October 22, 2011

Chateau des Charmes 1999 Estate Cabernet Merlot

(Re-Tasted October 2011) ... It is with a little sadness that I write this review.  This is the fourth time that I have put pen to paper over this wine (so to speak) and it is my last bottle in the cellar.  It is currently 12 years from vintage date and by wine standards, when you put that on the table, people say, "my that's old", because very few people can hold onto their wines that long.  And that really is a shame, because if you had you would have found out exactly what I did on this Saturday evening in October 2011 ... it was amazing.  I have been eyeing up this bottle for a little while wondering if maybe I had waited a little too long to pop the cork, but tonight, after trying the Hillebrand 2007 Trius with friends, I thought I`d best try something even older to see how it is progressing - so I ventured downstairs for my last bottle.  The aromas were of dried plum, raspberry, cassis liqueur, cherry whiskey, some slightly leafy notes and chocolate cherries ... very complex and worth sticking your nose into more than a few times just to get all those aromas out of there.  The taste proved to be just as inviting and complex - on the tongue it was sweet, supple and smooth.  Sweet dried plums and vanilla notes - this wine still had marvelous fruit keeping everything alive - a touch on the dry side rather then the fresh side - but what do you expect from 12 years in bottle?  I wish I had 3 more bottles to carry on the experiment with in another 2 years and beyond.  But alas, I say goodbye to my last bottle of this superb wine.  If you have some, drink now for some real enjoyment, or you have the option to wait a few more years just to see where it goes - so far it has been one heck of a journey.


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