I’ve been quite busy with work of late, so haven’t really been doing much in the world of wine.  Drunk a bit, mind, and a couple are worth a mention.

A few days ago I bought a bottle of Chateau Cissac 1999, a Cru Bourgeois Superior from the Haut-Medoc.  I think it cost me about 13 euros.  The Oz Bordeaux book teels me that Chateau Cissac “makes slow-maturing wines by proudly traditional methods: old vines, lots of wood everywhere and meticulous exclusion of below-par wine from the final blend,” all of which sounds OK by me, to be honest.  Certainly, tasting the wine you can tell that the producers are not beholden to the vagaries of current fashions for overtly fruity, smooth wines; even though it was a ’99, it was highly tannic and the fruit didn’t seem to have developed a great deal.  Not unpleasant, but I reckon it could happily wait another 10 or 20 years.

The second wine is one that I’d been meaning to try for a while – the red from Chateau Bouscaut, in the Pessac-Leognan.  You’ll remember that we’ve had a few bottle of the excellent white from the same producer, so the signs were good that they might produce a decent red too.  I was also keen to try the wine as it’s one of the few Bordeaux producers I’ve come across that still uses the Malbec grape in its blend.  I bought a 2003 vintage at Leclerc in Royan for 15,11 euros and we had it last night.

I’m not sure what the influence of the Malbec is, but if it’s there to darken the wine then it does a cracking job – as I decanted the wine it seemed almost black; in fact it was difficult to see if there was any sediment in the bottle, even under a bright light!  Not that I was expecting much in such a relatively young wine.  The Bouscaut had a fantastic nose, really full and spicy and, though a little lighter on the tongue than the nose and colour alluded to, it tasted great too.  I reckon it would age well and think I might look out for some 2004 to stick in the cave.

Other than that, I can only report that my Reserve de la Comtesse 1988 bought in an online auction has yet to appear (oh dear) and tonight we’re trying a Chateau Phelan-Segur 2001 St Estephe, Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel, which I’m really looking forward to.

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