In my more naive years (the best of which are yet to come) I needed to be reminded (heavily and often) of the merits of Bordeaux by my ex-boss (and now sometime secret guru) Mark Bedini, head of Fine & Rare Wines in London.
But last night, after almost four months without, I needed no prompting. As my coquelot rôti gently roasted with the goose-fat sodden potatoes, I opened up a bottle of Chateau Poujeaux from Moulis. It felt only worthy of a 2006 and then to my surprise, and error, I saw 2004 burned onto the cork. I should pay a little more attention to detail…
And what a reminder it was, that first blast of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit was such a windrush….There is that mouthful of black fruit and then an enlivening green edge. There is weight, there is mass and there is structure. It was classic, beautiful, early mature Bordeaux. I make no pretensions, to many Chateau Poujeaux is just a humble cru bourgeois, but for me it is a timely reminder that whatever else Bordeaux remains, it remains above all the back bone of the wine world. High class, well made Bordeaux remains the building block against which all other wines may be judged.
More or less.
But for now, we’ll concentrate on the more. First of all, I struck lucky with the 2004. The 2006’s, which I liked en primeur, particularly the Margaux, of which Moulis is a satellite, remain largely unloved by my peers. Jancis, I remember, was particularly unloving. The 2004’s, like the 2001’s followed an enormous, freakish vintage. Both dubbed “classical” (the kiss of death in post-Parkerian wine speak) live in the shadows of their more illustrious forebears. And yet, as we arguably pass into a Gallonian era, post Parkerian as it were, their poise and restraint seem ever welcome. In 2001 and 2004 they are qualities of merit; and they are drinking well now.
For the 2006’s we will have to wait and see.