Bordeaux People’s Choice: Brian Bianchi
Brian is a wine lover, server, assistant sommelier and a self described “big overall nerd”!
How were you first introduced to Bordeaux Wines? Through my work as a server
What do you like most about Bordeaux Wines? Their complexity, their ability to age, their ability to be powerful yet elegant.
Tell us about your favorite Bordeaux Wines.I”ve been lucky enough to be able to drink some fantastic Bordeauxs. My favorites include: Lynch Bages $200+ always a beautifully complex wine that ages spectacularly always shows great layers of fruit and oak with amazing intiegration of flavors and tannins. Im also a huge fan of Grand Cru St Emillion, Ch La Domanique $35-50 is always a goto for me smooth elegant and persistant. Ch Quinault$40-100 and Cap de Mourlin $30-50 are also top picks for me from that region for value. I love the finesse and elegance of St Emillion. People can scoff at Merlot all they want it serves as the backbone of some of the best wines in the world on the right bank of Bordeaux.
Why did you select these wines as your favorites? These wines always show spectacularly and aside from the Lynch Bages are quite affordable and a great value for the money compared to other wines at the price point.
What would you pair with your favorite wines? I pair them with friends! But also sometimes food. I often enjoy them with Grilled lambchops, Cote de boeuf, bone marrow, and sheep”s milk hard cheeses are also a favorite pairing for me.
On what occasions do you drink Bordeaux? Only on days that end in a “Y”. In all seriousness I prefer to enjoy Bordeaux rouge with hearty meals or alongside some funky cheese and meats. I often will splurge and open up one of my older Bordeaux for my birthday or new years. Bordeaux blanc is also a fantastic summertime and food pairing wine as well. Bordeaux is the region that dominates my purchases.
Did you discover anything unexpected from this experience? That 06 St Emillion is still too young!
Wine Picks and Price:
Cap Royal Blanc 2015 – $10 Nose starts off with a blast of citris, unripe grapefruit, limezest lemon pith and lemon curd jump out with a slight grassy note behind them. The palate shows vibrant acidity this wine screams for a pairing! Crisp and focused on the palate. The citris continues on palate and again with notes of grass and a long acidic moutwatering finish. Also some hits of wet stone minerality on the finish as the acidity fades.
Cap Royal Bordeaux Superieur 2012 – $15The Nose comes out with a core of cured meat character, procutto maybe. Very savory. Coffee and baking spices notes behind that with a nice balancing of black fruits and sauteed mushrooms notes. The palate again showing a savory quality tho the dominant flavor seems to be coffee and black/red fruits with the savory taking a backseat now and picking up more leather notes and mushroom as the fruit fades. Fairly striking acidity at first with medium earthy/leathery tannins that linger for about 20 seconds and fade into acidity.
Chateau Barde Haut 2006 – $30This wine is still too young. I decated it after the initial taste. Started off very closed on the nose and the tannins overwhelmed most of the palate. But as I tasted it over the next 2 hours the tannins began to calm a bit. Leading off is a nose of blue and black fruits, blueberry and unripe blackberry, and a nice sublte savory note of duckfat or patte which leads nicely into hits of minerality and mushroom. The minerality and blue fruit take center stage on the palate along with some fairly gripping tannins. The savory quality has merged with some leather and esspresso cream notes. The acidity matches the tannins in being quite high at the moment, Finish goes on and on. After 4 hours of decanting the fruit was vibrant and juicey and the tannins more supple. Superb wine!
Chateau Barde Haut 2010 – $35. Sadly this bottle was slightly corked, but probably passable as just a funky wine to most. However, I still tasted it and suffered through the TCA to hopefully be able to get an idea of what it should and could have been. I got lots of black and blue fruit on this, tannins were more refined and smooth than the 06, but the body of the wine was fuller with more weight. Hard to determine weather it was minerality or tca behind the fruit. This wine had a creamy almost Californian quality about it. Too bad it was an off bottle. I shall just have to go purchase another soon to retry it =D