar note. In the mouth the flavors had fine concentration, good blue fruit, along with acidity and tannins that were perfectly balanced. Still youthful. Immediately charming. Upon revisiting the nose took on sweaty leather and the mouth showed more spices. A lovely bottle starting to hit its stride. **** Now-2027.
2000 Chateau Monbousquet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – $60
Imported by Bacchus Importers. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 40-year-old vines. It underwent fermentation for 28-35 days in stainless steel tanks then was aged for 18-22 months in new oak barrels. Alcohol 13.5%. The color was a medium+ roasted and garnet with a dark core. The fine nose was scented with cedar. In the mouth this fine wine had gentle, sweetly spiced fruit then filled the mouth with black fruit. It firmed up a bit in the finish where the flavors were drier. There were drying ripe tannins which were a little spicy. Upon revisiting the good nose revealed ripe fruit. There continued to be nice fruit in the mouth which left the impression of many years of developing ahead. Almost at the level of the Giscours. **** Now-2027.
2000 Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Imported by Glazer’s. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 35-year-old vines. It was fermented 28-30 days in stainless steel tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for 18 months in new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was medium+. In the mouth there was finely texture blue fruit that morphed into primary black and red fruit. There was a gentle texture, cool spiced fruit, and a little bit of spicy tannins. A very drinkable, young wine that needs some age. ***(*) Now-2022.