First Place – 1999 Chateau Carbonnieux (Pessac Leognan)
Chris' Carbonnieux easily won with three first place and one second place ranking. I described this wine as very aromatic, with scents of violet, strawberry, cedar, spice (nutmeg, pepper), cocoa, butter, hazelnut - a lot going on here! I recall it was very 'fruit forward', more like an Aussie, but very well balanced and 'hearty'. This had a very long finish, and should continue to improve. Good thing - I went out and bought the last bottles in town. Note this was not highly ranked by Parker (86). Cost C$65.
Second Place – 1999 Chateau Montrose (St-Estephe)
On paper my Montrose should have won. 'George' garnered one first place (Pramod), two second place and a third place ranking. I described this wine as aromatic, but more subtle than the Carbonnieux - scents of violet, white flowers, cherry, mint, cloves, vanilla, butter, some prunes "not intense, but elegant". This was a well balanced, elegant, medium-bodied Bordeaux with a long finish. I rated this equal to the Carbonnieux on taste, but just a little behind on the nose. Cost C$77. (RP 90)
Third Place – 2001 Carruades de Lafite (Pauillac)
My Carruades de Lafite garnered one second place and three third place rankings. I described this wine as aromatic and "pleasant but uncomplex and not very intense" - subtle scents of violet, strawberry, mint, and butter caramel. On the palate this was a more austere wine with harsher tannins. A long finish, giving hints this wine may get better. At C$49 a 'value' winner? (RP-87)
Fourth Place – 1999 Chateau Gruaud Larose (St-Julien)
The Gruaud Larose was everyone's least favourite. Somebody had to lose, but at C$74? I described this wine as very aromatic "powerful, without finesse, overpowering tannins" - scents of violet, apple, blackberry, green pepper, pine, musk, tobacco and cocoa. On the palate this was very dry with firm tannins. Reasonably well balanced, but with a surprising short finish. Drink now. "Elegant but lacking depth, complexity." (RP-89)
- Did we make a 'discovery' with the Carbonnieux? I noticed more recent ratings for this Chateau are up - maybe we 'found' it first!
- Nice to see we got to try four different Bordeaux villages/regions.
- Darn newbie won!