It is that time of the year, the new wine has arrived. And with that, I’m sorry to say, so to has any sense of normality and focus on quality from wine lovers, wine writers and wine connoisseurs.
Of all the hypes in the wine world none are as stupid as the Beaujolaise Nouveau. This rush to get the first vintage ready is just pain wrong, and the vintners know it. But it is a straight line to fast money, and, well, I can’t really fault people who want to earn a fast buck. But I’ve travelled to Beaujolais and talked to the wine makers there. Many of them see the Nouveau as a burden that has taken alle the focus away of the quality that the Gamay grape and the Beaujolaise region as a whole can produce. And having tasted wines made from Gamay that have been given the chance to rest, it is so clear that they are right. To drink these Nouveau-wines is just wrong, for all reasons. Wine can’t be made in such a short time. Wine, as a product needs time to develop and become what it can and should be!
So, as a personal protest to the hype, we are recommending the total opposite today. Well, maybe not the total opposite, that would be a white wine with age from the new world, but we could’t find that at the vinmonopolet. So we ended up with a 26 year old Bordeaux in stead!
Chateau Bel-Air Lagrave is a Cru Borgeois and the Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the châteaux from the Médoc that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classés, or Classed Growths. Notionally, Cru Bourgeois is a level below Cru Classé, but still of high quality. The Seguin-Bacquey family have owned this nine-hectare Moulis property for over 150 years. The vineyard is planted with 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot and 5% petit verdot. The wine spends 18-20 months in oak, between 35% and 50% of which is new.
Ch. Bel-Air Lagrave 1994 – 399,90 kr
The first ting you notice is the scent of a pencil that has just been sharpened! It brings back memories of school. I addition there is cedar three, cigar box, leather and red pepper. In the mouth you right away notice the total lack of tannins! In stead there are a lot of secondary flavours. Red peppers dominate, with cigar and smoked ham as well. There is good acidity to help balance the wine, but some tannins would be nice. But it is a wine that surprises and pleases. So much better than the unfinished wines being released right now.