February 2008 Wine Review
’05 Las Rocas – Spain, Garnach – $18 – Yes, I sometimes venture beyond La Belle Hexagon to try wines from other regions, and this wine from Spain is a lovely effort for less than $20. There is a huge initial vanilla hit on the nose and pallet followed by black cherry in the background that lingers and is really lovely. I liked this wine because it is interesting and different and is a great change of pace.
’03 Domaine de Courbissac, $16 – Minervois – This wine is from the Southern Rhone and is typical of the region. It has lots of lovely spice and interesting blueberries that soften and become more complex over time – 3hours –as it opens and changes. The wine is typically a little light, but like the Las Rocas it is something different if you are looking for a change of pace.
‘04 Chateau Labegorce Zede – I keep reading bad reviews of the ’04 vintage but continue tasting wines from the vintage that are excellent. This is a beautiful wine that is drinking quite well now. It is full bodied with a hint of licorice and spice that changed as it opened and the black fruit with hints of vanilla came through. I’m not sure this is a wine to lay down for a long time, but it is a great choice now.
’04 Chateau Boyd Cantenac – I bought this wine on futures and opened it last week to see what the vintage was like, after reading several bad reviews of the vintage. The wine is beautiful and I am rejoicing that I still have 11 bottles left. Unlike the Labegorce Zede I think this wine will do very well with some aging. It is dense, with big fruit and good tannins that linger on your pallet. It has the terroir that is characteristic of great Bordeaux and changed three times as it opened up.
’05 Marquis Rocadour – This wine from Cahors is a great buy for under $10. Cahors is southeast of Bordeaux and makes wines of a rougher nature than its neighbors. This wine is very rough when it is first opened, but after an hour of breathing has a pleasant cherry and spice on the pallet. This is not a great wine, but is a good value.
2000 Chateau St. Jean, Cinq Cepages – Sonoma, California – This is a beautiful wine that tries to be in the Bordeaux style. Cinq Cepages means “five varietals,” and means that it is a blend of five different kinds of grapes. This wine is still fairly one dimensional, but has excellent body, and good, big fruit on the pallet.