Traditionally at this time of year many of the wine and spirit distributers have their portfolio tastings. These tastings are open to members of the trade who will make buying decisions or for those who need to educate themselves on the products of a particular distributer. They can show up and browse the portfolios for something in particular or to search for something new. Some of the tastings showcase the whole portfolio in which case there may be 100+ wines and spirits available to sample. Sometimes they have smaller, more intimate tastings that showcase a niche category.
On March 2nd one of those distributors, Fredrick Wildman & Sons held an invite only small tasting of some of their upper tier Bordeaux from their portfolio. It was a mix of current releases (2018) with some older vintages that were available for sale. When Bordeaux is drinking well, it’s a nice experience.
The tasting was held at Benoit restaurant located at 66 West 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
Some of what I sampled:
2014 Chateau Carbonnieux (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red with a purple rim, tobacco and crushed red fruit on the nose, silky and chewy red fruit, beautifully balanced with a long finish.
2018 Chateau Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan): Black with a purple rim, nose of sweet tobacco, chewy black fruit, silky tannins with a great balance.
2015 Chateau Troplong Mondot (St.-Emilion): Black with a purple rim, toasty crushed black fruit on the nose, silky and chewy with a long finish.
2018 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (St.-Emilion): Dark red to black with a purple rim, dark chocolate and sweet tobacco on the nose, silky red fruit with crisp tannins at the end, long finish.
2018 Chateau Clos de L’Oratoire (St.-Emilion): Black with a purple rim, sweet strawberry on the nose, dense and tight with a tight finish.
2016 Chateau Gazin (Pomerol): Black with a purple rim, toasted oak on the nose, chewy and tight with silky tannins.
2016 Chateau Jardin de Petit Village (Pomerol): Black with a purple rim, toasty red fruit on the nose, chunky black fruit ending with a good dusty grip.
2010 Chateau Lascombes (Margaux): Dark red to black with an amber rim, perfume of tar and dark leather, silky dark fruit with a beautiful long and balanced finish.
2015 Chateau Cantenac Brown (Margaux): Dark red with a purple rim, smoky nose, tight with green olive notes on the firm finish.
2016 Brio de Cantenac Brown (Margaux): Dark red with a purple rim, big nose of cigar smoke, tight with bell pepper notes on the firm finish.
2014 Chateau Lagrange (St. Julien): Dark red to black with a purple rim, nose of sweet tar, black leather and cigar smoke, dense and tight with wet slate notes, tight acids at the end.
2014 Chateau Leoville Poyferre (St. Julien): Dark red to black, sweet perfume of tobacco, mint and crushed black fruit, chunky with silky tannins with dark chocolate, black fruit and bitter bark on the finish.
2015 Chateau Talbot (St. Julien): Dark purple, brambly nose, chewy with dried leaf notes, balanced with a long finish.
2018 Chateau Leoville Barton (St. Julien): Dark red to black, crushed strawberry on the nose, chewy and dusty green fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids.
2018 Chateau Gloria (St. Julien): Black with a purple rim, stinky nose of crushed black fruit, chewy black fruit with a good grip and long finish.
2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru (St. Julien): Dark red to black, sweet nose of pixe stick and green fruit, silky, dusty black fruit ending with moderate to low tannins and acids.
2016 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac): Black with a purple rim, mint, tobacco and some barnyard on the nose, tight with silky tannins and crushed rock notes on the fruit.
2014 Chateau Phelan Segur (St. Estephe): Black with a purple rim, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, tight fruit that lighten ups at the end.
2015 Chateau La Croix Bonis (St. Estephe): Dark red, nose of sweet spice and tree bark, dusty, silky tannins with a good grip.