More Great Bordeaux: 2009 Potensac

Holiday Hours: The Wine House will be open Monday, December 31 from 10AM until 4PM. We will be closed New Year’s Day and reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 resuming our normal M-F hours, 10AM until 6PM.
Greetings! We hope you all are having a healthy and happy holiday season. Talk about time flying?!? It seems like just the other day I was rattling off some resolutions for 2012. I think I did okay with them in 2012; it was a year of delightful surprise, hometown pride, a whole lot of live music, and of course, some great wine. When you spend the majority of the year with something tasty and interesting in your glass, it’s tough to focus on just one wine. Case in point, last night I was lucky enough to have been poured the 2001 Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva Especial, and in a word, it was sensational! But Anya told you all about that one already. For my last Sunday email of 2012, I’m going back to the (like shooting fish in a barrel) well, 2009 Bordeaux.

It’s a subject that I have written about often, but hey, with so many great wines, I believe that you cannot have enough 2009 Bordeaux in your cellar! Back in April 2010, I remember tasting the baby wines out of barrel, and I was blown away! Then began the waiting game. I tried to tell everyone that would listen that we all need to load up on 2009 no matter what. Well, I can understand the apprehension. Back in the day, I wouldn’t buy a case of wine without tasting a bottle first. Logical. So I felt like I was sitting on a big secret, only I was blabbing about it. But it was a different kind of secret, words are words, and wine tasting is wine tasting. One thing that I noticed early on was that the wines of the northern Médoc struck my particular fancy in 2009. Sure, Calon Segur, Montrose, and Cos d’Estournel, but also, Tour de By, Clauzet, Larrivaux, and Potensac. The 2009 versions of some of these smaller chateaux are head-turning values! Of the last 4 wines I mentioned, the only one I haven’t written up is the Potensac. Having tasted it out of barrel and out of bottle, I’m shocked I haven’t.

Administered by the Delon family of Léoville Las Cases fame, Château Potensac lies between St Yzans and St Germain d’Esteuil in the northern Médoc. It was at Léoville Las Cases where I tasted the 2009 Potensac out of barrel. My synopsis? I’m going to read my notes verbatim here: “Pure racy cassis fruit w licorice, wood spice wei (well integrated), forest floor / dark full body, intensely concentrated, focused and made to be laid down a little while / savory robe, velvety tannins, acid survives finish, wow.” Also in the left margin is that squiggly line which means “a standout”. Usually, my notes are somewhat cryptic, as the way they’re written is meaningful, but in this case, you can pretty much determine what I thought. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. There was a wine potluck at the home of my landlord, everyone was to bring a bottle. I brought a 2009 Potensac. I decanted it for 90 minutes, poured it back in the bottle and headed on up. What a showing! The aromatics were explosively expressive: Pencil shavings, brambly purple fruit, forest floor, and a hint of spice gave way to a concentrated, yet elegant mouthfeel. The wine was fresh and lively, the acidity propping up the fruit, earth, and spice. The finish was long and in perfect balance, the tannins had slightly more grip than I remember out of barrel suggesting a long happy life for the wine. Someday I’ll wake up and regret not buying more 2009 Bordeaux, and there won’t be any more on the market. That day will come, sadly, but as for today, I’m still socking away 2009’s for the cellar. The Potensac included. For the price, I just had to pick up a 6 pack.

Okay, 2013 here we come! I’m excited. The live music will continue, both as performer and spectator. Next gig is January 20. Champions’ League football is out for now, but how sweet it was! What I’m looking forward to most are the new wines that are waiting to be tasted in the New Year. Onwards and upwards! Happy 2013 everyone!Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about 2009 Bordeaux, English Football, or live music: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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Filed under 2009 Bordeaux, Medoc, Peter Zavialoff

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