Most red Bordeaux wines are a blend of the traditional Bordeaux grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It is up to the individual producer to determine if his wine will be a blend, and if so which grapes he will use, or if will be a single grape wine. The majority of Bordeaux wines are often made almost exclusively of Cabernet Sauvignon (usually the largest component) and Merlot. The other grapes may or may not play a role in the blend. The two wines we drank were both blends.
1998 Grand-Pontet St Emilion. While I am not a fan of Bordeaux, this bottle was very good. It possessed an enticing earthy bouquet and on the palate it had good fruit, roundness and balance. It finished with nice length. $40. Wine-Searcher.
1998 Monbousquet St Emilion. Not my kind of wine. This possessed, as most Bordeaux do IMO, a harsh palate and a grassy back end. Did not enjoy this at all. $100. Wine-Searcher.
The laws of Chateauneuf-du-Pape allow for up to 13 grapes, 8 red and 5 white, to be used in the making of the wine. The red grapes are, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cinsaut, Muscardin, Vaccarese and Terret Noir. The white are, Clairette, Bourbelenc, Picpoul, Picardin, Rousanne. To the best of my knowledge only two vineyards, Chateau Beaucastel, one of the most famous, and one other use all 13 varieties. Grenache is the main grape used. In my opinion the 100% Grenache based CdP wines are the most elegant and the most delicious.
2000 Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de la Reine des Bois. This CdP, with some modern overtones is completely hand harvested and aged 30% in oak barrels and 70% in enameled steel tanks. The wine drank very well. It exhibited soft tannins, forward fruit and well integrated alcohol. A blend of Grenache 80%, Mourvedre10 %, Syrah 5%, Counoise 2.5% and Vaccarese 2.5%. $125. Wine-Searcher.
2000 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf du Pape. Another more modern styled CdP, this wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre , Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Muscardin, Vaccarese. This bottle never really came around. There was not a lot going on with either the bouquet or on the palate. $100. Wine-Searcher.
2001 Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes. This CdP is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre, 2% various others. – Crafted from vines that are 60 to 100 years old, it was my favorite of the night. It had a wonderful bouquet, earthy, complex and balanced palate and finished with considerable length. $150. Wine-Searcher.
Some of the highlights of the meal were:
Tuna Crudo . Pristinely fresh Raw Yellowfin Tuna on a plate with Edamame, Cilantro, Ginger, Coconut. Delicious!
Acqueello Risotto. This week’s preparation of the dish was with Cherry Tomato, Guanciale, Parmigiano Reggiano and Basil Pesto. It was superb. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, each bite threw a party in my mouth.
I love pound cake, and so I could not resist the one served here with Vanilla Ice Cream. See for yourself!