ALL THAT IS BORDEAUX IS NOT GOLD
I have often stated in this column that one should drink what they enjoy and not think so much about where the wine came from or what the image of the wine is. I have a confession to make, I did exactly what I tell people not to do, I bought a Bourdeaux recently based for the most part on the fact that it was an ’05 Bourdeaux more so than the recommendation given me by a friend. I even ignored research that should have warned me!
The wine was a 2005 Chateau Haut-Canteloup from the Médoc area of Bordeaux and was introduced to me by a friend who was familiar with that area. I was asking for advice on a good Médoc and he advised me to try the Haut-Canteloup. The review I read stated that the wine had good flavor but was somewhat one dimensional. I should have paid attention.
Upon opening the bottle I of course first let it sit for about thirty minutes to let it breath and then tried it. I found it to have a pleasant enough nose and the first tasting showed a nice fruity flavor that turned immediately into a very weak finish. There was no mid range taste at all. Others with me drinking the same wine acknowledged that the wine over all tasted like a watered down bad Pinot Noir. Of course, please understand this is based on my opinion and my taste, I am sure there are others who really find this bottle very enjoyable.
So, the moral to this sad tale is to drink what you like and not be taken in by reputations of areas and bottles that might not meet the needs of your palate. I have always tried to put a positive spin on wines, but once in a while a zinger creeps in to the mix. To keep the spin positive, let me say do not be afraid to make mistakes when dealing with wines, for that is the area where learning really hits home.
To this end, go to wine tastings and try to find wines that you would not normally try. The sad case of most of us that attend these tastings is that we taste only the wines we like and miss a great educational opportunity to discover the depth and breadth of this fascinating world of wines. Research is extremely important and should be paid attention to particularly if it comes from a reliable source, to be balanced with the opinions of those around who may be giving their thoughts about the wine.
I leave you with some words of wisom from this experience: Drink as I say and not as I drink, and if nothing else, drink what you like!