Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chateau La Fleur De Jaugue 2005

Just as with the Gevrey-Chambertain let's have a little wine lesson. When you look at the Bordeaux region of France we see a large river (Gironde) opening into the Atlantic and running through the center having two major tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne. Everything you need to know to sound like you are an aficionado centers on knowing these rivers.

The region situated on the right bank of the Dordogne is called the "right bank", the "left bank" is the region situated on the left bank of the Garonne (which includes the city of Bordeaux itself). The land between these tributaries is called "Entre-deux-mers" (French for "between two seas"). In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays an important role in wine production so as with housing it's all about location, location, location. Now why is knowing this important? Because for wines that are AOC you can give a good guess to the primary grape depending on whether the wine is a "left bank" or a "right bank" wine. Since most wines in Bordeaux are blends its difficult to be exact but you can tell at least major components. In general red "right bank wines" (including the big name regions of Pomerol and Saint Emilion) are dominated by Merlot while "left bank" reds (Key subregion is the Medoc) you get bolder wines with Cabernet Sauvignon the key component. Since Entre-Deux-Mers is primarily a white wine region we'll leave it out.

Chateau La Fleur De Jaugue is located in the Saint Emilion region where wines tend to be a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (with concentrations typically in that order decreasing). Given that we know immediately that this wine will be dominated by Merlot which will make it a little softer and more round than some other reds which is what we get. The wine is a dark ruby/purple and looks pretty in a proper wine glass :) The nose is a lovely black-fruit experience with blackberries, black plums, hints of tobacco and spicy cedar, maybe a little licorice. This is a med/(+) bodied wine, nice acidity and ripe, moderately sweet tannins that all come together to give a medium to med/(+) length finish. Very pure, smooth wine. Nice value introduction to the fabulous 2005 Bordeaux vintage which should hold up for at least five more years.

Number of wines reviewed in 2010: 125

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