Last Thursday, I was hanging out with Warrick Brown of CSI: Las Vegas (actor Gary Dourdan) during the Fête de la Fleur at Smith-Haut-Lafite in Bordeaux. We, like the 1,500 or so other people there, were sweltering in the underground cellar as hundreds of bottles of wine were being served to the participants of the multicourse black-tie dinner. It’s an annual dinner that marks an end to a long Vinexpo every other year.
Jean-Michel Cazes, the legendary owner of Lynch Bages, gave a quick speech as president of the Commanderie du Bontemps, the promotional organization for the fine wines of Bordeaux, which hosted the dinner.
“One thing we know for sure is that the 2007 will be another very good year,” he said. I think he was joking, but I am not sure. Bordeaux’s baby vintage is already on its way and the vines are about a week in advance. Makes me wonder if anyone is really interested any more in 2006, despite a great number of very good to excellent wines? The first-growths and others have really missed the market this year coming out so late.
Anyway, Warrick is a cool dude. He says the show is all filmed in Los Angeles, where he lives, even though it’s supposed to be in Vegas. And he says he loves wine, particularly Italian wines. He said he was off to Rome after the fête to spend time with friends and drink some Brunello. Sounds like a good idea to me. In fact, I was doing the same. Maybe some Barolo as well.
We had some excellent wines at the dinner, including the 2000 Smith-Haut-Lafite white and red, as well as Pez 2001 and Rauzan-Ségla 1996. The wine of the evening, however, was the 1998 Haut-Brion. Unbelievable. Warrick was digging the stuff. We probably shared a bottle between us at the table.
I blogged about the second wine of Haut-Brion in 1998 last week, but the first wine is the real deal. If I am not mistaken, the participants of last year’s gala dinner at the Wine Experience drank quite a bit of it. What a wine. This could be the new 1989 Haut-Brion. I love the beautiful aromas of cedar, cigar box, Indian spices and ripe plum and berry fruit. The palate is full yet ultrarefined with supersilky, caressing tannins. This is all class and texture. The more I taste it the closer it gets to 100 points. It needs another five to six years of bottle age to really come into its own, but it’s still a dream now. I am not sure if Warrick would give it 100 points, but he had one of the biggest smiles in the room.
David Nerland — Scottsdale — June 26, 2007 12:19pm ET
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — June 26, 2007 12:57pm ET
Jeffrey Haller — June 26, 2007 5:07pm ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — June 27, 2007 12:30am ET
James Suckling — — June 27, 2007 1:17am ET
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