Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Battle of the First Growths

David Grega is a certified sommelier and wine consultant living in the Napa Valley; In addition David is the consulting winemaker and national sales manager for Carlotta Cellars. For more information e-mail david@carlottawines.com

Wearing my favorite Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran T-shirt, I find my self staring down at two glasses of deep ruby red wine. A battle in itself was about to ensue. The 2000 Chateau Margaux vs. 2000 Chateau Latour in a battle to the death, or should I say digestion! I learned a lot about these wines while tasting them over a one hour period. My initial thoughts were that the Latour was much more impressive and dense, and I felt that the Margaux was a bit lack luster on the palate but showed impressive aromatics. Over the next hour both wines saw improvement with the Margaux gaining ground on the Latour. The Margaux began to really show it true colors, this is a wine about aroma and flavor, there were layers of complex aromatics and tons of fantastic tastes to discover on the palate. There is a certain grace to Margaux that I don't believe is matched by anyone else. The Latour stayed true to its pauillac Cabernet roots. This wine was dense and full of classic Cabernet backbone. The structure and quality of fruit were impressive to say the least. The Chateau Latour made a clear statement of pedigree and position among the greatest in Bordeaux and quite possibly the world. These wines do require a lot of thought to get the most out of them but I find that an equal amount of humor is required too. I was happy to be enjoying such wonderful wines and made it a point to laugh, enjoy, and relax to better savor the moment. Grand wines deserve adoration but it's important to remember that having fun with it is just as much apart of the enjoyment of wine as tasting. Notes to follow:

2000 Chateau Latour- A layered and complex nose full of blackberry, rhubarb and plumb aromas followed by hints of black raspberry, vanilla and a touch of caramel. The palate is bold and impressive. Sporting a seriously complex mid palate of ripe baked fruits and long well structured finish, this wine has made a statement. I AM THE BEST AND I'LL ONLY IMPROVE WITH TIME.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 (Sit down wine, Classic wine, Special occasion wine)

2000 Chateau Margaux- A truly ethereal nose of lavender, black cherry and ripe strawberry complemented by hints of oak spice and vanilla shortbread. On the palate More succulent red and black fruit flavors with floral complexities and well balanced, beautifully structured, mouth feel. This wine is powerful and elegant at the same time, what a lovely treat.
Rating: 4 of 5 (Classic wine, Special occasion wine)

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