Big Bold Bordeaux

I have rules. One of them is, when you rsvp in the affirmative, you show up. So it was that I found myself running into the recent Lanigan & Edwards annual Bordeaux tasting at the Yardbird this week with only 45 minutes to taste through their Bordeaux line up.

These guys are pros. Real specialists. They have an array of extremely respectable Bordeaux wines that seem to become more affordable each year and each year their guests get to taste the latest vintages.

This year, I was running late so I thought I could narrow the tasting down to only bottles I could buy for BiBO. Nothing over $xx.xx I declared to Tony. So I scanned the tasting list as Tony graciously invited me to taste everything. My time-saving plan had failed. All the wines were in my price range! All 21 of them. (gulp.)

The room was a perfect set up with a good range of cheeses, fresh bread and charcuterie on one side of the room and two separate tables to taste. First the left bank (Medoc, Graves & Sauternes) and then the right bank (Libournais, Bourg & Blaye). There’s a great site here: if you want to learn more about the intricacies of Bordeaux.

What to do but get started?! The following notes are a direct plagiarism from the Lanigan & Edwards notes and include my necessarily short {comments} after theirs. All these wines are available in Alberta right now and can be left to rest or enjoyed now. Starting on the good old left bank we tasted:

Ch. Reynon Blanc 2011 (Cotes de Bordeaux) +763554 – 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Steely & pure with mouth-watering honeysuckle, chamomile and quinine notes that ripple from the start, backed by a long yellow apple accent that sails on brightly. {flinty and fresh. BRIGHT …long.} $$ 90WS

Clos Floridene Blanc 2011 (Graves) +763557 – 55% Sauvignon 44% Semillon, 1% Muscadelle. Intense aroma with fruity notes of white peach, lemon, grapefruit, toasted and grilled nuances, Powerful and fresh flavors of fruit at its best with the density and structure of a great white wine. {tangy nectarine, soft floral finish} 91WS 16JR  $$

Rose de Floridene 2013 (Bordeaux Rose AOC) +765050 – 67%Cabernet Sauvignon 22%Merlot10%Cab Franc1%Malbec. Pale pink in colour. Its’ powerful aroma evokes black currant, passion fruit and wild strawberry. Tasty, refreshing, this wine is plainly irresistable.{super tart & dry. bright & luscious} $$

Seigneurs d’Aiguilhe 2011 (Cotes de Castillon) +765371 – 80%Merlot 20%Cabernet Sauvignon. Red cherry in colour with fruity aromas of cherry jam berries and sage. The palate is lively with strong acidity and with little tannins. {super velvety ‘juicy minerality’} $$

Ch.Cote Montpezat Cuvee Compostelle 2010 (Cotes de Castillon) +749545 – 73%Cabernet Sauvignon 27%Merlot. Shows good vivacity with loganberry boysenberry and fig notes coursing along offering lots of mouth-watering spice and a well embedded licorice streak on the finish. The polished structure and ample length bode well for the cellar. {Yum. deep-elegant balanced. ❤ } 90WS 16JR $$

Delphis de la Dauphine 2011 (Fronsac) +767207 – 80%Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson red colour matching the discrete nose of raspberries and crushed red currants. Fresh attack with a soft structure thanks to the silky tannins. Red fruits on the palate. A light, well-balanced wine. {Juicy, dry & delicious!  A raw silk suit. ❤ }

Ch. De la Huste 2011 (Fronsac) +763544 – 90%Merlot 10%Cab Franc. This wine is deep purple and offers a complexity and bouquet combining notes of fruit and undergrowth to a velvety tannic structure. {stemmy, warm and musky. stinging acidity and perfectly balanced fruit.} 89WS $$

Ch. Gaby 2011 (Canon-Fronsac) +749554 – 80%Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Shows a nose of black fruit nutmeg and black tea. A vibrant palate with firm tight tannins. Spherical fleshy and full-bodied with exuberant fruit (cherry, fine spices).Final finesse with a nice balance. {soooper dark vanilla pudding and spice. Scraping dry tannin and elegant dark fruit.} 90WS 15JR $$

Ch.La Vielle Cure 2011 (Fronsac) +763549 – 75%Merlot 22%Cabernet Franc 3%Cabernet Sauvigon. The dense ruby purple color is followed by a sumptuous palate impression of silky black cherries and blackberries intermixed with wild strawberries. Opulent and rich with the abundant glycerine and lavish concentration concealing moderate tannins. {minty, evergreen … lovely dry Merlot fruit. invigorating acidity. Tooth-achingly good. } 91RP 15JR $$

Ch. Dalem 2011 (Fronsac) +763544 – 90%Merlot 10%Cabernet Franc. A deeply colored well structured claret that is rich in dense black fruits accompanied by chestnut & tobacco nuance. {vanilla muffins, tart & velvety} 90WS 15JR $$

Ch. de La Dauphine 2010 (Fronsac) +737782 – 80%Merlot 20%Cabernet Franc. A bright lively floral style with lots of raspberry and cherry fruit. A floral edge hangs on through the long, licorice filled finish. {Fresh CHERRIES! – fabulous dry mouth-watering. long long finish.2 x ❤ } 90-93WS $$

One table down, one to go. We moved on to the right bank:

Ch.Boutisse 2011 (St. Emilion) +756470 – 85%Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc. Dark ruby in colour. A lively anise note runs through the tasty blackberry and raspberry pate de fruit flavors with lots of sweet toasted spice hints hanging on the finish. This is a fruit driven style, exhibiting the range and freshness to be engaging all the way through. {raspberry and musk oil. JUICY MINERALITY! oh good god that’s good.} 90WS 16JR $$

Ch. La Croix Figeac 2011 (St. Emilion) +764027 – 80%Merlot 20%Cabernet Franc. This terrific sleeper of the vintage displays rich, broad, savory black cherry and black currant fruit intermixed with sandy, loamy soil, licorice and spice box characteristics. Opulent, fleshy and seductive, it has near term drinking potential so enjoy it over the next decade. {delightfully elegant and firm with velvet edges.} 87WS $$

Ch. La Commanderie 2010 (St. Emilion) +756498 – 85%Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc. Intense colour with crimson highlights. Concentrated nose marked by oak with fruity aromas in the background. Dense palate with tightly knit, firm tannins framed by fat and power. Massive across the palate and displaying good balance in this style. {Pretty perfume. Sexy, dense and delicious. Earthy & full. wow.} ❤  ❤ 91WS $$

Ch.Brown 2011 (Pessac-Leognan) +763541 – 55%Cabernet Sauvignon 40%Merlot 5%Petit Verdot. A gentle coffee frame guides the friendly plum sauce and blackberry coulis flavours along while a hint of anise holds the finish. Has a fleshy, caressing feel and ample length. {Lush  cherry nose, mocha. Dense and deep. Absolutely tongue ravaging.} ❤  ❤  ❤  90WS 15.5JR $$$

La Closerie de Camensac (formerly Le Bailly) 2012 (Haut Medoc) +737780 – 65%Cabernet Sauvignon 35%Merlot. Garnet red colour with cherry highlights. The nose is very expressive and gives off aromas of red fruits and plum. On the palate, the texture is silky and the wine is tannic & balanced. {Gorgeous fruit and iodine nose. Deep dark, mysterious palate.}  $$

L’Oratoire de Chasse Spleen 2010 (Moulis-en-Medoc) +737779 – 73% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Merlot 7% Petit Verdot. This vintage is remarkable for its generous fruitiness and fine woody notes. The tannins are lively and mouth still very fresh for a wine that will be assessed for at least seven to ten years. You can taste today after a little aeration. {Meaty, slightly oxidized nose. very woody and stemmy & fresh.} $$

Ch. Mauvesin Barton 2011 (Moulis-en-Medoc) +763551 – 46%Merlot 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot. Medium deep ruby. Captivating nose combines red fruits, mocha and aromatic herbs. Light & lively on the palate with good precision to the red fruit and mineral flavours. Finishes with lovely length and persistent mineral tang. {Marvelous dark berry fruit. Gorgeous clean chewy palate. long long long finish. 2nd vintage! 150 year old vineyard.} $$

Ch. Fourcas Hosten 2010 (Listrac-Medoc) +765372 – 55% Cabernet Sauvignon 45%Merlot. Very dark red violet colour. menthol, tart currant, olive, pencil lead nose. light tart currant menthol olive palate; medium finish. {Barny & juniper notes. ORDER} ❤  ❤  ❤ 16.5JR $$

Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2011 (Saint Julien) +721260 – 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 25%Merlot 8% Cabernet Franc 2%Petit Verdot. What a superb delicious decadent treat this is! It is really generous with ripe plump sweet blackberries and a fabulous creamy texture that is like silk. {Nutty, curry & vanilla nose. Great dense fruit, lovely clean even tannins. Beautifully balanced.} ❤  ❤ 87WS

Then it was back to the left bank for some Sauternes to finish…

Ch. Doisy Daene 2011 (Sauternes) +763545 – 92% Semillon 8% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine delivers a crackling display of tangerine, white peach, persimmon, green fig and ginger notes with perfectly embedded acidity letting everything harmonize beautifully through the finish. Shows stunning length and definition. Best from 2016 through 2035. {So much fresh ginger! apricot! Spicy soft and delicious. } ❤ 95WS $$$

At this point I was drawn to the lovely offerings of cheese and bread to finish my Sauternes with before heading off to work. I never read tasting notes before I taste, so typing the agent’s notes before my own comments has been really interesting! I highly recommend you try this with your own tasting notes.

I also highly recommend picking up some of these wonderful wines and cellaring some of the bottles so that you can watch them progress over the next few years.

With thanks to Lanigan & Edwards,

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