Vintage Bordeaux Tasting

At Maison Vauron, French Wine Merchants

4th September 2019

I attended this wine tasting which was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Maison Vauron, French Wine Merchants, who are located in Newmarket in Auckland. This was a fascinating tasting with all of the wines coming from top vintages and many from top Chateau in Bordeaux with the oldest from 1990. From my perspective it would have been very interesting to have had some Waiheke Island (Stonyridge Larose) or Hawkes Bay (Te Mata Coleraine) Bordeaux blends included in the tasting so that we could measure just how close we are to the Bordeaux fine wine standard. However I do understand that the purpose of the evening was a celebration of Maison Vauron’s 20 years in business and as they only sell French wines it was fine the way it was organised. All of the wines presented during the evening were accompanied by food.

1st wine: Chateau Lagrange, 3eme Cru St Julien, 2010 RRP NZ$205

This wine has good concentration and is dominated by it’s high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It needs a bit more time to soften but was still an enjoyable wine to drink.

2nd wine: Chateau Boyd Cantenac, 3eme Cru Margaux, 2010  RRP NZ$220

Lovely smooth ripe fruit and all completely in balance. I guess you could say a typical Margaux style and with plenty of time left to enjoy. It worked really well with the food.

Food served with wines 1&2: Entrée; Planche de charcuterie Perigourdine – Devon free range pork rillette flavoured with black truffle. Duck liver and fois gras parfait, red wine and figs compote.

3rd wine: Chateau la Tour Carnet, 4eme Cru Haut-Medoc, 2009 

Quite a fragrant wine with good concentration but with perhaps a bit out of balance right now, perhaps the oak is overly dominant. This is predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

4th wine: Roc de Cambes, Cotes de Borg, 2009   RRP $170

A very fragrant wine with good concentration and one that still has plenty of life left. It was quite popular on the night. This is a Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend and the producer was originally located in St Emilion and moved to this region which is also on the right bank but further north.

Food served with wines 3&4: 1st Dish; Garbure Girondine – Duck leg confit, smoked pork belly, duck breast ham, savoy cabbage, petit legumes and duck broth.

5th wine: Chateau Montrose, 2eme Cru St Estephe, 2003    RRP$295

This was a big step up with a lot of concentration, wonderful black fruit flavours and a very long finish. Tannins were perfectly in balance and a wine you could even really enjoy without food . In my opinion it was easily the best value wine of the night.

6th wine: Chateau Lynch Bages, 5eme Cru Pauillac, 2000  RRP $675

This was a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wine with plenty of ripe tannins and seemingly built for the long haul even though it is already 19 years old. This also had a very long finish and it definitely went well with the roasted beef rib eye that was served with it.

Food served with wines 5&6: 2nd Dish; Entrecote Bordelaise – Roasted organic beef Taupo Rib Eye, Sarladaise potatoes, wild mushrooms and Cabernet sauce.

7th wine: Chateau Cheval Blanc, St Emilion Grand Cru, 1998  RRP $1800

My favourite wine of the night – not that I could afford to buy it but that is another story! 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Franc and a beautiful wine with everything ripe and in balance. It has a very very long finish and many years ahead of it – if you could avoid drinking it right now that is. This wine doesn’t even need food to appreciate it!

8th wine: Chateau Latour, 1er Grand Cru, Pauillac, 1990  RRP $2200

This is for me is what I thought the classic aged classed growth Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Bordeaux red would be like but of course in this case it is also silky smooth and with great length. I tasted tobacco leaf and some slightly fading berry fruits, with tannins in check. This had cheese to accompany it but I wonder if a simple beef dish might have worked better?

Food served with wines 7&8: Fromages – Plateau de fromages affines par nos soins