The big melt is on - the snow (a near record >350cm fell on Montreal this winter) is nearly gone, and the arrival of milder temperatures and the clear path to my barbecue are cause for celebration...steak and Bordeaux!
Tonight's rib steaks were paired with two "right bank" wines for another of Joe's blinded, head-to-head comparisons - a St-Emilion versus a Pomerol from the unheralded 2001 vintage.
On the right bank merlot reigns supreme, and both of these wines were no exception. The wines of Pomerol are known to be soft and lush, while the wines of St-Emilion typically use more cabernet franc, and are known for cedary, herbaceous and mineral notes (1).
The 2001 Chateau Moulin St-Georges (St-Emilion) was peppery, leathery and herbaceous, with nice rose petal and minerally notes on the nose. Awkward at first despite a one hour decant before dinner, it softened up to show good acidity, nice minerality and a velvety texture. More interesting than the La Pointe below, it will need a few more years to sort itself out.
cork. 13.5% alcohol
est: 70% merlot, 15% cab franc, 15% cab sauv
Price: C$57 (LCBO)
The 2001 Chateau La Pointe (Pomerol) was exactly how I pictured a Pomerol - elegant, soft, luscious and expansive, with a generous serving of silky tannins. Attractive, but subtle and less complex than the St-Emilion - earthy, truffley, smokey cheese, perfume and dark cocoa powder. A well made, textbook Pomerol, also needs a few more years.
cork. 13% alcohol
80% merlot, 10% cab franc, 10% cab sauv
Price: C$64 (SAQ)
My fellow tasters described the wines as austere - the wines were definitely not fruit forward -evolving over the evening and pairing very well with the grilled meat. After reading some brief notes on characteristics of St- Emilion and Pomerol all tasters easily identified the provenance of the wines.
Personally, I preferred the structured 'edginess' of the St-Emilion, but it is easy to see why people spend vast sums of money on Pomerols - typically more accessible in their youth vs. the wines of the Medoc, I have found them very easy to enjoy.