Posts Tagged ‘Bordeaux


In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 109 – Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009

Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009Tonight’s wine is Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009, which is $14 at Mahan’s Liquor in Brockport. This is an affordable Bordeaux, which is like an oxymoron, but it’s “Supérieur,” which means it has attitude. Therefore, I assume this wine is going to try really hard to prove its worth to me. You know, it’s going to try and impress me with some sleight of hand tricks. Or maybe its just confident and knows what its all about. Its like, “I’m know I’m good, damn it!” and then it snaps its fingers. I hoping for the latter . . . I think. Either way, there’s going to be attitude.

This Bordeaux is 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc. Usually, I think, Bordeauxs are more Cabernet Sauvignon than anything else. So odd.

The color of the wine is deep claret. Well, that’s what the back of the bottle says. I don’t think I’ll disagree.

Here’s what the whole back of the bottle says:

Variety :

60 % Merlot, 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc.

Color :

Deep Claret

Nose :

A gently perfumed nose of blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit and chocolate layers with some spices and cedary notes.

Palate :

This stylish wine shows elegance and concentration with brooding fruits, delicate tannins, and cedary, integrated oak.

Complex and inviting, the structure is fine, the fruit intense, and the finish persistently long.

Assessment :

Great wines produce by Alain AUBERT (6th generation of Aubert producing wine in the region) and his daughters.

They are also producers of the famous Château La Couspaude and Château Haut-Gravet in St. Emilion.

(“St. Emilion” means they are from east Bordeaux, or the right bank.)

When I poured this into the decanter, I picked up lots of berries on the nose. The odors just wafted up. I picked up a bouquet of flowers, too. I have a feeling it has decanted enough. French wines tend to need time to breathe to open up, but we’ll see.

(I’m did my tasting notes before I read the back label, except for the color part and the blend infromation.)

So the nose. The nose has dark berries and a deep, dark forest. I also get dark chocolate. A salty, dark chocolate.

The taste is mild, but this may be because I’ve been drinking Cabernet Sauvignon almost exclusively for the past week or so. Actually, there’s not much happening on the palate. This maybe why I lean to new world wines instead. They are bigger and more pronounced. This old world wines are more subtle. So subtle they don’t even pronounce the “b” in subtle.

The more I swirl it, though, the more it opens. I’m getting dark cherries and dry raspberries and dry blueberries. Oh, and earthy, too.

The finish is chalky, which may mean it needs a little more time to open up.

I’m barely picking up the chocolate that is mentioned on the back-label tasting notes.

This wine is ok. It stands up. It’s not great, and it’s not bad. It’s ok, and it has no attitude.

It does get juicier the longer it’s open. The cherries come out more, and the dry raspberries and blueberries are no longer dry but are juicy.

I’ll say 88 points.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day seventy-nine (Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation 2007)

Kendall-Jackson Vinter's Reserve Summation 2007Tonight’s wine is Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation 2007. I will be sharing it with me and 22-year-old me.

Summation? I’ve never heard of that? It must be a blend, right?

Well, yes it is. A special blend similar to a Meritage.

What’s a Meritage?

Meritage is like a Bordeaux,  except it’s not from Bordeaux, France. A Bordeaux is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cab Franc. Plus! it must come from the Bordeaux region in France. The same blend made elsewhere is called Meritage. However, a Meritage can also use Petite Verdot in place of the Cab Franc, or the Petite Verdot can be the fourth grape. A good definition and description of Meriage can be found here at the Wine Intro website:

Ok. So what’s a Summation?

Summation, like I said, is similar to a Meritage, but the blend is different. Since I’ve never seen or heard of Summation, I’ll take Kendall-Jackson’s blend as the definition. The blend is:

Grape StompLooking at this line up, I assume it will be a bigger wine than a Bordeaux or a Meritage.

Looking at that list, it looks like it should have been called Clean Up. It looks like they are using all their left over grapes. Plus, they used the word “synergy” in the description of the wine. Synergy? That’s a sign of nothing. What an empty and meaningless word. I have little expectations for this wine.

Maybe. The nose and taste will reveal if it’s a Summation or a vat of leftover grapes or wine as empty as the word “synergy.”


Well, I just poured a glass after opening the bottle about an hour ago. The Summation has a bright purple meniscus, and it looks thin.

All those grapes and it’s this thin. Such a shame.

Quiet you. (By the way, nice s and th sounds and other s-variant sounds.) You’re right though. It has a skeptical look. A devious look.

Like it’s going to try and trick you?


Yes, exactly.

The nose smells more solid than it looks. It smells sturdy like under-ripe plum, and it smells of plums. I pick up some black currants and pepper, too.

And cassis.

Cassis, yes. It’s definitely in there, but not overwhelming. This wine smells tight, so tight that I hope it doesn’t snap.

And alcohol.

Man, you just want to drink. Chill for a moment. Enjoy.

So far there’s not much to enjoy.

Ok. Here it goes. I was about to drink and the Cold War Kids sang, “I’d never touch another drink as long as I live.”

Jorge Pasada CabSee it’s a sign. This is going to be a lame wine.

Yeah, it kinda tastes like they just used what grapes they had left. It’s not balanced at all. There’s too much competition. Though I like the finish. I can pick up a yummy Merlot. The Merlot is at the very front of the wine, too.

Actually, it’s not that bad. It’s just tart and chalky at the back of the mouth at that last place before you swallow. If you pay attention, it’s pretty okay everywhere but there. There it tastes like heartburn, but it’s short lived. Just hold it in the mouth a bit longer than normal. Then swallow.

Damn, you’re kinda right. That competition I was talking of is actually happening on the tongue after the drink. The act of drinking this is okay tasting. I get some cherries, and that weird fruit thing with the seeds, um . . .


Yez. Correct again, sir. Young sir.

So really, with more consideration, I like this wine except for the finish. Then I get a bit wincy and with goose bumps.

Up front, this wine is an 87. On the finish an 85.

Yeah. I was thinking 86 overall, too.

Yes. 86 points. Not very good. I don’t think I’ll but this again, but I bet it would ok with some champagne cheese and warm Italian pane bread.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-nine (Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008)

I’m in the red Roof Inn in Rutland, VT, again. This time I’m heading home from Thanksgiving with my girlfriend’s family in Maine. On our drive back we stopped at a rest stop on route 93 about one hundred yards into New Hampshire. It had a big ass liquor store, so I of course went in to see if they had any wines that I hadn’t had. They did, and they also had Two Hands Shiraz, a good wine I had recently  with guest editor Sarah Freligh at Flight Wine Bar as we went over our Pushcart nominations. However, it was $64, so I got a Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008. The back label of the Hyot said it had “huge fruit,” so I was sold.

Here’s what the whole back label said:

Variety: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Color: Dense ruby/purple

Nose: Delicious blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit interwoven with notions of solid and subtle oak.

Palate: Concentrated, medium body, with huge fruit, minerals, and supple tannins.

Assessment: Produced near the famous vineyards of Saint-Emilion, Chateau HYOT epitomizes the power and complexity of which Bordeaux blends are capable.

While most wines in this area are typical Merlot, both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon play important roles in adding layers of complexity to the finished wines.

Anyway, to the tasting. Allons-y.

Oh yeah, I’m drinking out a plastic cup again, so you are warned.

The nose is dense and earthy and cheap smelling.(My girlfriend gets vegetables. She, of course, is correct.)

This nose suggests the wine is going to be oily.

It tastes cheap, too, and it’s not the plastic cup.

It’s a bit tart, too.

I’m not finding the huge fruits or subtle tannins. In addition, I’m not finding any images of this bottle on the internet, and, coincidently, I’m not finding anything about it on the internet. Am I the first reviewer of this wine?!

I don’t have much to say about this. It’s about 86 or 87 points. It’s 87, I suppose. I wouldn’t get this again. I wish I had a pizza instead of sushi, now. It will go better with pizza or hamburger. This would be really good with a big, fat, juicy hamburger with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and bleu cheese.

Big fat juicy hamburger with onions tomatoes lettuce and bleu cheese

A Perfect Match

By the way, you should go to Flight Wine Bar. It’s awesome and at ease. And the staff is great. Go. Go now. Tell them I sent you. It won’t get you a discount or anything, and they might wonder who I am unless you mention Redactions, and still . . . but go anyway. It will be fun.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day fifty-nine (Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006)

Tonight is my girlfriend’s birthday, so I am making Spaghetti Puttanseca with Flaked Tuna sans Olives. With it I will serve, Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006.

Kevin Smith in MallratsThe name does not inspire much confidence because I immediately think of Kevin Smith in Mallrats as he tries to fly through the mall in his Batman outfit.

Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006A little research tells me this Bordeaux is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

A little research also tells me there aren’t any good pictures of this wine and none show the whole bottle, so here’s the best picture on the internets.

The first thing I smell in this 75% opaque but spirited purple wine is the Merlot. It smells like a wonderful Merlot from Washington. So cherries, green apples, a little cola, and some caramel or vanilla. The Merlot dominates the nose. There are also currants and maybe some plum.

I think my favorite part about any wine is the nose. It’s so evocative in sense and imagination.

This tastes nothing like its wonderful nose. It’s not bad, but it’s not wonderful. I get cloves on the palate and tobacco on the finish. The acidity makes me think it will go good with tomatoes. Maybe the spaghetti puttanesca with tuna that I ‘m serving.

There is a definite battle going on between the Merlot and the Cab Franc. And the two disparate tastes aren’t jiving well. It needs an alimentum interruptus. It needs red alimentum. Or maybe a few more years.

This wine is okay. By itself, it’s 86-87. With some tomatoes in spice and garlic, the tobacco really comes out, and it flies like Kevin Smith to 88.5 points. And like the flying Kevin Smith in Mallrats, it comes up a little short.

Yet, with the tomatoes, it is still Yum.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-two

Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006Day twenty-two of the Juiciest Wine tour and Chile defeated Switzerland 1-0. Next, Chile plays its twin country separated by mountains and an Ocean – Spain. A tie with them gets them into the next round. Even with a loss, they’ll probably get in. Vamos Chile! And vamos the next wine in the mini Chilean Wine tour – Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006.

You’ll notice the “(Lafite)” in the name. Here’s a little history. (I know, geography and history all in one mini Chilean wine tour. What’s up with that?) In 1855, Château Lafite was classified a first-growth wine. On August 8, 1868, Baron James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite, which was under public sale as part of the Ignace-Joseph Vanlerberghe succession. Just three months after the purchase, Baron James passed away, and Lafite became the joint property of his three sons: Alphonse, Gustave, and Edmond. The estate then included 74 hectares of vineyards. It is now 500 hectares.

So what does that mean? Nothing if the wine doesn’t taste good. So let’s get to some tasting.

This is a Bordeaux, but I don’t know what is in the blend, but I do know it’s got some crazy legs like the other Chilean wines I’ve had on this tour. Because of the legs and because it’s a Bordeaux, it’s got some Cabernet Sauvignon.

You know what I want to taste in this wine? A winner. A decisive winner. I want to feel like a winner. I haven’t won anything in a long time, so I want to feel that. I want to feel the same as today’s winning Chilean futbol team.

Vamos Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Reserve 2006.

I can smell Cabernet Franc in there for sure and some earthiness. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some Syrah in there, too. There are some raspberries, too. And of course, there is Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s got that peppery nose to it, as well, and it’s got a big body. I’m thinking winning rugby team, now.

Oh my. It’s big and dry with dark chocolate, vanilla, and dried red roses. It tastes like how the Chilean futbol team plays but more aggressive. Soccer meets rugby in this wine.

A few sips later and an hour of air . . .

It has loosened up and lightened up. It’s immensely better.

And in the nose some mushrooms have popped up out of nowhere, as only mushrooms do.

The Los Vascos is now kinda creamy in the front of the mouth, and it’s smooth, and it actually has a pretty finish despite it’s robustness. It’s a big fat opera singer with a pretty, tenor voice. And you know what? After another glass of this, I’m sure I’ll feel like a winner.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

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