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Two Older Wines, One Burgundy and a Bordeaux

CIMG2350 We love to pull older wines out of the cellar.  Generally we’ve been rarely disappointed or unpleasantly surprised when opening a ten year old bottle of quality wine.  There have been one or two, and then it becomes an academic exercise of noting the flavors and aromas and what time has done to ravage them.  Partly the case here, as one of these has stood up well to the last decade and is drinking very well.  The other is still good, but it is not what it was.  Still a chance it makes a comeback – but we won’t know as we drank our last bottle!  If you can find them at a good price try a nice mature Burgundy or Bordeaux, but there are better choices for the Bordeaux.  The wines:

 

Wine:   2003 Chateau Potensac          Winery Location:  Medoc,  Bordeaux

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                            Date:    January  2014

Tasting Notes:     We’ve had cases of Chateau Potensac.  In fact this Chateau was one of the defining moments in my wine life when we ordered a bottle of the 97 at a restaurant and it was a revelation.  Not that it was the best bottle of wine ever, but at that time it showed me something new and great, a pure core of fruit that ran down the middle of the wine and just shined.  It also was a great example of what a perfectly aged Bordeaux, even a lesser Chateau, could offer. We bought a case of that 97 and have always picked up some Potensac in good vintages.  The 2003 was excellent over the past 5-6 years, but this bottle was tired.  Somewhat closed down the classic Bordeaux aromas were there, they just weren’t screaming to get out of the glass.  It was dark purple red, not showing any color traces of age.  Medium bodied it has nice length.  Dark fruits, maybe some green vegetable and subtle floral flavors.  Even the palate is restrained though, and it seems like the wine is hiding.  It’s good.  It isn’t really good right now.

Price Point –   We paid about $20 years ago.  You can still find it but it is in the $40 range.

Would We Buy It? –   Not at the current price.  It’s just not near its’ peak, which I suspect was about four years ago.  I would pass, but it is not a bad wine right now.

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Wine:   2004 Monthelie Cuvee Paul          Winery Location:  Burgundy

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                                      Date:    January, 2014

Tasting Notes:    This is mature Burgundy, and not a Premier or Grand Cru, so you don’t think super long lived.   It shows amber tinges at the rim giving away its age, otherwise it is almost a strawberry red.  There is red fruit, with cherry on the nose.  Almost a hint of something funky in the background.  I’d almost say TCA but it was too subtle, probably just the earthiness and terroir coming through.  This is medium bodied, complex and quite long.  Considering what we paid it was a very nice bottle of mature Burgundy.  It’s not Romanee Conti but it is also not four figures.

Price Point –   2 for $30, or $15.  Quite a good deal there.

Would We Buy It?    – at that price I’d stick a six pack in the cellar and drink it over the next year.  I could only find the 2006 and later still available online however, and that was trending at $30 a bottle.  We did god with this one.

So two mature French wines from maybe the two most celebrated wine regions in the world.  The Bordeaux has seen better days, but the Burgundy showed well.  You’re always taking a chance with an older bottle, but generally it is worth it.  I think it’s time to drink up the rest of the 2003 Bordeaux.

A votre sante!

 

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