Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Château Grange-Neuve 2005 Pomerol, Bordeaux (France)

Pomerol. Magical place for viticultural adventures, yet where do you start? If you have the means, then you can walk the red carpet and uncork a shit vintage of the ever whored-out Ch. Petrus for a grand+ or if your resources are truly endless, an '82 of the unattainably expensive Le Pin. I'm not saying I wouldn't drink either, but I don't make nearly enough money to warrant such dickery. When I'm in the mood for a Merlot-based blend from Bordeaux, my go-to options include many value/quality labels from either the delightfully fruit-forward Saint-Émilion, the lesser known Fronsac or the aforementioned velvet-roped, 7 square Kilometre Shangri-La known as Pomerol, which is treacherous as it is heavenly. Despite this, Pomerol is also home to my favorite right-bank red wine : Ch. L'Evangile.
Ok, so we know the soil and climate equal solid results, when speaking wine, as does a vintage. A 2005 Pomerol, from whichever angle you look at it, is bound to be decent at the very damn least. And as we also know, no good wine is complete without a meal. So while the bottle was sleeping in my cellar, I headed to Matador Meat & Wine Market and picked up a gorgeous skirt steak, which I broiled with a minimal amount of seasoning, mainly extra-virgin olive oil and crushed peppercorns, and the result was a flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth steak that was as immaculate as one could ever wish for. I also made a quick chimichurri and cut some fresh avocado to accompany it. Quick, simple and FUCKING DELICIOUS! Who said weeknight meals have to be lame, right?
Now to the wine : 2005 Château Grange-Neuve, about 40 USD, this bottle was a pick which required minimal hesitation (if any) considering the vintage and appellation. I decanted it for nearly an hour, I was greeted by a medium ruby color and a tiny bit of sediment trace left in the bottle, the bouquet at first was shy and quite bright, later opening up to more clean, complex, feminine and very enticing aromas. Dark berries, licorice, minerals (mainly pencil lead) and undertones of cedar and oak. Giveaway Bordeaux at this point, yet the mouth feel was the real highlight as it took me completely by surprise : equal parts elegance and structure followed by a good, lengthy finish. I dare say, the wine and food paired really fucking nicely! And now, I'm enjoying my dessert as I write, a Fonseca Ruby Oporto (or Port, for you Anglo-Saxons).

Stay tuned, the next review will feature a 100% Tempranillo from the bullish Toro (no pun intended) D.O. made with a bit of Bordeaux knowhow (bears the Lurton family name).

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