weekend pomerols

Wife’s birthday weekend, so FRI night, for a nice crowd, had to pull out what my kids call a “big boy” (3L) of Certan de May 1995. My expectations were somewhat muted, as Cellartracker commentary is not so positive. Moreover, the retailer from whom I bought it, while historically trustworthy, has sold me some duds that I have recently discovered. Double decanted two hours prior. I don’t have much experience with this producer, but what emerged over dinner with a variety of Mediterranean dishes was a very sturdy, burly and somewhat savory Pomerol. Bittersweet coffee notes. Far from a hedonistic right bank wine, nonetheless it was quite pleasing to the generally “newbie” crowd – many of whom could not believe they were drinking merlot, and I couldn’t really disagree. Tannins mostly resolved, but enough grip remaining for a very pleasant mouthfeel. Nice length too. I think we caught it at a perfect point in its evolution (from 3L). I would imagine the 750s ought to be consumed in the short term. Curiously, this threw off very little sediment. 92

On SAT night it was a more intimate family gathering at my Mom’s house. We started with a Zind Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain pinot gris 2007 with appetizers. What a pleasant surprise! While I love Alsacian whites, I had never heretofore been wowed by a (dry) pinot gris – but this wine was special. A lot happening in the nose – orchard fruit, spices, minerals. The wine is quite oily and viscous. Sweet fruit on the attack but finishes very long and fairly dry. It had enough power that it could have been riesling, but it also reminded me of older ZH gewurz or muscat. I don’t know this GC vineyard well enough, but I don’t think the wine could have been from anywhere other than Alsace. A bit of oxidation but only in a way that added to its character. 93

Then, with simple burgers off the grill we enjoyed a La Fleur de Gay 2006. Obviously much younger than the Certan de May, and to my palate much more typically pomerol. This wine had all the plushness of less mature merlot, but I think we opened it too soon. All primary at this point and fairly one-dimensional – albeit a very nice dimension! While already a crowd-pleaser, I suspect this will be a real winner down the road, maybe 10-20 more years. 91

Thanks, Kelly.
I like the ZH pinot gris Rangen sometimes too. Don’t think I’ve had or own the 2007, but have drunk 2002/2004. It’s just hard to find the right time to open a wine that you accurately describe as “quite oily and viscous.”

Good descriptors too for the Certan de May. “Sturdy, burly” are what I’m looking for from Pomerol, but glad it served its purpose, esp. in PARTY size. [cheers.gif]