Sunday, September 17, 2006

Unlikely Pairing

Tasted two wines this weekend that are worth writing about. My buddy Joel brought one he thought I might like, I brought one that I thought he might like. The history behind this is that I as a rule love Bordeaux, he as a rule hates it and loves new world wines. So, I guess we surprised each other with our selections. The Beau Site Haut-Vignoble, St. Estephe, Cru Bourgouis 2001 is from a pretty austere region of Bordeaux, one that I am quite impartial too, and from an OK vintage. This one is very approachable for a young cru bourgois Bordeaux, pretty nose, quite elegant on the palate with nice restrained oaky tannins. Went very well with a Montreal spiced big fat BBQ'd chicken. The verdict: A solid "good". Value: therein lies the problem with Bordeaux - at over 30 bucks this struggles to hit any price quality ratios.
The counterpoint was a strangley named wine - the La Baume, The 2001 Selection, Shiraz-Cabernet. Now what the hell is "Shiraz" doing on a french label, you say. I said the same thing, but in this case, it's a good thing - the winemaker is Australian and he makes this one like a new world wine. Wines like this show the french that it is possible to make a high quality full bodied fruit driven tannic juice bomb (to compete with the rest of the world) from a region not generally renowned for such intensity. Good winemaking skill here. This is a definite try if you can get your hands on it (actually, try ANY wine these guys make, from any vintage, and make your own judgements). This one gets a solid "good" also, but when you factor in the cost ($16), gets an "outstanding" for value. Buy as much as you can get your hands on.



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