Saturday night’s get-together of La Manche Wine Circle saw a few fine, concentrated Pessac Léognans and a couple of fruity Graves reds in a lively blind tasting. GT’s Fieuzal 1996 was, perhaps, the star but on points the non-classé 2006 La Garde (DG, left) won us over. 2006 Domaine de Chevalier (18 points from France’s RVF magazine!) was less appreciated; the Chantegrive ’05 (IH) was a worthy contender.
CHATEAU LA GARDE 2006 PESSAC-LEOGNAN 18.5 points DG 16.40€ Leclerc
Clear, sombre, bright pink rim. Complex, sweet and perfumed nose of blackcurrant, toast, nutmeg, and cinnamon – hot-cross-buns! – all perfectly integrated with the dry but juicy and spicy palate. Very well-built (too young!) with a lingering finish on a touch of vanilla and liquorice.
CHATEAU DE FIEUZAL 1996 PESSAC-LEOGNAN GRAND CRU 18 points GT 66€ Alambic
Clear, dark ox-blood. Very ripe nose of red fruit, spices and sweet vanilla on top of burnished oak. Mince pies?… Fruit cake?… Savoury?… All is revealed on the (still) very fresh palate which is dry, fruity (cape gooseberry) with a touch of liquorice. Long finish, drinking well now.
DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER 2006 PESSAC-LEOGNAN GRAND CRU 16.5 points 30€ PH Intermarché
Cherry-red, sightly amber rim. Cedar, delicately spiced, a hint of pepper and then wild black fruit – plum or mulberry. Lovely juicy palate, mid length, firm and dry – young, firm and raring to go!
CHATEAU DE CHANTEGRIVE 2005 GRAVES 16 points IH 11.90€ Intermarché
Clear cherry, pinkish rim. FRUIT! – concentrated jammy fruit cocktail nose with a hint of vanilla and oak. Nice 2ndary aromas creating a fizzy cherry sherbert aroma. On the palate it’s damson fruit balanced with a pleasing sourness, firm.
CHATEAU DE PORTET 2006 GRAVES 13.5 points PH 4€ Intermarché
Light, watery robe. Lively and perfumed raspberry fruit rather dominated by the alcohol. Very soft, some fruit, raspberry fruit is all that lingers on the palate. Summer lunchtime quaffer.