Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2004 Bordeaux Cru Classe -Paulliac

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a tasting of Cru Classe wines from the Pauillac Commune in Bordeaux. I was a guest of the Portland Wine Group and this tasting was a follow up to one they had conducted a few months ago with the wines of St. Julian.

We double, blind tasted 8 wines (double blind means that the wine is decanted into numbered carafes and then the carafes are mixed up so no one knows the identity of the wine to be poured).
Please note that the bottom of the carafe is given a number so ultimately you can decode what is what.

This Cru Classe line-up included:

Chateau (Name) My Rank(#)/Group Rank(#)-Tasting notes

Chateau d'Armailhac 6/6-Tart red fruit, no mid-palate, long finish.

Chateau Clerc Milon 8/8-Corked bottle, unfortunate, this wine still showed some nice fruit, good balance and great structure.

Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 7/7-A hint of lead pencil on the nose. Soft, almost new world fruit. No mid-palate.

Chateau Lynch Bages 2/3-I had originally scored this wine 5th, but after tasting through the lineup it really opened up. Good currant fruit, nice balance, long finish with just a hint of spice and oak on the nose and palate.

Chateau Pichon-Baron 2nd Growth 3/2-Spice on the nose, dusty red fruit (cherry), tart acidity, nice finish with a touch of oak on the palate.

Chateau Pichon-Lalande 2nd Growth 1/1-Spice, tobacco and cigar box on the nose,racy acid and a solid tannins in the background that still need some time to fully integrate. This will get even better (as it should).

Chateau Pontet Canet 5/5-Perfumy nose, red currant, graham cracker and licorice.

Chateau Senejac (this was a ringer) 4/4-Forward red fruit, dusty tannins, oak on the nose and a slight bitterness on the finish.

All of the wines with the exception of the Pichon-Baron and Lalande were 5th Growth wines. The Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce classified the wines of Bordeaux back in 1855 and there has been 1 wine (Ch. Mouton Rothschild-go figure) that has moved anywhere on the list.
In regard to the scoring above this is a group average of 15 people. Before you all start thinking that I am some sort of "Hella" wine taster, lets just say that I got lucky. By the way, the wines that finished 1st-3rd, by all rights should have place in that order. Funny how terroir shows its head again. It is just like real estate-location, location, location.

All in all this was a fantastic tasting. 2004 is considered to be an "off year". These wines are all drinkable now and will evolve for the next decade or longer. In my humble opinion if you like to drink Bordeaux then snap these up.