Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blackbird fly.

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!


Thud said...

Californian antisepsis is taking its tole...nothing wrong with a bit of chickens arse with your wine!

Vinomaker said...

It must be a concidence that the bearer of the wine reviewed is familiar with the suspected home of Brettanomyces bruxellensis, known more commonaly as Dekkera in Europe. The sensory compounds in this fungus lend a recognizable component to Belgian beer. I am also impressed that the tasting panel was able to distinguish 4-ethylguaicol, with the meaty, spicy notes, from 4-ethylphenol, with the band-aid, barnyard smells, as the two compounds differ by only one carbon atom. I am guessing that by the end of the evening, that distinction had become somewhat blurred causing a loss of brain cell carbon atoms and leading to indifference as long as it was red wine and in the glass. Great party!

Vinogirl said...

Good point Vinomaker. I will ask Lord Roby what he knows of this rogue yeast!

Lord Roby said...

Maybe it was the very rogue who offski'd Lady Diana in Paris; the day before Lord Roby visited Chateau Cantemerle back in 1999,just as the said grapes were being harvested.Now there's a conspiracy theory for you!

Vinogirl said...

M'Lordship, the mind boggles!