As the children get older the eggs get fewer, but some traditions live on, and Sunday’s Easter diner was a garlic and rosemary infused leg of lamb, flageolets and , tradition oblige,a bottle of Pauillac. The lamb unfortunately was from New Zealand not Pauillac, but there you go.
The wine was Clerc Milon 2006, from the stable of aptly named Mouton Rothschild (there’s a lot of lamb in this post). Back in the days of yore I remember moderately enjoying the 2006 primeur tastings with an albeit generally damning verdict of “classical” its governing epithet. I gave the nod to Margaux amongst the Left Bank’s appellations, but hey, what do I know?
Her Saintliness Jancis Robinson once wrote a damning (with faint praise) critique of the vintage, lamenting an over-riding greenness to the wines, and I too was somewhat underwhelmed by last night’s effort. Admittedly I did not decant it and initial impressions were of a rather hollow effort with , yes, a green and searing acidity. Where was the flesh, where was the mass? It seemed to fill out a little over an hour, but there was no base sweetness and little of that patrician girth that so marks a good Bordeaux.
All in all, a bit of a disappointment. It could just be prickly adolescence or it could be the mark of the vintage. She’s a wise one that Jancis, but I am left rather adrift by the master’s (sic) verdict, the great Robert Parker (could this be the same wine, or is it just further proof that wine criticism is fatally subjective and a lot of wine critics talk a lot of tosh?),
“From the same stable as Mouton Rothschild and d’Armailhac, Clerc Milon, despite the relatively high percentage of Merlot (44%) combined with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc, is dense, rich, tannic, and backward. Surprisingly muscular for this offering, which often exhibits a more precocious side, it offers up abundant amounts of creme brulee, chocolate, cedar, and black currants. This full-bodied Pauillac displays gorgeous purity and depth as well as moderately high tannins in the finish. Because of its freshness, structure, and density, it is reminiscent of a 1996 Medoc. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.”
Crëme brûlée, anyone?
Well, I have another six bottles (unfortuately perhaps) to work on an appeal.