Cheers To Our Customers

During our Anniversary sale, I was helping a customer load up with some good wine for an unbelievable price. Happy as she was, she also said, “The downside of this is that I won’t be back for a while.” It struck me. I felt the same. We love having you all here in our shop! Whether you’re buying, seeking advice, comparing notes, or just popping in to say hi, we’re always here for you and are glad to see you. (If you do not live in our area, please know that we appreciate your phone calls, emails, and other correspondence just as much). Anyway, before I get too gushy here, the point that I’d like to illustrate is that we get so much out of these unique relationships that we have with you. I could name names and go on and on, but that would probably cause most of you to hit the delete key thinking that I’ve been doing too much “research”. But through the feedback we have received, and of these relationships we have with you, we know we’re not just another wine shop.

As our staff is acutely aware of, you never know what you’re going to get when you answer the phone. I answered one the other day, and it was a longtime customer who particularly loves Bordeaux. I like to talk about Bordeaux. That’s an understatement. In fact, if it wasn’t for Bordeaux, they’d call me the quiet guy around here. From time to time, when this customer calls, we share tasting notes and perceptions of various Bordeaux that we have tasted. He asked me if I had tried the 2005 Chateau Grand Ormeau. When I said no, not yet, he said, “I would advise you to do so, the sooner the better.”

2005 Chateau Grand Ormeau Lalande de Pomerol (half bottle)
Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;

Very limited supply in half-bottles
2005 Chateau Grand Ormeau Lalande de Pomerol
Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
Add to Cart
2005 Bordeaux For Now – Chateau Grand Ormeau
This emphatic advice was not lost upon me. Considering the source, I was not going to hesitate. I plopped a bottle down by the radio (where I like to keep my homework before I leave) and drew up plans to pop it on New Year’s Day of the Julian Calendar (which was last Wednesday). Being a holiday, I planned to do it up a little. I’ve been dining at my best friend’s house a lot lately, always leaving him with a less than tidy kitchen. I thought it only fair to mess mine up for a change. When I got home, I popped the Grand Ormeau. No decanter, I just let it breathe out of the bottle. An hour and a half had passed. We had a little sparkling to start, it was New Year’s after all. Then, as things had come together, we tasted the Bordeaux. “Holy cow. Where’d this come from?” he asked. We have been tasting wine together for many years and his reactions are usually more reserved and scientific in nature. We then continued to enjoy a delightful holiday dinner with an accessible 2005 red Bordeaux that continued to improve over time.

What struck me most was indeed the accessibility of this wine. I’ve tasted through more than a handful of 2005 red Bordeaux, and one thing is for sure, it is a vintage of amazing concentration across the board. The concentration and structure of most of these wines makes you want to forget about them in the cellar for 10 years or more. But this one? It was lovely. Rich in aromatics; solid, yet harmonious on the palate, finishing like the encore at a Springsteen show. Hmmmm. No wonder my buddy just bought a case!

Tasting Notes
As stated above, opened approximately 90 minutes prior to tasting and left in bottle. My first impression of the aromatics was favorable. It was young, no doubt, but behind the toasty, mocha aroma was what seemed like an elegant presence of briary, berry-like fruit. On the palate, the oak influences backed off as the velvety, dark fruit shined through it as a halogen light would in a dark forest. We could detect some earthy, forest floor like nuances on the palate as well. The finish was bright and zippy and quite reminiscent of dark cherries. If you would have served this to me blind, there is no way I would have thought it to be from 2005, it’s just so drinkable! I bet it will still be good in 10 years too.

Oh yeah, some of you may care what Robert Parker thinks: “Grand-Ormeau, one of Lalande de Pomerol’s finest estates, has fashioned two outstanding wines in 2005 (I actually preferred the basic cuvee over the Cuvee Madeleine). The open-knit, accessible 2005 regular cuvee boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as copious quantities of sweet black cherries, mocha, and strawberries, and an opulent, plush, concentrated mouthfeel. This beautifully textured, heady, round wine should be enjoyed over the next 7-8 years.” – 91 points, The Wine Advocate #178, August 2008

So you see, it’s a two way street here. As Anya said, “We taste a lot of bad wine so you don’t have to.” And we can advise you, based on what we learn about your tastes, what wines you may or may not enjoy. The best thing for us is hearing your stories about what you’re tasting and what you’re enjoying. We look forward to seeing/hearing from you all soon, and to continue helping you with all things vinuous! – Peter Zavialoff


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Filed under 2005, 2005 Bordeaux, Bordeaux, French Wine, Peter Zavialoff

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