|Okay. First, the big news. I will be representing The Wine House at this year’s En Primeur tastings in Bordeaux beginning March 29th. Never mind the fact that long-term forecasts are calling for “showers” for the whole week. Never mind the fact that I’ve been worried sick over making all these reservations and appointments. Anya has threatened to “whack (me) upside the head” if she hears any more worry or concern. But I understand her point. Yes, I am going to Bordeaux. I accept. I will keep quiet. I will be professional. Starting NOW!
It is no secret that I love Bordeaux. Yes, it’s obvious. Very few things give me as much pleasure as sharing a fine bottle of Claret with the right company. Or Sauternes. Or Dry White Bordeaux, for that matter. I take particular pride in helping those of you who ask for recommendations for all wines Bordelais. It makes me prouder than a parent with an honor student bumper sticker when y’all come in raving about a Bordeaux that I helped you pick out. Well I’ll be. I had to stop typing this for a minute to ask a customer how he liked a half bottle I recommended last week. He loved it! He asked me to recommend something else in 750 ml format. He’s walking out of here today with a 2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale. Something tells me he’s going to love that one too. 2006, to me, is definitely the most overlooked and underrated Bordeaux vintage that I’ve tasted in a decade!
So far we’re hearing a lot of positive things about the 2009 vintage. We’ve been here before. Vintage of the decade? Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! So I’m going to go find out for myself. And for all of you too! As a matter of fact, I would love to hear from you all about this. I will be tasting a lot of wine. A lot is an understatement. If any of you readers are curious about any particular chateau’s 2009, please drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know which ones you’re interested in, and I’ll do my best to taste and evaluate the wine for you. I can’t guarantee I will be able to answer all requests, but I will do the best I can. I also plan to write about the week’s activities on our blog, with links on Facebook and Twitter. So be a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and I’ll keep you up on all the goings on!
And Now My Wine Of The Week:
Changing gears completely, how did you all survive St. Paddy’s week? With the exception of The Chelsea Blues crashing out of the Champions’ League, it has been a positive week for me. I had one particularly great wine-tasting experience. Once upon a time, I was in a rock and roll band that played on Front St. on St. Paddy’s Day four years in a row. For a bunch of amateurs with day jobs, those were the gigs of dreams. Anyhoo, it has become tradition to play music on this day (and get the car parked). Fast forward to this year, and my current band, who got together at Slaggers (That would be my nickname for the lead guitar player’s jam room). In fine Irish tradition, there was corned beef in the Crock Pot, boiled taters, and of course, the cabbage. He called earlier in the day and asked me to “bring a couple bottles of Riesling.” Not wanting to break the bank, I thought to take a shot on the 2003 Grand Cru Vorbourg Riesling from Rene Mure. His Grand Cru Rieslings are unbeatable. They are rich and expressive, dry and mineral laden. 2003 was a very hot, dry vintage which made it difficult for the wines to achieve the proper levels of acidity. Mure’s wines were a different story. I tried several of his “entry level” Tradition wines from this vintage and have been impressed with the balance and verve of acidity. So impressed that when I saw a Grand Cru for less than $20, I had to jump on it. At first, I grabbed a bottle, and was looking for something else, and stopped in my tracks. “Why not just grab 2?” I thought. “You know this wine has good acidity, it’s a Grand Cru, it’s going to go over great.” Good instincts.
I got to my buddy’s house around 6:45, found the boys downstairs in the middle of “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, and immediately forgot about my commute. They stopped playing, we all went upstairs, I began to relax, and we assessed dinner was around 30 minutes away. Back down to the room for 3 songs and it was time. Set the table, got the food on serving plates, and out of the fridge came 2 bottles of the Riesling. The pairing couldn’t have been better. Nothing but praise from all 4 corners of the table. The wine had fleshy Riesling fruit, just a hint of petrol, a profound dusty mineral presence, bracing acidity, and a long zippy finish. It’s not just for Corned Beef and Cabbage either. If you like dry Riesling that speaks of a place, don’t pass this up. It’s the bee’s knees!
In just 30 minutes, everything was gone. Except the smiles. This gang knows their wine, so winning their collective praise is not an everyday experience. But on March 17, 2010, I hit the cover off the ball! Hmmm. Just think, what does Grand Cru Burgundy cost? Hmmm. Interesting indeed! The music took on a whole new vibe after dinner, and the beginning of my new song, “Like a Brick Through a Window”, was written! – Peter Zavialoff