June 21, 2009

Chateau des Charmes 2005 Estate Bottled Riesling

(Re-Tasted June 2009) ... In 1967 The Lovin' Spoonfuls sang a song called "Boredom" ("my whole life is boredom"), these are the same guys that sang "Did you ever have to make up your mind" and "What a day for a daydream". Unfortunately, there was no day dreaming about this wine and we made up our minds pretty quickly ... in 2009 this wine was boring ("my this Riesling is boring"). I am sitting here on a sunny day in Michigan, staring out at a blue sky and the temperature heading north of 80 (that's about 25 on the celsius scale) and I am staring into a glass of Riesling that has either entered a very boring stage or its lifecycle or is on its way down. I would like to just believe it's in a "dumb phase", a place in a wine's life where nothing exciting is happening, but if you were to open it in another year, or had opened it the year before, it would sparkle. There was petrol on the nose and a touch of over ripe, bruised apple; the palate pretty much confirmed that, but the acidity and sweetness seems to have failed the wine and it just sat on the tongue without bringing enjoyment or pleasure. Not sure if I have any of this one left, but if I do it would be nice to look at it again in another year or so, to see if it really was just dumb or boring at 4 years old, either way, at this point anyway, it was a disappointment.

June 5, 2009

Chateau des Charmes 2002 St. David's Bench and Paul Bosc Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

To read the original review from July 2006 click on the vineyard below:

St. David's Bench - Paul Bosc Vineyard

(Re-Tasted June 2009) ... This is the story of two wines that might surprise you, even 7 years from their vintage date. First, let's take a minute to talk about the terroir of these two wines - or better yet, the proximity to one another. It may not seem like much separates these two vineyards, but that little stretch of road means so much. You see (for those who have been to Chateau des Charmes) the St. David's vineyard is what the Chateau sits in the middle of; while the Paul Bosc vineyard is located just across the parking lot; separated by a piece of asphalt called "York Road", but amazingly that makes all the difference.

I opened these wines on two consecutive nights so that I could compare them. Starting with the St. David's Bench wine. This one had a lovely nose of toasted cinnamon, dried blackberries and black fruits along with a vanilla-cedar note. The taste was full of peppered-blackberries some tannin bite along with cinnamon and vanilla. As time wore on with this wine other flavours emerged, including hints of bittersweet chocolate, a cedar-black licorice finish and a pleasant cafe mocha aftertaste.

The Paul Bosc bottle was quite different. For starters, the first bottle I opened was badly corked, thankfully I was able to locate another in my cellar, but still you never like to see a wine you've been ageing go bad (or be bad from the start, as this case may be). Once the second bottle was opened the true smells and flavours of this wine came out. A nose loaded with black fruit, spice and some vegetal notes, though that blew off within the first 15 minutes. Taste-wise there were lots of spices and pepper along with some pleasant black fruit flavours. This wine showed little signs of its age, with no hints of the dried fruit that was in the St. David's bottle; and there was still quite a bit of youthful tannins, big fruit and spice.

It's amazing to compare these two wines ... sure it's just a road, but it's the road that makes all the difference; that and the two different soils the grapes are grown in. Both wines still have plenty of time left in them, though I would say the David's has less - say 3 or 4 years, while the Bosc shows no signs of slowing down in it's evolution, another 5+ years here.