On September 13th, 2009 IconWines principles LC & HC participated in a tasting of select 2006 Bordeaux wines. The event was held at Marquis Wine Cellars in downtown Vancouver and timed to coincide with the store's first release of this above-average vintage to the public; a full three weeks prior to the government liquor board's release scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd.
Purchasing Bordeaux wines from a private store like Marquis helps to ensure the consumer can get a hold of the wines they most want as many of the top labels will sell-out quickly. However, this convenience does come at a cost as the prices are 15%-20% higher than the posted prices for the government liquor store's Bordeaux release.
The 2006 vintage is certainly above-average, but as it follows the much lauded 2005 juggernaut, it arrives with much less fanfare and lower expectations. This is reflected in the prices to a degree, however, will it be enough to get us all to buy? Reports and reviews from experts help us form an opinion and our own expectations but getting a chance to taste for yourself is invaluable.
We tasted (in order of lightest to heaviest):
Chateau La Tour Carnet, Haut-Medoc
Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc
Clos de l'Oratoire, St. Emilion
Clos du Marquis, St. Julien
Chateau Clinet, Pomerol
Chateau Lascombes, Margaux
Chateau Clerc Milon, Pauillac
Chateau Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Chateau Montrose, St. Estephe
Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac
Chateau Coutet, Barsac
Chateau Rieussec, Sauternes
Overall the vintage shows good promise with good acidity and tannin structure which will age well. (Full tasting notes will be available on Icon Scores shortly.) One of the wines that we had great expectations for but were a bit underwhelmed with upon tasting was Chateau Montrose. This wine had been highly scored by the Wine Advocate at 95 points. Both HC and myself found the flavours a little too subtle. A quality wine nevertheless, but perhaps not the star of the vintage that we had hoped. A valuable lesson that the advice of others (including ours) must be considered for what it is, an opinion.
Let us know what you think of the 2006 Bordeaux vintage by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear your opinions on the subject.