What’s the difference between a wine cougar and an anna nicole smith? Ch. Beaumont 1995

One of my favourite winebloggers are the BrixChix out in my sunny California. I was reading a post of their’s the other day about a discussion regarding whether wines should be drunk young or not. Liza, one of the BrixChix likes her wines young and refers to herself as  a “wine cougar”. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the term “cougar” used to describe older women who prefer younger men. Well, Liza likes her wines young, the younger the better as far as she’s concerned. Although, she’s no cradle robber! I, on the other hand, would probably call myself, what Liza refers to as, an ‘Anna Nicole Smith’. The older the better as far as I’m concerned. Luckily, Borough Wines , where I work, agrees with me and they have managed to get their hands on some lovely clarets from the mid 1990’s. Now, many of you may like your wines young but good claret always needs time to mature, much like one half of the human race. The majority are from the Haut Medoc but they also had a few St. Emilions in the mix. My favourite was the 1995 Ch. Beaumont. A cru bourgeois from the Haut Medoc, the chateau has been around since 1824 and they produce the quintessential claret. The ’95 is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc and spends between 12 – 18 months in oak. When I opened this one, red licorice and lovely lifted blackberry fruit notes on the nose, followed by tobacco and leather jabs. I had this wine with a dinner of steak and chips and it was delicious. After decanting, fabulous blackcurrant flavours came to the fore with plenty of  soft silky tannins. The wine finished off with a long black plum finish. Delicious. I could have savoured this one all night long but this oldie would only last so long and before I knew it, the bottle had given up the ghost. Oh well, on to the next, as Anna Nicole might have said…. The Chateau Beaumont 1995 is a steal at £30 in the market stall at Borough Wines in Borough...

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Beaujolais blanc, Dom. Monrozier Fleurie and donkey sausage-yes,I said donkey

  I seem to be on a beaujolais kick at the moment. I wonder if it’s because I  had a Frenchwoman from Beaujolais staying with me? My friend Anne-Victoire of Miss Vicky Wines was in town to sell her wines. She put on a tasting at Borough Wines and featured not only her family wines but also a white Beaujolais! I had no idea that Beaujolais did white wines but they do, albeit at very small production. Most beaujolais blanc comes from the far north of Beaujolais overlapping with the Macon border. Producers would much rather market under the far more recognizable Maconnais label which is why there is so little beaujolais blanc. Anyway, the beaujolais blanc we tried was from the Ch. de Lavernette, they also produce Pouilly Fuisse, but the beaujolais blanc is 100% chardonnay from Beaujolais and is biodynamically produced. Made from 100% chardonnay and unoaked, it was an dry white with pleasant citrus aromas and flavours, not terribly complex but it went quite well with the soft cheeses being served alongside the wine.  Fleurie is my beaujolais of choice lately and Anne-Victoire had brought an ’05 for me to try. The Fleurie she brought was an ’05 from her family estate, Domaine Monrozier Chateau Les Moriers ’05. The vineyard has been family owned for over 150 years and great care and pride are taken in producing their wines. The domaine produces two wines, the Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent. As a matter of fact, you can see the famous Moulin-a-Vent of Beaujolais from the domaine’s vineyards.  The ’05 Fleurie I drank at home had a nose full of cherries, quite floral with a fair bit of minerality, surprisingly. It had evolved into a rather spicy character on the palate with plenty of black cherry, licorice and aniseed in the mix and quite smooth. It was quite different from the ’06 at the tasting. The ’06 Fleurie was bursting with  fruity aromas and flavours, cherry and raspberry being predominate, not as silky and smooth as the ’05, much more acidity. I preferred the ’05...

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