Sunday, May 18, 2014

Everyone loves to taste a good teenager!

Get your mind out of the gutter; this is a wine blog, remember?

Wandering around downtown on Friday night and stumbled into a boutique wine shop that had an interesting selection of wines; nothing really cheap, but some decent priced stuff mixed in with the really big stuff. First thing I noticed was this beauty:

Regular readers of my blog will know what I think of the Silver Oak 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the Napa Valley version; the "better" one. It's also twice the price (in this store, anyway; I think it can be had for slightly less if you find it in the right place). This is the first time I've seen the Napa Valley one on sale here.

We are going to Napa in September and we will be stopping at Silver Oak so I'll get the opportunity to taste it then.

Next I noticed a display of wines from Bordeaux; they were advertising three very different vintages, each for the same price, which seemed odd. Generally store that have different vintages from the same wine have them priced accordingly. As a curiosity if nothing else, I decided to pick up the oldest one. The other options were from 2000 and 2009.

According to some websites on the different growing conditions in Bordeaux over the years, 1998 was dominated by the Left Bank; particularly Merlot. That bode well for this wine, which was 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

We had a wonderful dinner at our good friends' place last night and took this along to have as the "main event" of the evening. After we had enjoyed a few other bottles of nice wine, we opened this up to see what it was like. At 16 years old, it was far from certain to be drinkable; Bordeaux wines can age for decades, of course, but in the proper conditions, not sitting on a store shelf.

1998 Domaine de Viaud, Pomeral, Bordeaux, France ($49.99)

Dark fruits, tobacco and a hint of coffee on the nose, with just a touch of coffee following through on the palate. Black currents and cherries as well.

Given the less-than-ideal storage conditions, this wine has held up very well. There is still a lot of fruit here, and it's very drinkable. I can't say how much longer it will last; certainly sitting on a store shelf can not help it; but if you pick one up and cellar it carefully, perhaps it will still continue to improve. If nothing else, it's a drinkable piece of history right now.


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