As I made my way to my shift at the wine store today, I thought to myself how great it would be if a wine rep were there….My wish was granted. Upon entering, there was Big Dave from Artisan Wines, pouring up a storm. We can always count on Dave to have oh….about a dozen or more wines to taste? He scaled it down to about eight today! That however, was not what was cool about this visit…
On my left, was the Bordeaux shelf…the high end Bordeaux shelf. What I mean by that, is wines WELL over $100 a bottle. Now the average wine buyer does not spend $100 willy-nilly on a bottle of wine! No way! We could buy 3-4 great wines for the price of that one Bordeaux! But Dave spotted the Chateau Le Bon Pasteur from Pomerol and said….”we should open that.” My heart nearly beat out of my chest! My inner voice was screaming, “yes, Yes, YES! PLEASE let’s open that bottle of Bordeaux!” To say that I was ecstatic was the understatement of the year…
Now to give you a little heads up about Pomerol: It’s a curious little corner of the world on the Bordeaux (Southwest France) right bank. When we say “right bank”, we are referring to those appelations that are to the right of the Gironde Estuary. The estuary being the mouth where the Garonne and Dordogne rivers merge. Essentially a body of water dividing the right bank from the left. The Left bank of Bordeaux is known mostly for growth of Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the right bank is known for growth of Merlot, followed closely by Cabernet Franc. Pomerol is also home to the famous Chateau Petrus, a small production Chateau, made with almost exclusively Merlot. (By the way, the store where I work currently houses 12 bottles of 1983 vintage at $3000/bottle. Care to make a wager on a potential bottle of rich man’s vinegar?)
But, I digress..
Located Northeast of the village of Libourne lies a leading Chateau – Le Bon Pasteur. The photo below gives the “big picture” of the area itself. The picture underneath that, shows you exactly where the Chateau is located.
This Pomerol Bordeaux consists of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. And the 2009 vintage was superb! Now, keep in mind that this bottle is only 4 years old. There is a lot of life left here! It could be aged for a good 10-2o years more, I have no doubt. Upon pouring, this nose immediately offered me a chocolate covered coffee bean and…well, dust. After the “dust settled”, as it were, I began to sense that fruit. This wine was literally morphing in my glass as time went on. Dave was gracious enough to pour a little more in my glass so I could keep on tasting it throughout my shift. And I did…Sour cherries became apparent about 3 hours later. Very tight upon initial taste, but the tannins started softening as time passed. All this to say: this wine needs time. And more than three hours of time. This is where, if you have the money, (and you’ve had a taste) the rule of three applies. Buy three bottles. One to drink now, and discover (as I did) that time is needed. Put bottles two and three away in your cellar. In 3-5 years time, pull out bottle number two and taste. See how the flavours have developed. At that time, you should be able to have a pretty good idea where your wine is going. If it still needs time, wait another 3-7 years for bottle three. If it’s drinking nicely, go ahead and break out bottle number three and crack that baby open for a special occasion!
Bottom line? These “high end” Bordeaux wines are not cheap. As a matter of fact, this one was $130 on the shelf. That’s no small change. And even though these wines make me curious every time I pass them by, I’m not sure I would shell out that kind of dough for a fine wine I’ve never tasted. To have had this experience, was an amazing bonus for me, and made me realize MORE THAN EVER, that a “Fine Wine” tasting, might be just what someone is looking for…
Think about it….for $100, you would have the opportunity to taste six wines worth between $600-$800 dollars and decide after that, if one of those, is something you want to invest in. Wouldn’t you rather find out with a taste, if you like it or not, as opposed to just purchasing it and thinking it may be good, just because it’s a Bordeaux? And then it’s NOT! I wasn’t willing to take the risk, so why should you? Gather 6 of your best buddies, book a Fine Wine Tasting with Joy of Wine, and taste some amazing wines at a fraction of the price of buying full bottles.
FYI….now that I’ve tasted this wine, I’ll be purchasing it. It will be hidden away for the next 10 or so years. Maybe when I turn 60, I’ll open it….
Hope I’m invited to your 10th birthday my friend!
10th birthday? Wowsers Carmie…we would’ve gotten in some serious trouble at 10…not because of our age, but because we “wasted” such an expensive wine! Haha!!