Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Two Pichons: My Wines of the Tasting

Choosing a favorite wine from a tasting like this one is like trying too…well, choose a favorite wine from a tasting like this one. Logical statement? Not terribly. But with truly great wine, logic often takes a back seat to emotion.

Which is all to say that it’s impossible to pick a favorite wine. This, after all, was an afternoon of standouts. That having been said, though, the Pichon-Lalande 1989 and the Pichon-Baron 1990 made my heart (and tastebuds) do some pretty amazing dancing. (In a good way, of course.)

The Lalande showed a nose that can only be described as warm, with deep notes of toast, warm vanilla, aromatic brown spices, hints of peppercorns, and a perfume that reminded me of a perfectly roasted beet terrine with walnuts (we can’t always control what we experience with wine!). The palate, on the other hand, had a freshness that I wasn’t expecting. Strawberries and kirsch remained surprisingly light on their feet, and the wine as a whole found a superb balance between sweetness, depth, density, elegance, and power.

The Baron, on the other hand, played it closer to the vest. It smelled of perfume-y fruit, truffles, and a well-defined minerality, as well as undertones of meat and superripe and grilled green bell peppers. The acid, tannins, fruit, and earth elements were all perfectly integrated on the palate—this was unquestionably a wine at its peak—and flavors of kirsch and coffee lingered on for a hauntingly long period of time.

So while picking a single favorite was impossible, these two showed exactly why older Bordeaux remains one of the classic examples of the glories of French wine. And, as a pair, they represent why a tasting like this one is so instructive and downright delicious.


Anonymous said...

Extremely interesting blog. I am a new reader and a fan, will recommend to my wine friends.

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