7.1.09 French Reds, No Whites, American Blues

1 07 2009

In honor of America’s bday, we did things Frisco style and drank French: 4 reds, no whites, and we made America cry. As always, we didn’t reveal the prices until after tasting each wine, so the tasting notes are for the wine without accounting for value.

The wines from this week

The wines from this week

Our first wine up was the ’07 Bouchard Aîné et Fils, a Vin de Pays d’Oc labeled as “Pinot Noir” ($10). Kelly thought it smelled just like Rhone Pinot and was “intrigued,” I smelled raspberries, vanilla and a hint of magic marker, and Ellen picked up cherry while Luke got some tobacco.

On the palate, everyone agreed it was light bodied and “watery” – Jessalyn said it tasted like the country wine that it is, and wanted a loaf of bread to go with. Kelly agreed it was rustic and said it tasted better than he thought it would.

#2 was ’06 Domaine de Fontsainte, AOC Corbières ($13), a Languedoc-Roussillon blend of Carignane, Grenache and Syrah. I thought it tasted like strawberry jam on toast. Kelly also picked up a smoky flavor. Ellen said it smelled more airy than the previous one, while Katie got a smell of old library book on it. Jessalyn said it smelled like a friendly wet dog, not necessarily in a bad way though.

Like the previous wine this one came across as very light bodied, “thin” according to Kelly. Luke thought it was a “letdown” and Jessalyn thought it tasted a bit like red Kool-aid. Katie said the acid took over the flavor, but she still liked it.

Our #3 wine was the ’05 Moulin de la Gardette, AOC Gigondas ($30), containing Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Right off the bat Luke was excited about the smell, but Katie and Ellen both focused on the old world “funk” in the nose, which for some reason prompted Katie to tell everyone she wanted a painting of herself draped over the Golden Gate Bridge for the blank wall above our couch. Kelly picked up white pepper on the nose, and Ellen thought it had a more robust nose than the previous two.

Everyone agreed it was the best tasting wine so far. I got a lot of plum in the palate and it was a definite step up in quality from the others. Jessalyn really liked the strong white pepper flavors, and Kelly had a hard time pinning down all the complex flavors in the wine, but eventually came up with warm strawberry rhubarb pie.

Our last wine was the ’05 Le Libertin de Lussac, AOC Lussac-Saint-Émilion ($18), a Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend. The nose made Kelly happy, and he said “Stacy’s mom and this Bordeaux have it goin’ on.” He mentioned a lavender smell while Luke picked up rose petals, both of which reminded me of the artificial perfume they pump into the new Palazzo casino in Vegas. Luke also associated with soap and Kelly said it reminded him of Costco and shampoo.

Jessalyn said it tasted different from the others we tasted, like “unexpectedly pleasant gummy bears.” Kelly said it had a “grip”, which I think is a good thing, but also still young – a good value that would probably have improved with a few more years in the bottle. ’05 was an excellent vintage for Bordeaux and this bottle was no exception. He also found a chalky flavor and dark red or black fruit notes.

Happy Winos

Happy Winos

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