I survived my 2004 Bordeaux tasting.
I never caught the cold. I tasted perfectly. The only thing that went bad was my stomach. Zantac didn't work. Neither did Rennie. But I tasted about 350 reds from 2004 and a couple dozen Sauternes, and I was pleased.
This is not a great vintage but a very good one. I will buy some. They are classic clarets with lovely perfumes, good fruit and fine tannins. They are along the lines of 2001, which I consider a "sleeper vintage" for red Bordeaux.
Anyway, I got as far as Avignon in the car driving back to Italy, and I had to go to a pharmacy to beef up my arsenal of antacids and other concoctions for the trip. I went into one and told the pretty woman behind the counter of my illness, and she smiled.
"I guess it is all the rich French food," I said. "I live in Italy and I am not used to all the butter!"
She smiled back and said, "We use olive oil here in the South of France like in Italy. So why don’t you feel well?"
"I was in Bordeaux," I said. "They use a lot of butter. I was also tasting lots of Bordeaux wines."
"You shouldn't drink Bordeaux," she said with a smile. Needless to say, I won't take her advice on wine, but I did on different medicines.
Anyway, I ended up with my colleague Jo Cooke in a hotel near Avignon and we went to dinner to have a quick meal. I couldn't believe the wine list… good prices and incredible wines. I found a half bottle of 1994 Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage White and a bottle of 1967 Beaucastel Châteauneuf, and they were less than $200 for both! I couldn't believe our luck.
The two wines were among the best I've tasted this year. The Chave was decanted and it showed amazing aromas of apricot jam, lemons and flowers. It was full-bodied, very dry and rich. With air, it began to show aromas of thyme and Chartreuse. It got fresher and fresher with air. The Châteauneuf was amazing. It had aromas of cherry jam, cedar and meat with an almost lamb undertone. It was full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a jammy, super fruit palate. What two amazing wines! And what a price.
I had to come back and blog this from my room. I took two antacids as well.
Thomas Bohrer — Hong Kong — December 10, 2006 9:30pm ET
James Suckling — — December 11, 2006 3:50am ET
James Molesworth — December 11, 2006 9:56am ET
Sj Lim — December 11, 2006 11:26am ET
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