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by Eric Anderson

Eric first became interested in wine in 1983, after sampling some of the 1982 Bordeaux vintage. Once bitten, he spent the next several years attending as many tastings and wine seminars as possible. Since 1990, Eric has visited over 600 wineries in the U.S. and Europe. His interactions with winemakers and/or proprietors has further enriched his life as well as his interest in wine. Eric is also part of GrapeRadio, the James Beard award-winning podcast series

BORDEAUX - Vintages 2005-09

Notes from a tasting of 2005-09 Bordeaux wines - Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the Wine Exchange in Orange, CA. Nineteen wines were poured for a tasting fee of $39. Prices below are per Winex the day of the tasting.

Favorites - In Order of Preference

2008 Roc de Cambes - Côtes de Bourg. $49.99
2006 Château Providence - Pomerol. $99.99
2006 Château Léoville Barton - Saint Julien. $69.99
2008 Château Saint-Pierre - Saint Julien. $
2007 Château Haut-Bailly - Pessac-Léognan. $59.99
Lucia - Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. $39.99
2006 Ch. Haut-Brisson La Grave - St. Émilion. $24.99
2008 Clos la Madeleine - St-Émilion . $24.99
2008 Ch. Fontplégade - St-Émilion . $49.99
2007 Château de Myrat - Sauternes. $35.99
Moulin de Duhart - Pauillac. $39.99
2008 Château D'Issan - Margaux. $39.99
2008 Clos du Marquis - Saint Julien. $39.99
2005 Château Nenin - Pomerol. $59.99

2008 Château L'Enclos - Pomerol. $35.99
2008 Ch. Macquin Saint-Georges - St-Émilion. $12.99
2008 Château Cabannieux Blanc - Graves. $12.99
2008 Ch. de Reignac - Bordeaux Supérieur. $19.99
2009 Barons de Rothschild-Lafite RS - $11.99

Overall impressions: Winex usually presents 3-4 current-vintage Bordeaux tastings per year, containing wines with a variation of price ranges - all to keep the tastings affordable.

This tasting featured something of a departure, in that the '08s are starting to arrive, but not sufficiently enough to populate an entire tasting. So, this time out, Winex grabbed some of the '08s and paired them with a smattering of the '05-'07 vintages.

It turned out this was really interesting lineup of Bordeaux that included several very nice wines ranging in price from $12-$99. It probably won't come a big surprise that spending more money usually translates to better wine. That said, there are often wines that "fight well above their classification." And, in actuality, that's why we're all here - to find those wines. Admittedly, this has become harder to do in the age of wine scoring and the internet.

Several wines tasted represent excellent pricing, notably the Haut-Brisson and Madeleine - both under $25 and excellent values. I should also mention the Lucia and the only Sauternes Myrat as well. A little further down the pack would be the Duhart and the D'Issan as relative bargains as well.

On the down side, I was surprised that the Nenin didn't perform better. I suppose this could have been a bottle variation, but for $60, I would have expected a whole lot more.

Tasting Notes

2008 Château Cabannieux Blanc - Graves. $12.99.
Light yellow in color. The 80% Semillon really comes through in the nose, with lots of toasted-wheat aromas, rather than clover. A bit bitter in mouthfeel, good flavors and nice juicy acids.

2009 Barons de Rothschild-Lafite Réserve Spéciale - Bordeaux. $11.99. Light ruby in color - almost see-through. Smells buttery, with the carbonic aroma of nouveau beaujolais. Thin in mouthfeel, with Gamay-like favors that belie the 70/30 Merlot/Cab Sauvignon origins. For $1 more, you can get a "real" Bordeaux in the Macquin below.

2008 Château de Reignac - Bordeaux Supérieur. $19.99. Very dark ruby color. Effusive nose of cassis, toast and oak. Huge on the palate, with big unrelentingly tannins and somewhat bitter fruit. While not very friendly at the moment, it just may come around with a few years of aging. FWIW, this also has one of the more unsightly labels of any of its brethren.

2008 Roc de Cambes - Côtes de Bourg. $49.99. Dark ruby-garnet color. Gorgeous nose of savory fruit, along with kitchen spices and toast. Lovely flavor profile, with dark fruit, savory spices and a very juicy latter palate and long finish. I liked the nose a bit better than the mouthfeel, but it's all good.

2008 Château L'Enclos - Pomerol. $35.99. Medium-dark garnet color. Lush nose of dark berry and cherry fruit. Tasty, if a bit tannic and oaky on the palate, with nice integration of flavors and a long finish.

2005 Château Nenin - Pomerol. $59.99. Medium garnet color, that also seemed to betray some premature aging. Very nice nose of dark fruit, savory spices, charcuterie and saline. A little sweet initially in mouthfeel, followed by very nice savory fruit flavors that seem to thin out about 2/3 in, allowing drying tannins to finish things up. This may just have been bottle variation. But, it's awfully pricey if this is representative.

2006 Château Providence - Pomerol. $99.99. Medium-dark ruby garnet color. Very similar savory aromas to the Nenin, but much deeper in concentration and integration. Very good concentration on the palate, with nice chewy dark fruit, and lots of meaty savory flavors through the long finish.

2008 Château Macquin Saint-Georges - Saint-Émilion. $12.99. Medium ruby garnet color. Nice, if primary nose of cassis and dark cherry, with a faint tobacco scent. Very fruit-driven flavors on the palate, with good balance, and a hint of green tobacco at the finish.

2006 Château Haut-Brisson La Grave - Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. $24.99. Mediumgarnet color. Nose of cassis, tobacco, some savory spice, and classic French stink. Very nice and flavorful on the palate, with elements of dark fruit, toasted spice, and touches of toast and tobacco. Nice!

2008 Clos la Madeleine - Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. $24.99.
Medium ruby garnet color. Nose of dark fruit, with toasted spice and meat drippings. Not a big wine, but smooth and seamless on the palate, with lots of savory flavors and lovely finish.

Lucia - Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. $39.99. Medium-dark ruby garnet color. Nose of dark fruit and spice, with an interesting hint of roasted beet. Fabulous flavors, excellent balance and very long tasty finish.

2008 Château Fontplégade - Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. $49.99. Dark ruby-garnet color. Nice fruit-driven oak-integrated nose, with black cherry and cassis aromas - mingled with toasty new oak. Nice concentration, generous mouthfeel, with lots of dark fruit and toasty flavors. Excellent balance and long chewy finish. A really nice wine from the best of neighborhoods. Yet, a bit overpriced for my palate.

2007 Château Haut-Bailly - Pessac-Léognan. $59.99. Medium-dark ruby color. Amazing nose of dark fruit, kitchen spices, and roasted meat. Sadly, the palate didn't seem to carry forward on this tour de force. Very nice dark fruit flavors, but missing other elements made the mouthfeel less entrancing.

2008 Château D'Issan - Margaux. $39.99. Medium-dark ruby garnet color. Lovely nose of moderate cherry and cassis notes, with traces of vanilla and some savory aromas. Nice fruit, if a bit vanilla-laced and sedate. Tasty long finish.

2008 Clos du Marquis - Saint Julien. $39.99. Medium-dark ruby garnet color. Nose of cassis, dark cherry and toasted spice. Filled with fresh red fruit, slight macerated quality, very good balance and finish. Has a little New World quality to it.

2008 Château Saint-Pierre - Saint Julien. $49.99. Medium-dark garnet color. Beautiful nose of dark fruit, toast, and savory spices. nice acids create a hi-toned quality to the dark fruit. Less savory elements on the palate, with more emphasis on fruit through the long finish.

2006 Château Léoville Barton - Saint Julien. $69.99. Medium-dark ruby color. Great nose of dark toast-scented fruit, with hints of tobacco and spice. Excellent balance, very tasty in mouthfeel, with a long luxurious finish.

2008 Moulin de Duhart - Pauillac. $39.99. Medium-dark ruby color. Nose of black cherry, cassis, tobacco and leather. Nice concentration of fruit, although some green notes creep into the flavor, and a light quinine-like bitterness seems to permeate the latter palate and finish.

2007 Château de Myrat - Sauternes. $35.99. Medium gold color. Lovely stone fruit and sweet citrus in the nose. Smooth across the palate, with no edges and a seamless but crisp finish.


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Updated 3.20.11