We were suppose to be in Napa this weekend. Sadly, no one should be in Napa/Sonoma except Firefighters and first responders. However in lieu of; the Sodhani party, appointments at Beau Vinge, Mark Herold & a steak at Cole’s Chop House, what the next best thing? #STEAKANDCLARETNIGHT at home in the backyard. This 86 was amazing with my ribeye. The kind of pleasure that causes great pause and rolls the eyes a bit. On the nose; menthol, eucalyptus, dry herbs, soft ripe blackberries, dark cherries, strawberries, baked plum, perfectly stated baking spices, stones, soft unstated spice, clay, rich dark earth, touch of black cherry cola and fresh & dark florals. The palate is heaven as it coats. The body medium full, layered and the tannins are nicely resolved but not completely...still a fair amount of life in this bottle. I’d say it’s still around it’s peak. The fruits are ripe and still fresh. Blackberries, baked plum, dark cherries, strawberries, dry cranberries, hues of blueberries, black cherry cola, sweet darker spice, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, dark rich earth, dry stones, tobacco, suede leather, dry clay, menthol, eucalyptus, touch of dry herbs, fresh & dry dark flowers, beautiful, round acidity, perfect 12.5% alcohol and a long, even, elegantly balanced with beautiful structure, tension & length that’s lasts two minutes. It’s in a really excellent spot. 9.6 with the ribeye and 9.4 on it’s own. Photos of; an aerial shot of Chateau Canon, owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer who made their first big money on Chanel, own Rauzan-Segla and are worth just under a paltry 10 billion, their barrel room and their Saint-Emilion vineyard. Producer notes and history...Chateau Canon is a premier cru with a history of fine vintages. This Saint-Emilion property has long been recognised as one of the best in the appellation. It is believed that Canon was named after Jacques Kanon, the naval officer who bought estate in 1760. He built the château here and surrounded it with plantings solely of vines...a rare agricultural practice at the time. However, he then sold the estate to a Bordeaux négociant just ten years later. In 1919 it was purchased by the Fournier family, who owned the property until 1996. When they sold it to the Wertheimer family, owners of Chanel and of Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux it unfortunately had some serious problems. The cellars were contaminated with TCA, the chemical compound which causes cork taint. Many of the vines were infected by viruses and in need of being replaced. As well, part of the vineyard above the quarried cellars had subsided. Fortunately the Wertheimers had the money to fix these issues and a manager, John Kolasa with the skills. The first decade of the 21st century saw Canon begin to regain its reputation once John Kolasa retired and Nicolas Audebert at Rauzan-Ségla took over. The substantial estate covers 22 hectares on Saint-Emilion’s famous limestone plateau close to the town. The vines have an average age of 25 years and are generally planted with a southerly or south-westerly exposure. 75% of the vines are Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. After the grapes are hand-picked, they are fermented in traditional cone-shaped vats, before spending 18 months ageing in oak barrels, 50% new and 50% used. — 4 years ago
Sometimes a man has to take #steakandclaretnight into his own hands. This fine Bordeaux is worth the 28 year wait, and cuts the rich dry aged ribeye like a razor. The color of the wine is still so strong, the texture so rich, yet the wine finishes bright. The magic of Bordeaux is in this bottle- dark fruit, bright finish! — 4 years ago
Pichon Lalande is my favorite 2nd growth with a steak. Yup...it's #SteakandClaret night to quote my buddy Gary Westby. Further, it's certainly one of my favorite producers period. I've waited for this wine to be in the bottle for 10 years before finding out definitely how good it was or wasn't. You see, the 05 Bordeaux vintage was exceptional. It's drinking right now better than 00. 00 may turn out to be better, but not for some time. The real issue was the division of scores between RP & NM. Parker had this as low as an 86 and now has it at 89. Neil Martin has been consistently at 95-96. I found it simply inexplicable that Pichon Lalande could have bombed in such a great vintage. Tonight, I know they didn't. This wine is beautiful. Although, I don't believe it will cellar as long as their some of their very best vintages and many others I've enjoyed. On the nose, bramble, ripe blackberries, dark cherries, notes of blueberries, poached strawberries, graphite, baking spices, cedar, lightly perfumed violets and dark, fresh & dry red flowers. The body is medium-medium plus, tannins nicely resolved with 10 years to be completely resolved. Fruits of; ripe blackberries, dark cherries, notes of blueberries, poached strawberries and pomegranate with a whiff of spice. There's notes of dry bramble, soft leather, fresh violets, graphite, cedar, dry stones, dark rich earth, limestone, tobacco, spice-box, vanilla, very light cinnamon & nutmeg. The finish is very long, elegant, ripe, round, smooth, good acidity and beautifully elegant...50-50 earth & fruit. I bought more bottles of this at $85 after it's was first released in futures and I do not regret it. $85 is proving to be a steal for this wine when it normally sells for between $100-$150 a bottle and higher. Might heavy up further after tonight if I find more around the same price. Oh yes...I'm with NM on the scoring. Photos of the Chateau, estate vines, newer tasting room & the Virginie de Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande. Forgive my long post, but my passion and love for this producer is profound. Producer history and notes...as I wrote in an earlier post for Pichon Baron, Pichon Baron and Lalande started as one entity. The first mention of what is now called Chateau Pichon Lalande was the creation of Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan. Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan is responsible for forming many of the top Bordeaux estates today. Pichon Lalande was given its name when Therse, the daughter of the founder received the estate as a dowry when she married Jacques de Pichon Longueville. Pichon Lalande was essentially managed by three women, Therese de Rauzan, Germaine de Lajus and Marie Branda de Terrefort. On the eve of his death in 1850, Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville divided the property between his five children. His three daughters received Pichon Lalande and his sons Pichon Baron. What happened next was Virginie, the wife of the Count of Lalande took over the management of the estate under the name of Comtesse de Lalande. In 1850 she commissioned the popular, architect Duphot to build a residence inspired by the Hotel de Lalande, located in Bordeaux. Without heirs, Pichon Lalande passed down from aunts to nieces. Following World War I, the Miailhe brothers, bought Pichon Lalande in 1925. They were the ones who planted even more Merlot. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, the daughter of Edouard Miailhe became the new owner and general manager of Chateau Pichon Lalande in 1978. She expand the size of Chateau Pichon Lalande from 40 hectares to it's current 89 hectares. Chateau Pichon Lalande remained in the same family for more than 250 years! In fact, over three centuries, only two families have owned Pichon Lalande. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing sold Pichon Lalande to the owners of Roederer Champagnein in January 2007. This family-run company is managed by Frederic Rouzaud who owned several other wine estates in Bordeaux; Chateau Bernadotte, Chateau de Pez, Haut Beausejour and Chateau Reaut la Graviere. He sold Chateau Bernadotte in December 2012. In February, 2011, Sylvie Cazes was named the director of Chateau Pichon Lalande. She replaced Gildas d’Ollone. Sylvie Cazes was replaced in 2012 by current Director Nicolas Glumineau, who was previously at Chateau Montrose. In 2012, Pichon Lalande renovated the estate with a budget estimated at over 15 Million Euros. The new facilities included; building of a new underground barrel aging cellar and several new buildings...one that houses their new tasting room as shown. This renovation provided numerous improvements in their wine making. Most importantly, in the vinification. They created a new, triple tiered, cellar where everything moves by gravity. They also added numerous new, stainless steel, temperature controlled, double skinned vats. These new vats allow Pichon Lalande to vinify on a parcel by parcel basis as well as get much softer & gentle extractions. The 89 hectare vineyard of Chateau Pichon Lalande is located adjacent to Chateau Latour and and across the road from Pichon Baron. The terroir of Chateau Pichon Lalande is deep gravel with clay and limestone soil and is planted to; 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. — 4 years ago
#steakandclaretnight chez moi with Marin Sun Farms ribeye and this rarely-seen 2nd label of Pape-Clement. Although a little dodgy looking with a low fill and signs of seepage, this 28 year old just gained dark fruit and freshness in the decanter. Delicious, if a bit simple for a nearly 30 year old claret. — 5 years ago
On the nose, bright, lean, ripe cherries, dark cherries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranate juice, vanilla, cinnamon, very light spice, wood shavings, loamy soils, dry stones, and bright red fragrant florals. The mouthfeel is lean for Bordeaux. The tannins are lighter than dusty...so resolved. You can tell this is 70% Merlot & 20% Cab Franc as the cherries are singing in harmony better than the group America on the album "Horse with No Name" or for you kids "Fifth Harmony." The rest of the fruits are equally amazing, bright, lean, ripe; cherries, dark cherries, strawberries, cranberries & pomegranate juice. Vanilla, cinnamon, very light spice, wood shavings, loamy clay soils, dry, crushed, fine powdery rocks, dry stones & bright red roses/florals. This wine is pictured in the dictionary under pure elegance. The soft, round, acidity pours over the palate. The fruit driven finish goes on and on. I'm not sure this is going to continue to improve. I think it has about 5 years of good drinking left. Producer notes...Chateau Fleur Cardinale was purchased by Dominique and Florence Decoster in 2001. Prior to buying their first Bordeaux wine estate, they were in the fine porcelain and China business in the Limoges region of France. Chateau Fleur Cardinale is located next door to Valandraud & Rol Valentin & near Chateau Faugeres. Fleur Cardinale takes its name from the myriad of roses and other flowers that are planted around the estate. The 24.5-hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Fleur Cardinale is planted to 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. The oldest Merlot vines are 60 years old and vineyard average is 40 years. The soils of their terroir are clay over limestone. Since 2013, the vineyard is farmed using organic, self-sustainable techniques. For the vinification, the juice undergoes a cold maceration at 5 degrees Celsius for 5 or 6 days. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation and a warm maceration for 2 to 3 weeks. All the pumping over is done by gravity, which avoids stirring the musts and stressing the yeasts. Chateau Fleur Cardinale is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. It is also good paired with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta. Photos of, the Chateau and estate vines, beautiful fruit waiting to be delivered to the Chateau and pressed, the gate entrance and barrel room. The 05 vintage is as beautiful as advertised and drinking better than the 2000's I've had in the last two years. This 05 is a steal for just under $50 when I purchased it in 2007.
#SteakandClaretNight — 4 years ago
Bordeaux improves with age so reliably, I hope I can keep my hands off some of this long enough to see it mature. This bottle had very Margaux like perfume, big dark fruit and a long finish. This is richer than most claret we drink, but still has the acidity needed for pairing with steak. #steakandclaretnight — 4 years ago
In every difficult vintage, anywhere, you will find producers that make exceptional wines. This 91 Palmer is such a wine. I have to thank Clyde Beffa owner of K&L Wine Merchants who has been traveling to Bordeaux for 35+ years for highly recommending two 91 Bordeaux's to me. The 91 Pichon Lalande; which he described as "heavenly." It's just the word I would have used to described it 5 or 6 years ago. Also, this 91 Palmer. He described as, "I love it-soft and silky." I would strongly agree. You see, critics gave the 91 vintage a horrific review as a whole. Bordeaux had two frosts in April and a cold growing season. These elements didn't prevent either of these producers from making beautifully elegant 1991 wines. I have said it many times and will say it again, taste wines even in difficult vintages. You'll find value and some excellent wines. As for this 91, it's in perfect form. Excellent on it's own and even better with the ribeye. It's so elegant, smooth, beautiful, ripe and well balanced with earth & fruit. The fruits are slightly stewed & baked. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, touch of rhubarb, cherries, strawberries. Dried florals, used leather, tobacco with ash, slight vegetal quality, anise, not too sweet black cherry licorice/cola, figs, dark earth with crushed rocks, dry stones, underbrush, understated spice and perfect acidity that drips over the palate. The length, structure, balance and finish are in perfect harmony & the finish goes on and on and on. As many times as we've been to Bordeaux, we never get tired of the drive on the D-2 through Margaux and Pauillac. Chateau Margaux & Palmer stand side by side in beautiful prodigious history to say nothing of Baron Pichon & Pichon Lalande. Every year, for my B-day, I have a great steak and an old Bordeaux. It just doesn't get any better than that. And as many of those nights I've had, B-day or not, this might have been the best. Perhaps topping or equaling the Ribcap at Bourbon Steak and the 91 Pichon Lalande. To quote Gary Westby, "it steak and claret night." 12% alcohol is so much more enjoyable than 15% plus. ❤🍷🎉🎂 — 5 years ago