In between meetings, phone calls and several attempts at celebrating Purim today, I stopped by the “Today’s Bordeaux” wine tasting this afternoon down in Tribeca. It was a real nice tasting with lots of Bordeaux offerings, including about 15 whites (white Bordeaux is generally a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and sometimes Muscadelle), 100 reds and even 2 or 3 Sauternes (dessert).
Of the 100 or so reds were many from the now famed 2005 vintage, and several were from other vintages such as 2003, 2004 & 2006. An interesting part of the tasting was the early pre-release tastings of the 2008’s. This was a real treat and provided insight into how the wines will be once they are officially released.
But rather than writing about any specific standout wines (and there certainly were some) I want to write about an observation. I found many of the reds to be pretty big/fat/extracted … whatever you want to call it. Now they were by no means Australian inky big. Or Argentinian/Chilean big. But they were big.
Which leads to the title of this blog. Fellow writer, blogger & NY-er Alice Feiring recently wrote a book “The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization“.
In a nutshell, Feiring writes about how Robert Parker and other critics favor wines made in this big, often high alcohol, extracted style. I am all for people drinking whatever style of wine they like, yet as my palate evolves I am beginning to tend to appreciate a leaner, lower alcohol wine that some will say better pairs with foods. And Feiring points out in her book a (scary) trend wherein producers are making wines that will attain high scores – more often those that fit the profile of the big, extracted, high alcohol wines. So what of the smaller, lower alcohol & generally more food friendly wines?
Today’s tasting, although thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly, might be further proof that EVEN BORDEAUX producers are falling victim to the lure of high scores and making wines that they believe will attain high scores from the aforementioned critics.
This is certainly not bad news for everyone, and frankly may be good news for many. But for those whose preference is natural, lower alcohol wines, this may indeed be further indication that Feiring is on to something.
Happy BIG/small Bordeaux wine tasting!