By Jordan Carrier
If wine is romance made liquid, what does Bordeaux bring to the door on a first date? Well, it depends on when he was born.
- 2009 shows all his cards. He loves you sight unseen and he brought a yacht. He couldn’t park it on the street so it’s lying on its side and disrupting traffic, but it’s a yacht.
- 2010 shows you one card, on your doorstep. As soon as you bend to pick it up, you notice the next card, several feet away, gleaming in the moonlight. You follow the subsequent cards, perfectly spaced between each other that lead towards the vintage Cadillac on the street, where Bruce Springsteen (the driver) will take you anywhere you wish, just so long as you stay amazing.
- 2011 apologizes for being late, he couldn’t get to the door because of all the boats and cars. He has tickets to the latest Terrence Malik movie, which you probably won’t understand now but totally will later. He is kind, smart, even smoldering, but shuts down when you try to talk about his older brothers.
- 2012 comes to the door dressed in sweatpants because he already knows what you think of him, but wows you with a box of chocolates that contains flavours you weren’t expecting. He leads you to a horse-drawn carriage that takes you to a heritage theme-park full of proper people in full dress speaking proper sentences. It is only later that you realize that you married him.
- 2013 arrives brandishing a stick with a happy face sharpied onto it. He tells you that the stick is for you but he won’t let go of it. After an awkward silence, he relinquishes the stick and slowly backs away into your yard. The next morning, you discover that he took all of the apples off your tree.
And this (2013) is the vintage that the BC Liquor Stores will be offering in a week’s time in their annual Bordeaux release. Private stores are prohibited from participating, but we frankly wouldn’t if we could, 2013 is a dud.
Given the outsized prices of certain recent Bordeaux vintages, I don’t feel bad practicing a bit of Schadenfreude here: 2013 is a vintage without fruit and without joy. I tried select barrel samples from a wide variety of 2013s a couple of years back, and I left the tasting with the distinct impression that I had just French-kissed a pencil. I’m not even sure that age can help, here, a stick of wood may simply develop into an older stick of wood. There will inevitably be the odd gem in this vintage (the whites, particularly, also Fronsac?), but I’d overall give it a miss. If you are collecting verticals, buy single bottles for the sake of continuity, but don’t go deep.
Instead of that vintage, we are offering an affordable (all under $100) selection of well rated Bordeaux from other recent, solid, proven vintages, and because we are ninjas, we are offering people a chance to try them first. Come to our store on Saturday September 24 between 2pm and 6pm and try the following wines from 2012, 2011, and the legendary 2010. None of this silly ’13 business. These are classic wines of beauty and strength, and though it’s a diverse cull, they are all quintessentially Bordeaux.