Thursday, August 6, 2020

Big Red Flight highlights grilled steak dinner

Big Red Bordeaux Blend Flight highlights grilled steak dinner

We visited fellow Pour Boy Dr Dan and Linda and they served a wonderful dinner of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, asparagus, cheese stuffed peppers and portabello mushrooms. Dan served a spectacular flight of red wines to accompany the dinner including two Bordeaux and a Sonoma Bordeaux Blend.

Continuing our tastings of Bordeaux wines on the anniversary of our trip there a year ago this week, we started the red flight with a St Emilion Château Troplong Mondot, followed by Château Lascombs Margaux, and closing out with Les Pavots from Peter Michael.

Before dinner with a selection of artisan cheeses, olives, nuts and tapenade, I took an Andretti Montonta Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay. One of the standout cheeses was a English Shropshire Blue Cheddar.

Château Troplong Mondot Grand Cru Classe' St Emilion Bordeaux 2005

What a treat to experience this vintage release that was awarded 100 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

The 2005 Troplong Mondot is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

There was irony in drinking this amidst the Coronavirus pandemic as years earlier Robert Parker had written in his review/notes: "It was emotional tasting this wine, thinking of the late Christine Valette, who made this compelling wine while battling with considerable courage against an insidious disease. It is a great effort and a superstar of the vintage. ... it is a tour de force, and a great tribute to an incredible woman. Kudos to the late Christine Valette!"

Vinous rated this 98 points, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar and Wine Spectator both gave it 96 points.

Dense dark garnet inky purple colored, full-bodied, powerful aromatics explode from the bottle upon releasing the cork, complex yet elegant and smooth, rich intense flavors of blackberry and black raspberry with layers of cassis, mocha, spice and notes of tobacco, a hint of truffle and some subtle background oak with silky smooth tannins on the long polished finish.

RM 96 points.


Château Lascombes Grand Cru Classe' Margaux Bordeaux 2010

This release was awarded 94 points by James Suckling, 92 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast, and 91 points by Wine Spectator, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar and Connoisser's Guide. 

This was a special treat to taste this label as a year ago this week in our trip to the Medoc, we stayed in Chambres de Marguax, literally across the lane from Château Lascombes. We walked around the property almost daily in a strolls around the commune or enroute to or from dinner in the village.

At ten years of age, this was a bit tight and closed, perhaps going through a period in this stage, deep dark garnet in color, medium to full-bodied, blackcurrant and blackberry fruits with notes of black tea, fresh herbs, and black olives with hints of clove spice, cedar and licorice, turning to chewy tannins on the finish.

RM 91 points.

Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Bordeaux Blend 2012

Peter Michael produces one of the premiere ultra-premium Bordeaux Blends from Napa Sonoma. This is the flagship wine of the Peter Michael portfolio that is highly allocated directly from the winery with occasional limited quantities in distribution. 

Peter Michael is a huge and regretable lost opportunity for me as I spent fifteen years as a senior executive with an international company headquartered in Peter Michael's home town in Newbury, Berkshire, England. Peter Michael today owns hotels, resorts, golf club and restaurants in the town. I was ten years ahead of all of this development and missed potential engagement during my almost two hundred trips to the area. I regret not getting to meet and know Peter in those early years.  His wine operations started about the time I left that position and relationship just before the turn of the century.

Les Pavots is
sourced primarily from the vineyard
of the same name on the slopes of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley in Sonoma County. The vineyard spans 49 acres ascending to an elevation of nearly 1,400 feet with Merlot and Cabernet Franc Bordeaux varietals growing on the cool upper slopes and Cabernet Sauvignon just below.

The blend of Bordeaux varietals is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

This release was awarded 96-98 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate,  97 points by James Suckling and 95 points by Wine Spectator.

Winemaker notes for this vintage: "Deep dark color with saturated ruby color and vermillion nuance, 2012 Les Pavots reveals a deep bouquet of Cacao powder, fudge cookies, black cherry, blueberry and blackberry, licorice, with nuances of cedar, cigar box, black tea, graphite, vanilla, a stylish ‘garrigue’ touch and black truffle. Extremely full-bodied, the wine offers the same rich, ripe fruit impressions on the palate. The mouth feel is dense and round, with elegant tannins, which lead to a long finish. Complex, the 2012 Les Pavots will age gracefully for two decades and provides a classic presentation of our estate’s terroir."

Dark inky/purple-colored, big bold, full-bodied, complex, rich, ripe dense round dark black cherry, black berry brambley fruits with nuances of spice, cedar, cigar box, black tea with hints of licorice, graphite and black truffle turning to bold tangy tannins on a long finish.

RM 94 points.

Andretti Montonta Reserve Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay 2014
The Montona series is the premium Reserve brand available at the winery and to Club members. It is named for the Croatian village, birthplace of Andretti. 
We have fun with this brand with Dr Dan, a fellow Hoosier and Indy 500 Race enthusiast, supporting legendary driver and car/team owner Mario Andretti.
This was suprisingly good, better than expected. 
The golden honey color has a slight rust hue that was initially disarming but the wine was fine, medium bodied, nicely balanced and polished with integrated bright expressive notes of peach, apricot and citrus fruits with notes of vanilla and soft oak on the sinewy finish. 

RM 91 points.