Tonight, we had a belated birthday celebration for a good friend. Quite a bit of wine was consumed. Although the wines we drank were mainly of the Napa and Sonoma persuasion, the birthday boy himself, Lord Roby, contributed a bottle of something special from his own cellar.
The 1999 Chateau Cantemerle was quite enjoyable. Not a complex wine, at best medium bodied, but pleasant in its tannin structure, with well integrated oak, and a nice cassis-leather-cedar-roasted nut, flighty smoked meat nose. Naturally, as I expected, there was quite a bit of barnyard present that even the non-wine drinkers at the table could detect. Now and again I like a little bit of Brettanomyces in my wine, it can add a bit of character: too much can be another matter. Thankfully though, it blew off after a good swirl. This wine would probably had been even better with food.
I have always loved wines from the Medoc. I enjoy the complexity the coastal climate lends to the finished wines. I think the main reason I love Napa and Sonoma viticulture so much is the similarity in proximity to the coast and the marine influence on the maturing fruit.
We are saving the Madeira for tonight...phew!