Wine Talk

Snooth User: GregT

Union des Grands Crus

Posted by GregT, Jan 26, 2019.

Anyone go to the 2019 version? They tasted the 2016 vintage.

I got there really late so had to blast through at the rate of maybe one a minute. Maybe a little longer but not much as I only had an hour to taste as much as I could.

So no notes, and I'm not big on those anyway, but a few observations that I really wish I had more time to explore. My favorite region overall was Pessac-Léognan. Chateau Bouscaut in particular was pretty nice, with plenty of fruit still hidden by lots of tannin. Carbonnieux was also pretty good, albeit less fruit was showing. OTOH, their white was so stinky I wouldn't put it in my mouth. I went back after the reds to taste some whites, and that was so "earthy" I instantly lost interest.

Paulliac was more or less unapproachable. The wines were so tannic they were searing, and bitter on top of it. Those wines will need a long time to come around from what I could see, but when they do, they should be pretty magnificent. Something like Grand Puy-Lacoste is likely to be a fantastic wine in a few years, even though it's clamped down hard right now.

Over in Margaux, a lot of wines I wanted to try weren't participating, but Brane-Cantenac was as good as ever with even a bit of a floral note hidden in there, and cantenac Brown had some sweet fruit under the tannic wall. Actually that slightly floral note was and often is something I find in those Margaux wines anyway to distinguish them from some of the other regions.

And then I finished the afternoon with my favorite Sauternes - Giraud, which once again stood out against the others. I told the guy it was my last wine and I was just going to drink it rather than spit, so he decided I needed more and he poured me a nice glass of it.

For some reason the vintage reminded me a little of 2005, but I'm not any kind of Bordeaux guru and really don't have much to say regarding the various vintage comparisons. But it has lots of tannin and isn't bitter like some of the underripe vintages. In fact it's quite ripe overall, but without the alcohol and jammy qualities you'd expect. Really nice vintage and interesting to compare with Napa, like I'm going to do this week, where the wines are so different out of the gate.

I'm curious to hear what anyone else thinks.


Reply by dvogler, Jan 27, 2019.

No right bank offerings?

Reply by duncan 906, Jan 28, 2019.

Sounds like you had a good time. Where was this event held?

Reply by GregT, Jan 29, 2019.

There were right bank offerings - Pomerol and St. Emilion were both there, but I didn't get through those. The event is a yearly thing in the US, held in NYC, Chicago, SF, LA and a few other places. Depending on the market, you have more or fewer participating wineries. Most show up in NYC and they drop off as the event moves to other places.

Reply by zufrieden, Feb 1, 2019.


Reply by rckr1951, Feb 14, 2019.

Hard to offer an opinion without trying - but I've been buying the '16 quite bit.  I'm a little nervous, just as I was with the '15, but that - in the end - didn't stop me either.

To bad they didn't give you more time - and those Paulliac's that you were talking about are on track with what else I've heard.

Reply by zufrieden, Feb 15, 2019.

2016 is touted as slightly superior to 2015 - whatever that means; you may study the weather element and other properties contributing to a great vintage and make a determination yourselves... we all have to do that in the end.  I have no Cru from 2016 as yet.  In BC, I generally rely on the Bordeaux release by the BC Liquor Control Board, and this will not occur until late this year (probably about October 1st).  I can obtain 2016 and even 2017 from private purveyors and, of course, south of the border in free enterprise land, but as yet not many cru available.  Some Cru Bourgeois are out there and these have been tannic but quite enjoyable; it all depnds on the palate.  My French friends drink regular Bordeaux at about 18 months to three years (this includes all but the better wines ranked in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc, or the 1955 Classification of St. Emilion).

Fear doesn't rule my choice too much at this point, but I herar you RCKR1951; these wines are pretty expensive and we are buying mostly on spec.

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 26, 2019.

I’m pretty bullish on 2016 reds across France. Concentrated fruit but retaining freshness, withoutvthe jamminess as you mention. Supposed to be another great vintage in Piedmont as well.

Reply by GregT, Feb 26, 2019.

Yep. Another one of those years that was pretty good in many places in the world.

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 27, 2019.

True, Germany and Napa/ California come to mind as well.

Didn't taste much for 16's in Hungary, though for the dry Tokaj, I'm really looking forward to 2017's.

Reply by zufrieden, Mar 1, 2019.

Tokaj is great.. but haven't been tasting for a number of years.  Maybe it's time for a change.

Reply by JonDerry, Mar 2, 2019.

The wines (Tokaj) are on a good trajectory, seem to be getting better and better.

Reply by GregT, Mar 2, 2019.

Yup! And they're learning how to make great dry wines too.

Reply by zufrieden, Mar 5, 2019.

Yes... so I seem to be discovering.  Some dry Furmint-based wines are quite the thing.

Reply by rckr1951, Mar 6, 2019.

Dry furmint - have a few over the past few years and you're correct in that they've improved. I really stopped drinking Tokaji when they stopped making the 3/4 Putts.  The 5&6 Putts are to sweet for.  Went to the late harvest Tokjai for a treat occasionally.

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