Aug 23, 2009

Challenge # 19 : Discover a New Wine That I Love

Here's a little story you should know : Elena and I named our children after wine; at least the first two. We named our eldest child, Margaux, in honor of the great First Growth Bordeaux on the left bank of the Gironde river. I had the privilege of tasting Chateau Margaux on a few occasions when I worked at Le Ciel Bleu in the Mayfair Regent Chicago. Back then, a bottle was "only" around $200 in the restaurant. In honor of Margaux's first New Year's eve with her parents, Elena and I shared a bottle at Tradewinds restaurant in Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands where we were living at the time. We named our second child, Julien, after another region in Bordeaux.

So this is where the story gets interesting...Elena and I decided to stop at two kids -- and my "historic"vasectomy followed shortly after Julien's birth. Nine months later, even after two visits to Dr. Smith's clinic, Elena was pregnant again! We were in Paris at the time and Elena was acting rather strangely, electing to stay home with a baguette and cheese, as opposed to exploring the City of Lights. Needless to say, Dr. Smith's name will forever live in infamy among my male friends!

We ran out of wine names that we liked for our third child. Champagne Aquino - I don't think so. We went to the hospital with no idea what we were going to name our youngest child. After giving birth, Elena and I strolled to the hospital nursery to observe our "miracle" baby. It was then when we decided to name her Francesca; a good Filipino-Italian compromise.

We were on our second bottle of wine at Blackbird restaurant in Chicago last weekend when we ventured into the unknown and we ordered a bottle of Bordeaux wine that we have never heard of - the 1998 Chateau Tayac. Given my average knowledge of Bordeaux wines, I knew that the wine will be claret in style, and given its right bank location where the Dordogne and Gironde rivers meet, it will slightly favor a merlot palette with hints of cab and cab franc.

A $600 bottle of Chateau Margaux was not exactly on the tasting block this evening. The $85 bottle of Chateau Tayac is a huge bargain compared to that. Though I expected a good wine, I didn't expect a memorable one. For a '98, the wine was deeper in color than what you would expect from an 11 year old bottle of Bordeaux. The nose was classic Bordeaux with hints of blackcurrants and cherries. The body lies somewhere between Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and Phoebe Cates in Fastimes at Ridgemont High. It's mellower than a big, oaky, Napa Cab, yet the softer finish lingers like a first kiss. Chateau Tayac is definitely worth a second date.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Joji, I will give that wine a try. Noel