Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving sip: 2000 Les Calèches de Lanessan

The turkey is marinating nicely in the fridge and the prep work for most of the side dishes is completed. Oh, it will be an interesting but hectic day tomorrow.

But for now, as a pre-Thanksgiving sip, (or just to unwind before the big day), we decided to go French and open a bottle 2000 Les Calèches de Lanessan, the second wine of Château Lanessan.

Château Lanessan, owned by Domaines Bouteiller, has been producing this second label since 1999. Les Calèches de Lanessan is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Francs and 5% Petit-Verdot. It is aged for 18 months in 30-50% new French oak barrels before bottling.

This wine is made in an early accessible and easy-drinking style and meant to be consumed within seven years of the harvest. One interesting fact about Les Calèches de Lanessan is the label bears a different carriage for every vintage. For the 2000 vintage, the label is the “Le Tonneau” (or “The Barrel”).

ABV: 12.5%. Price: $11.

Tasting notes:

Color: Dark Garnet, almost purple.

Nose: Classic Bordeaux, cassis, toasty oak and a little bit of olive after 30 minutes of decanting.

Palate: Fairly fruit forward dominated by sour cherry and cassis with notes of pepper at the back palate. Very balanced but still a bit tannic.

Body: A little bit thin, medium weight at best.

Finish: Not very long. Notes of dark fruits, pepper and earth.

2000 is a great vintage for Bordeaux when wines from the lowest appellations to the best châteaus achieve good to excellent quality. Les Calèches de Lanessan demonstrated that even a second label from a Cru Bourgeois producer can be really good. Although not as concentrated as its big brother, Les Calèches de Lanessan is very well made and exhibits a good QPR value.

That said, for the highly touted 2005 vintage, Les Calèches de Lanessan should be a decent drink. As a future reference, the importer of the 2000 vintage is Regal Wine Imports, Inc in Marlton NJ.

No comments: