We’ve just purchased a fantastic lot of older wines direct from Château Chasse Spleen. The 1990 Ch. Chasse Spleen, Moulis ($119.00) is drinking wonderfully with its crystalline raspberry fruit and earthy qualities of grilled portabello mushrooms. It is amazingly youthful, perfectly ripe on entry with firm tannin in the finish. Pot roast anyone? Oh, and by the way, the 1989 Ch. Chasse Spleen, Moulis ($129.00) may be even better. This zingy and lively number wows with its fresh core of acidity supporting roasted chestnuts, grilled plums and pencil lead. Alive and well, this is the kind of wine that dances on the tongue rather than clumsily stepping on it. We all need values this time of year, and no deals in the world of Bordeaux are more exciting right now than this trio which, by the way, are all part of our Wine Club program. The 2003 Ch. Caronne St. Gemme, Haut-Médoc ($17.99) is a big creamy number, luscious and packed with the glycerin that only the ’03 vintage can produce. This wine is reminiscent of those chocolate-covered cherries that are so popular as office gifts this time of year. But this might actually be appreciated as a gift! A more serious and structured effort, the 2001 Ch. Caronne St. Gemme, Haut-Médoc ($17.99) is racy, pretty wine, the kind of wine that perks the mouth up and makes it take notice. Pomegranate and chanterelle mushroom notes make this wine perfect for any pork dish. Last but not least (and actually one of the biggest surprises of the last couple of months), is the 2003 Ch. Clarke, Listrac ($26.99). The nose alone is worth price of admission, flaunting violet, lavender and black currant candy. Good news is that it tastes just as good! A heck of a wine, and one which you can drink over the next seven years. —Bryan Brick
Just one case of wine for this year’s gift, but that case is the most famous Bordeaux from the 20th Century: 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild. Mr. Parker scores it 100 points and says: “A consistent 100 point wine (only because my point scale stops at that number), the 1945 Mouton is truly one of the immortal wines of the century… this remarkably youthful wine (only light amber at the edge) is mindboggling! Will it last another 50 years?” And the cellar this wine will come from is the Mahler-Besse cellar in Bordeaux, the best wine cellar in Bordeaux! In fact, you will be able to go to the cellar (two of you) accompanied by me to pick out your case and have lunch at the Mahler-Besse property. See our website for the particulars! The price is $150,000 which is 40% less than the wine just sold for at auction. Have a great holiday season. —Clyde Beffa Jr
Plan to attend this outstanding event on January 18, 2007. Last year we sold out quickly. Nine châteaux and their owners/winemakers will come the Bay Area with their 2004 vintage Bordeaux and an older vintage for a grand tasting and dinner at The University Club in San Francisco. The châteaux presenting their wines are Poujeaux, Chasse Spleen, Phelan Segur, Potensac, Siran, Haut Marbuzet, Ormes de Pez, de Pez and Labegorce Zede. $125 inclusive. This will be a great event!
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