Was ’94 a bad year in Bordeaux? The critics seemed to say so, and it has gotten that reputation, but this month I’ve tasted several ‘94’s and they are
quite good – especially given that their prices are considerably less than
those of the more highly rated vintages.
The 1994 Chateau La Papeterie
is a beautifully dense and elegant wine that is worth far more than its $17
price tag (at Total Wine in Delaware). This wine is complex and earthy and is one of
those wines you want to sip slowly in order to enjoy every mouthful.
Another ’94 I recently tasted
was the Chateau Angelus. At a dinner party with other very good wines, this was the “wine of the night.” It was dense and lingered on your pallet, and the nose was classic Bordeaux with plenty of barnyard, wet hay, smoke, and oak. This is a beautiful wine that is ready to drink now and although expensive (around $100 on line) it is a blockbuster.
The best wine I tasted this
month was a George from St. Emillion. This small estate has made a great wine that has one of the most powerful, complex noses I’ve experienced in a long time. The wine exudes big berry on top with a unique layering of earth, leather and cedar that give way to violets and berry on the finish. This is artful wine making at it finest, and well worth the $40 price tag.
In my continuing quest to
recommend inexpensive wines that are worth drinking on a daily basis, I
discovered the 2000 Chateau Desire Perriere, from Cotes de Blaye. This is a sub-region of Bordeaux
and some of these producers make excellent wines without the big Bordeaux prices. This particular wine has plenty of character and complexity all for $9/bottle. It has to be the best wine under $10 around.
Sticking with great wines
under $20, the 2000 Chateau Marquis de Mons, from Margaux is a real find. This is a fantastic wine from the great 2000 vintage that drinks like classic Bordeaux with plenty of barnyard and layered complexity. This wine lingers on your pallet and will stack up to many wines priced
much higher. I’m letting most of my 2000’s continue to age in my cellar, but this is one I’ll be buying and opening now.
I also want to pass on one
wine that I would not recommend. It is disappointing to open a wine that you have great expectations for and have anticipated being fantastic, only to discover that it is thin and dull. A very good friend gave me a bottle of 1995 Chateau Talbot several years ago, and paid good money for what he (and I)
believed would be a fantastic bottle of wine. One of the owners of a wine store I visit has pushed Talbot on me for years. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I have respected this guy’s opinion and have bought some on his recommendations in the past. Unfortunately this ’95 is a huge disappointment. It is almost thin and overly simple. Perhaps this is because it is still not ready and needs more time in the bottle. I think most of the ’95 Bordeaux are not ready to drink yet, but in my opinion this wine doesn’t show any promise of growing into something worth the price tag.