I chose Saturday to officially start my first experiment. I decided to go to Whole Foods to see what they had. I confidently entered the store, ignored the free bread samples, and went straight to the wine section. What did I select??
The first bottle I picked up was Chateau Roc Meynard Bordeaux Superieur 2014. Why??
- Shelf placement – it was at my eye level and the label was very easy to read
- Key Words on the front label: Bordeaux Superior – somewhat stricture requirements than standard Bordeaux appellation but I was just making sure it was a Bordeaux, Gran Vin – which I now know is on most Bordeaux bottles and its an unregulated marketing term.
- Info on the back label: Blend 90% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 20 months in stainless steel tanks
- Price was lower than $20 ($16.99)
- Bottle Impression – It looked liked a traditional bottle – green bottle with traditional style label.
Other things of note, but did not factor into to the buying decision: The winemaker is Philippe Hermouet. The wine was produced from grapes grown in the village of Villegouge. The importer is LEFGroup LLC (DBA JP-Bourgeois). Portfolio information is under JP-Bourgeois.
I had a previous engagement earlier that evening so I could not try this bottle right away. I planned on eating a light dinner and refraining from drinks. I stuck to the light dinner but got a couple of drinks in me. I got home around 9pm, popped the bottle open and was excited to take my first sip.
Impression from first sip was not good. I was not sure if I was could stomach anymore of it. I got bitterness and maybe some berries. Not a good start.
Twenty minutes later, I took another sip. It seemed to be getting better. I tasted plum and something tart. It was not as bitter as the first sip…maybe more savory?? Towards the tail end of the first glass, lets call it the 35 minute mark, the flavor profile felt different. I got plum and cherry tastes. I also started getting a tobacco like aroma. It was definitely a lot better than when I took my first sip.
I poured a second glass. I think the tannins must have softened because there was less of the dry mouth feeling. I got plum, berry, spice, and peppery tastes. Still feels savory and seemed to have a more notable tobacco like aroma. The second glass was much more pleasant than the first. After finishing the second glass, I decided to call it a night. I was feeling a bit buzzed and was craving steak. I thought I should cap it to see how the wine held up on day 2. I used one of those vacuum pump wine savers to keep the wine.
Ok, it’s about 3:00pm on a Sunday and I just took a sip. Very different from last night. Its much easier to drink and feels much lighter. More plum like but still savory and spicy. The smokey / tobacco like aroma is much more subtle today. It’s a nice day and I’m really starting to enjoy this wine.
For dinner, we decided to make Panang Curry Chicken. We only had a couple of glasses left in the bottle and decided to drink the last bits with dinner. The wine overpowered the curry taste and left a spicier / hotter aftertaste…as most experts on the internet warned.
Professional Reviews vs. VinoExperiment
This is a ripe toasty wine. With its red-berry fruits and acidity along with some dry, smoky tannins it is a wine in progress. Drink this concentrated wine from 2018. 87 Points – Wine Enthusiast
I may buy this wine again with the following caveats: It needs time to breathe – minimum 30 minutes. Based on my day 2 tasting maybe 1-2 hours would be better. It was pleasant to drink on its own on day 2 but I think I would enjoy it more with a meal. Perhaps steak or lamb… that sounds good.
Fun first experiment. I’m looking forward to trying the other 2 bottles I purchased. However, I will hold off until next weekend…and maybe try to plan a meal around it.