Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

There are more reasons to be thankful than I could ever list and way more than anyone other than me would ever want to read. Also, this is a site devoted to wine, so I thought I would share one wine that really stood out for me.
On a recent visit to see my mother and step-father I was invited to explore the cellar. My mom avoids many of the wines because she has tasted some that seemed sub-par. He has given up drinking wine almost entirely. The storage is good and some wines are impressive but on past forays the results have been mostly disappointing. We selected a bottle of Les Forts de Latour 1985.

This is the second label of Chateau Latour in Pauillac one of the first growths of Bordeaux. For many years, second label wines seemed, to me, to serve as dumping grounds to improve the flagship wine. Not just vats of wine that didn't measure up but a completely different blend in many cases. If the most important wine is mostly cabernet sauvignon, the second wine might be mostly merlot, meaning even with similar quality wine being added (this never happens) the wines would be very different anyway. Eventually, most Bordeaux houses learned to get rid of the worst grapes and actually started to produce second label wines worth drinking (though I would still argue they're not worth the price - Dear Bordeaux).
This wine made me happy, not only because I enjoy Bordeaux but it was in terrific shape. The delicious 1985 vintage was gone from shelves when I entered the wine business but I have tasted many different wines through the years. The wines are impeccably balanced and offer richness and finesse.
Here are my quick notes from this bottle:
Lead pencil on the nose leads to deeper plum fruit and some older dried plum behind it. It was a bit short on lushness but the essence of the flavor lasted a long time. I was surprised. Some black cherry showed up in the middle - really more aroma than flavor - then more strong lead pencil, earth and gravel on the finish. The wine opened beautifully and remained tasty until we tipped the last into our glasses.
The wine not only provided enjoyment that night but made me much more excited about the extensive selections that still remain in the cellar...as good a reason as any to be thankful. See you soon, mom.

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