On Monday night I’m off to a Leoville Barton vertical tasting with the wonderful guys at the West London Wine School. But the truth is I don’t really know much about Bordeaux. I’ve been there a couple of times, but I was a wine “liker” as opposed to a lover at the time. One of the best wines I’ve drunk was a Leoville Las Cases 2002. Not a great vintage but the wine was a big step up in class for me. So off I went to see Jez at Wine and the Vine and bought a bottle of Langoa Barton 1999 to at least have a benchmark for Mondays tasting.
Cards on the table time. Another reason for my lack of Bordeaux knowledge is fear. Not fear of learning about the differences between St Julien and Margaux, or Merlot in Pomerol versus Cabernet Franc in St Emilion, but fear for my bank balance! I’ve been to Burgundy twice this year and I’ve fallen in love. This love is expensive! I’m also scared of loving Bordeaux more… And cheating on my love!
So to the Langoa. 1999 looks to have been a reasonable vintage and the wine I felt was showing really well. Lots of black currant and creme de cassis fruit on the nose as well as some green pepper and a shimmer of eucalyptus. Really appealing. In the mouth the wine was fresh and lively with lovely integrated tannins, a lovely structure. The cassis really came though and I now understand the use of graphite and pencil shavings to describe Bordeaux wine. The win really smelled and tasted of freshly sharpened pencils! This was a lovely wine, if maybe lacking a bit of concentration, not quite delivering on the promise when I first stuck my nose in the glass. (93 points)
So now I’m interested and really looking forward to the tasting on Monday. At this stage, however, the balance may take a hit but my love remains in the East, on the Golden Slope. As I say, I may be flirt, but I’m not a cheat. Now should I open the Joseph Drouhin Volnay or Chambolle to go with that slow cooked lamb shoulder?