Our Thursday night wine tasting at Fine Wines of Stockton, was a continued tasting of 2008 Bordeaux from Margaux. Our search for age worthy wines continues…
Last week we tasted a number of age worthy candidates so lets see how these stack up.
2008 Chateau du Tertre – This fifth growth was a ruby-garnet color with a nose that develops to tobacco, caramel and butterscotch. Flavors tasted of tobacco and fairly complex dark fruit flavors. Tannins were moderate with good acid. The wine was well balanced with significant well integrated tannins. Most tasters thought this easy drinking wine was a drink now wine. It is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
2008 Alter Ego – While an unclassified growth, this wine is made by Chateau Palmer, a third growth, and is done in a more “new world” style than most wine in Bordeaux. It is not considered a second label because it comes from different vineyards rather than lots that were not considered good enough to go into the first wine. It had a very dark ruby color with dark fruit on the nose. The flavors tasted of ripe dark fruit and tobacco. Tannins were significant and slightly bitter with good acid. The finish was moderately long. Most tasters thought this wine would hold well for 2-3 years
2008 Chateau Marquis de Terme – With a very dark ruby color, the nose had ripe fruit scents with a bit of cedar. Flavors were of dark fruit with some smoke and rubber tire. Flavors were complex and interesting. There were plenty of grippy tannins and good acid. There was a interesting combination of ripe fruit and tannins with a light mouth feel. Some tasters thought this wine had a lighter flavor than I did and therefore thought it might not age well. The Chateau Marqis de Terme is classified as a fourth growth.
2008 Chateau Prieure-Lichine, also a fourth growth has a very dark ruby color with a stinky nose initially, then opened up with a bit of green pepper and tart fruit. Flavors tasted of ripe fruit and green pepper. Significant grippy tannins with good acid. The finish tasted of tannins and tobacco.
2008 Chateau Rauzan-Gassies – This second growth has a ruby-garnet color. The nose was closed initially and then opened to sweet fruit on the nose. Flavors of tart fruit with a light mouth feel. Tannins are slightly bitter. Overall, an austere wine that may age well.
2008 Chateau Brane-Cantenac – The final wine and another second growth. The wine has a dark ruby-garnet color. The nose is closed with just a bit of fruit. There were light fruit flavors with significant tannins and acid. The finish is short and dominated by the tannins. Overall, the group thought this wine was ready to drink now and that it might not get better with age.
George had us taste these wine in pairs, decide which of the pair we preferred, then had us choose an overall favorite. The first pair of wines were fifth growths, the second pair was a fourth growth and the unclassified Alter Ego and the third pair were the second growths. The overall trend I tasted with these wines is a progression from bigger fruit-forward wines to more austere wines with more subtle flavors as we progressed from the fifth growths to the second growths.
Overall, the wines we tasted tonight were not as big and bold as those we tasted the prior Thursday night. All are Margaux, but the styles are very different.