There was a sports-related saying back in the day that went something like this: “I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out.” This of course refers to activities that are no longer nearly as prevalent in the game as they once were, but be that as it may, Kim and I recently attended what might be considered the oenological equivalent of that old statement. Our buddies Jarred Gild (@jarred_) and Dawn Astrop invited some fellow Twitter-types over to sample and survey a selection of late model, mid-priced Bordeaux, which of course, we were only too happy to join in on. There were a number of local hipsters in attendance, people with names like @HerrBrain, @simmer_down, @perfectlaughtr and @amberto, not to mention our old friend and colleague, Putnam Weekley. Jarred fired up the grill and served up a variety of all natural, grass fed organic meats from C. Roy Meats that paired perfectly with the wines. The Bordeaux selections ranged from good to very good, but nothing among their number really stood out. The true star of this show was a plainly labeled Austrian Gruner Veltliner in a green 1 Liter bottle enclosed with a bottle cap. I had been very much impressed with the 2008 version of this wine when I tried it last summer, and this one is every bit as good, if not better.
2009 Bio-Weingut H. u. M. Hofer Gruner Veltliner Trocken Niederosterreich-Osterreich, 1 L, $13.99: Clean medium color and medium bodied; fresh and refreshing with green apple and lemon-citrus flavors and aromas underscored with subtle minerality. Bright acidity keeps everything moving right along through the nice finish. Unpretentious and delightful for all manner of summertime fun, as a quaffer, a picnic wine or with seafood or grilled chicken on the back deck. Find this wine
Imported by Michael Skurnick Wines, Syosset, NY
This wine is available locally at Ferndale’s Western Market.
As for the Bordeaux that was supposed to be the main event, most were strikingly similar in character, even though they came from both banks. Here are my very brief snapshot impressions.
2006 Château Le Clos Daviaud Montagne-Saint-Emilion, $20-ish: Earthy young black fruit and old wood; full bodied and well structured. Needs time, maybe 5-10 years, but should be very good, as this has been enjoyed in previous vintages at Gang Central (which is why I went for it first). Find this wine
2006 Château Liversan Haut-Médoc, $19-20-ish: Earthy black currant and blackberry, showing less old wood than the previous wine; structured for 5 years or more in the cellar. Find this wine
2007 Château Roc Meynard Bordeaux Supérieur, $NA: Not too complex, but decent for what’s here; basic, straightforward Bordeaux. Find this wine
2008 Château Tour Coutelin Saint Estèphe, $NA: Straightforward black currant and blackberry, a little less earthy and a bit more approachable than the first two selections; good structure, so it should age for 5 years and beyond. Find this wine
2005 Château La Fleur Plaisance Montagne-Saint-Emilion, $15-ish: Old wood vies with earthy black currant for dominance; a bit astringent on the finish and in need some years in the cellar to smooth out, but air helps now. I like! Find this wine
2005 Château Cabannieux Graves, $18-ish: Earthy black fruit and old wood, with a hint o’ chocolate underneath; good structure for several years of development, but tasty now as well. Find this wine
2005 Château Fonguillon Montagne-Saint-Emilion, $18-20-ish: A bit more fruit and less of the earth and old wood than most of these, but still well within the parameters of what good Bordeaux is all about. Straightforward, pleasant and good for at least 5 years in the cellar. Find this wine
2008 Château Des Proms Cuvee Bellevue Graves, $12-ish: The most internationally styled wine of the bunch so far; there is a little earth and even less old wood, but the fruit is riper and more prominent. Just enough Bordeaux character to keep me from dissing, and actually fairly pleasant. Find this wine
2007 Château Tourteran Haut-Médoc, $15-ish: Kim’s otherwise delicious bleu cheesecake with sriracha messes with this a bit, so it’s hard to tell what’s going on, but it seems like straightforward earth, old wood and black fruit, bone dry and with good structure. A few more sips shows it to be good now and better in 5 years and beyond. Find this wine
2007 Emilio Bordeaux Merlot, $NA: The el-cheapo of the bunch, I think, but no price available now; probably about $10-11. Moderately ripe, not too complex, with a bit of earth and medium structure. The simplest wine of the bunch, but for all that, not too bad. Find this wine
2007 Château L’Ecuyer de Couronneau Bordeaux Supérieur, $15-16-ish: Nice black currant laced with earth and old wood in judicious proportion; sleek and harmonious. Not the best wine here just the one that’s most ready right now. Find this wine
There are no dogs in this bunch and with air, any would be good with a variety of grilled red meats, but it’s summer, for Pete’s sake, so buy the Gruner Veltliner by the case already!
Reporting from Day-twah,