Saturday, November 3, 2012

2009 Chateau Brandard, Saint-Emillion

Wow. Has it really been a month since I posted a note here? Yikes! I haven't been drinking a whole lot of wine lately and the wines I've had have been rather pedestrian wines that I've already blogged about one numerous occasions. The lone exception was the delicious (but not anywhere near ready yet) 2009 Dunning Vineyards Meritage, Paso Robles. But since I was playing cards with the wife and kids while drinking it, I didn't bother to take any notes.

What have I been doing besides drinking wine? I've been quite busy putting the finishing touches on the distributorship. We've been given our liquor license by the State of Kansas and we're just waiting on final approval from the BATFE now. We have the warehouse all set up with second hand office furniture and we're wired with our phone and internet connections. As soon as we get that letter from the feds, we can start ordering wine and filling up that warehouse! I also found out that the girlfriend of one of my wife's elementary school friends owns a wine import company based out of Chicago that specializes in Spanish wines. I'm eagerly awaiting to see her portfolio and maybe acquire some samples.

And we've been busy around the farm as well. I've spent a few peaceful, yet unsuccessful days in the blind hunting turkey in the back yard. I'm hoping to serve wild turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I'm also feeding the deer and checking the trail cam getting ready for deer season in December. There's a really nice 10-point buck running around in the woods that I haven't seen until recently. Today we spent the morning in the garden pulling out roots and covering the raised beds with our all-natural mulch of chicken poop, pine shavings and vegetable scraps. No pesticides or fertilizers are used in our garden!

Anyway. Back to tonight's wine. The 2009 Chateau Brandard Bel Air Lussac Saint-Emilion is one of the last wines I got from my former employer before quitting my retail job. I believe it was one of our "Wine of the Month" offerings back in September. It has a nice cranberry color indicative of a Merlot-dominated blend. the nose is somewhat Rhone-ish with sweet raspberry, tobacco, black pepper and a good whiff of poopy diaper. On the palate, the green tobacco and earthy/barnyard/poop flavors really come to the forefront. Sadly, no hint of that raspberry that is so pretty in the nose. The acidity is ferocious and the tannins moderate. Overall, the green tobacco and barnyard notes are just too much for my California-centric palate to take. I see where someone calling himself the Wine Advocate just gave this 92 points on the strength of its "foie gras, meat and berry notes." Sorry, but I just don't get any of that. Trust me, as much as I love foie gras, I dearly wish I could find some in this bottle, but alas, I shall remain disappointed. IIRC, this retails for about $15 but I wouldn't dare pay that for another bottle.

That being said, the wine played rather nicely with tonight's dinner. The fantastically-marbled tri-tip was grilled to perfection and served with arugula oil. The earthy, peppery, green tobacco notes of the wine went really well with the earthy, peppery arugula. I would say the old rule of thumb about European wines being "food wines" definitely applies here as the wine is borderline undrinkable on its own.


  1. Bill, I thought you might have got lost in business (trust that is going well), but alas you got "blind";) in the woods.
    I've missed your posts, and this is great.
    Have you heard anything from John? I'm quite worried, because that storm may have effected him more than I can know.
    As Vieux Brandard, thanks for the warning, and this is one reason French wines can be a "minefield" for us uninitiated.

    1. Thanks, Dennis. It's good to be back. Hopefully, I won't wait a month for my next blog entry! Cheap Bordeaux has never been my thing and this wine did nothing to change my views. Unfortunately, all the Bordeaux that I used to like in the $50 range (Lynch-Bages, Leoville Barton, Cod d'Estournel, etc.) are all well out of my price range now so I just don't dabble much in this arena.

      I think John is okay. He's vacationing in Tucson right now and his son's team won their little league football tournament so I'm thinking things are returning to normal for him. If you're on facebook, you can keep up with him at Tuscan Vines. He was reporting regularly throughout Sandy. I think losing power and having to stand in long lines for gasoline (for the generator) was the worst of it for him.