French Wine Triptych

French Wine Triptych
Date: February 2022
Author: Cigar Inspector

French Wine Triptych

Aside from cigars, I also love to enjoy a fine wine. Almost weekly, I participate in various tastings and have also visited some of the most famous wine regions, including Bordeaux and Alsace. If I were to write about all those tastings, the blog would become a wine blog. However, from time to time I find it refreshing to share my thoughts about different wines, especially when they are as good as in this case.

Last week-end, with a couple of friends, we decided to open a bottle that I got for my birthday, it was a rather reputed Burgundy. We needed to find some more bottles to match that one and the idea of a triptych was born. We selected a fine Bordeaux and a Côte Rotie, a growth that I am less familiar with from Rhône. Here’s how the wines fared.

Côte Rotie Brune et Blonde de Guigal

I didn’t know what to expect here. The color was surprisingly light for a 96% syrah. The nose was rather inexpressive. The wine, however, tasted good with very soft tannins and flavors of black fruits (blackberry) and vanilla. I was disappointed with the finish as it was short and brought a strong acidity. One hour in the decanter managed to tackle this issue though. I would agree with the 88 rating by Robert Parker on this one.
Price: $40-70.

Bouchard Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2001

Bouchard is the only owner of this 4-hectares parcel in the Beaune region. The quality of this wine is not exactly consistant and may significantly change depending on the vintage. Luckily, the 2001 lived up to our expectations. It was everything you look for in a good Burgundy/pinot noir, a ruby color, an elegant and rich nose with distinct cedary and nutty notes and a taste explosion on the palate with fresh flavors of red fruits and pleasant tannins.
Price: approximately 60 €. Not sure if this can be easily found in the United States. You can try searching here.

Château Sociando-Mallet 2004

We left this one for the end and we were right. Sociando-Mallet is very often at the same level as some Classified Growths at half the price and one of my long-time favorites. This is absolutely true for 2004, quite a difficult year for Bordeaux. Very structured and ripe, it’s dark as ink and has a wonderful nose of wild cherry. It is vigourous yet not aggressive, just what you expect from a grand Bordeaux. Great value.
Price: ~$55.

2 thoughts on “French Wine Triptych

  1. @Patrick S
    Thank you for your comment. The Chateau Beaucastel is a truly grand wine. Chateauneuf du Pape was the first ever wine region that I visited and it was an amazing discovery. Unfortunately, there are a lot of producers that charge extra $10-15 just for the name; for this reason it’s not easy to find a great value there.

  2. I recently opened up a 1983 bottle of the Côte Rotie Brune et Blonde de Guigal. To be sure, it was a bit past its prime, but it’s impressive that it held up as well as it did given the age.

    I’m a big fan of Rhone wines and old Rhones are particularly interesting.

    If you get the chance, try the 83 Chateaunuf de Pape Beaucastle. Certainly it’s a different class of wine, but it’s particularly amazing how good it is now nearly 3 decdes later.

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