Grand Cru des Bordeaux New York 2020

 

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The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is a trade organization that promotes the Grand Cru wines of Bordeaux, France. At the beginning of each year they sponsor a world-wide tour where they showcase the current vintage that is being released. The U.S. and Canadian portion of the tour will make stops in Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC and on January 20th, the tour arrived in New York City. The event as usual, was held at Cipriani restaurant at 110 East 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan across the street from Grand Central Terminal. It’s the former Bowery Savings Bank which was constructed at a time when banks were built to be opulent places of commerce. A trade tasting was held in the afternoon and Sotheby’s auction house held a tasting for consumers at the same venue in the evening.

The 2017 vintage in Bordeaux was not the best of vintages. It was the “year of the frost” where the worst frost in living memory created conditions that had yields coming in at about 40% lower than the previous year. There were fewer wineries attending this tasting than there were in previous years as many wineries did not make a wine or made very little wine from the 2017 vintage. 

In tasting through the wines, no one would confuse them for the lush and fruit forward wines of a Napa Valley Cabernet. In general for this vintage, I was finding a lot of lean red fruit with red cherry aromas and bitter cherry flavors on the finish. Many, not surprisingly for young wines, were hard edged, but many had low tannins and acids. I was not getting the type of concentration in these wines that I had gotten from the 2015 or 2016 vintages. I think these will be wines to be drunk in the short term.

 

Vintage 2017

Pessac-Leognan

Chateau Haut-Bailly: Clear medium red, toasty nose, tight with big tannins at the end. 

Saint-Emilion

Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere: Opaque medium to dark red, pretty nose of black fruit and graphite, dusty red cherry fruit with firm tannins. 

Chateau Canon: Clear medium red, cooked fruit notes on the nose, tight with crisp acids and firm tannins. 

Clos Fourtet: Opaque dark red, crushed black fruit on the nose, juicy, graphite black fruit ending with a firm, silky finish. 

Chateau Larcis Ducasse: Opaque medium red, sweet red cherry on the nose, moderate silky and dusty fruit with moderate tannins and acids at the end. 

Chateau Pavie Macquin: Cloudy dark red, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, tight red cherry fruit with tongue coating tannins at the end.  

Chateau Villemaurine: Medium clear red, floral black cherry on the nose, bright dark fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 

Pomerol

Chateau La Cabanne: Clear medium brick, dark chocolate on the nose, juicy red fruit with silky tannins and firm acids. 

Chateau Clinet: Clear light amber, red cherry graphite on the nose, tight, silky tannin on the firm finish. 

Chateau Gazin: Clear medium red with some tar and earth on the nose, tight, red cherry fruit, low acids. 

Haut-Medoc

Chateau Cantemerle: Opaque medium red, graphite notes on the nose, tight red fruit with big tannins and acids on the finish. 

Chateau Citran: Opaque medium red, candy red cherry on the nose with juicy red fruit and moderate acids. 

Chateau Coufran: Medium to light brick, sweet red cherry on the nose, light black fruit with a chewy finish and moderate tannins. 

Chateau La Lagune: Opaque medium red, dusty red leather on the nose, tight fruit with bitter red cherry at the end. 

Margaux

Chateau Giscours: Medium to brick in color, toast and wet earth on the nose, moderate chewy fruit with dark chocolate on the finish, nice balance. 

Chateau Kirwan: Clear medium red, crushed black fruit and some earth on the nose with bright red fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids. 

Chateau Rauzan-Gassies: Clear medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy, toasty red cherry fruit with a firm finish. 

Chateau du Tertre: Opaque medium red, toasty dark chocolate on the nose, bright dark fruit, firm finish. 

Saint-Julien

Chateau Beychevelle: Medium purple, green olives on the nose, light fruit with olive notes, balanced finish. 

Chateau Branaire-Ducru: Clear medium red, toast and graphite on the nose, light fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 

Chateau Lagrange: Clear medium red, minty nose, dusty dark chocolate fruit with crisp acids. 

Chateau Leoville-Barton: Medium red, tarry nose, moderate black cherry fruit, firm but balanced. 

Pauillac

Chateau d’Armailhac: Clear medium red with some cooked vegetable notes on the nose, light fruit with very tight tannins on the finish. 

Chateau Clerc Milon: Medium to light red, dirt and sweet red fruit on the nose, tight with big tannins. 

Chateau Duhart-Milon: Clear medium red, stinky nose, moderate dusty fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 

Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste: Clear medium red, dusty nose with tight red fruit and crisp acids. 

Chateau Lynch-Bages: Opaque medium red, red cherry and graphite on the nose, light red fruit with high acids at the end. 

Chateau Pichon Barton: Clear medium brick, chocolate on the nose, chewy bitter cherry fruit with a firm but balanced finish. 

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande: Opaque medium red, tar and red cherry on the nose, light and tight with low tannins and acids on the finish. 

Saint-Estephe

Chateau Ormes De Pez: Light red in color, graphite on the nose, tight red fruit, nice grip. 

Chateau Phelan Segur: Cloudy medium red, red pixie stick and toast on the nose, tight, light closed fruit with low tannins and acids. 

Sauternes/Barsac

Chateau Suduiraut Chateau Riessec
Chateau Guiraud Chateau de Fargues
Chateau Doisy Daene  

 

 

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