Sunday, June 24, 2007

chateau ferrande graves 2003

this will not be the lengthiest of reviews.
this bordeaux had quite possibly the loveliest bouquet.
my nose was in heaven, my mouth anxious...
the glass was full of juicy, luscious berries with an elegant floral hint.

the taste was quite different.
it started fruity, earthy, leathery, but had a very dry middle.
i believe it would have benefited greatly from some airing...
to me, this wine lacked a smoothe balance, it wasnt a bad wine.
but, i believe there are better.
it is, in my opinion, hard to go wrong with a bordeaux, what i did learn from this tasting night was as far as this selection went, there were no "bad" bordeauxs, just "better".

should you need a good red for a smokey, meaty or strong cheese occasion, grab a bordeaux.

2001 Chateau Haut-Corbin Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe

This wine is the winer of from our latest wine club meeting. Here is some infromation from there Website.
Château Haut-Corbin's history has played an important part in that of the entire Libourne area. When the Aquitaine region owed allegiance to the English crown, Haut-Corbin was part of a large fiefdom belonging to Edward, Prince of Wales (and son of Edward III of England), referred to as Black Prince by historians. Over the centuries, the fiefdom was broken up, giving rise to a series of smaller estates in the northen part of Saint-Emilion appellation with the word "Corbin" in their name. Despite this ancient past, Château Haut-Corbin has had a low-profile story, only rarely appearing in written documents describing the Libourne area. Although Haut-Corbin's history may have been lacklustre, its soil most certainly is not, and the estate attained the enviable status of Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Emilion.

Located 600 meters from the finest Pomerol vineyards, Haut-Corbin
produces wines combining the vigour of Pomerol and the elegance
of Saint-Emilion . When the Mutuelles d'Assurance du Bâtiment
et des Travaux Publics took over the Château in 1986, they
decided to do everything in their power to enhance this promising
estate's reputation.

The vineyards are planted on a beautiful rise. There is blown sand on top, covering a layer of clayey soil. Futher down, the soil is heavier, with a mixture of clay and gravel. This composes a somewhat heterogeneous terroir which reflected in the complexity of the wine. Merlot accounts for almost two thirds of grape varieties planted at Haut-Corbin, and gives the wine its wonderful silky character. Good sun exposure and fairly warm soil also foster good ripening of cabernet sauvignon, which makes up 25% of the total, and contributes excellent structure to the wine. Cabernet franc (10%) adds fruitiness and finesse.

Château Haut-Corbin's old vines are one of its chief assets. Having miraculously escaped the dreadful frost of 1956, the vineyard s a respectable 45 to 50years old. Proper ripening is a constant priority here. This is achieved by carefully thinning out the leaves in August. The 6 hectares of vines are harvested in just three days . Picking is enterely done by hand, and the grapes are systematically sorted before being crushed. The cellar was renovated and modernised in 1994.

A series of small, 90 hectolitre cement tanks in an entire temperature-controlled vat room enables wine from each plot to be made separately before blending. After alcoholic fermentation , long, gentle maceration lasting approximately 30days, extracts the finest components from the grapes. New oak barrels have never been a major priority at Haut-Corbin, where only 40% of new barrels are used every year. Like the use
of spices in cooking , barrel-ageing should be a subtle process, never altering the wine's true nature. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Haut-Corbin belongs to the aristocracy of Bordeaux wines. It has a lovely fruity palate (blackcurrant and blackberry), a touch of oak, and occasional hints of menthol and spice. Haut-Corbin has intrinsic class, considerable power and brilliant complexity- in average as well as great vintages.

Knowledgeable wine tasters recognise Château Haut-Corbin as one of the finest grands crus classés in Saint-Emilion.

2003 Tour de Mirambeau Cuvée Passion

Here is some interesting information I found about the wine.

And here is what Parker had to say;

"The 2003 Tour de Mirambeau Cuvee Passion, a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, enjoys malolactic in barrel, upbringing on its lees, and virtually no clarification at bottling. It possesses a dense ruby/purple color, low acidity, great fruit on the attack, mid-palate, and finish, and a long, lush, heady aftertaste. This stunning effort must be tasted to be believed. It should drink well for 5-10 years. It is natural to focus on the great Bordeaux estates that sell for the highest prices, but Bordeaux desperately needs more producers like the Despagnes to produce wines such as this since more than 90% of the entire viticultural area is generic appellations such as Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur. Bravo!"

2004 Château Cantenac Brown

Château Cantenac-Brown is a winery in the Margaux appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. This wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. The average time spent in barrels is 16 to 20 months and the average age of vines is 25 years. The offers generous amounts of soft, easygoing blackcurrant fruit, medium body and a soft finish. Great with red meats.