Wine of the Week: 2005 Château Labégorce-Zédé

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” ― E.B. White

I'm truly torn, each time I’m considering a wine[s] for purchase, it’s viewed through the lens of desire. I’m torn between two choices, whether to enjoy the world for a day, in the form of a bottle of wine from the old world or the new world; more often than not that desire-vacuum is filled with a bottle of Bordeaux. I spent two weeks there last year, and ever since then, I've been quite taken with its flavors, textures and aromas. 

I've become especially intrigued by Appellation Margaux Controlee, a brilliant region which offers amazing depth and complexity, it has become quite compelling for me personally. Many say, this region is so compelling because of its uber high gravel content, excellent drainage and the poor nutrients in the soil, which make the vines struggle to thrive. Sadly, many of the wines produced in this region are also very popular with many other vino-sapiens, commanding and getting some very high prices. But if you're a bargain hunter like myself, than with some carefully chosen choices, you can drink like you live a more affluent lifestyle.

Have you've seen the movie, this movie? "Outstanding depth and complexity" If not, it's a thrill ride, well worth the price of admission. High toned tannins take center stage and the fine ground minerality jams on the vocals, while red and black fruit plays bass in the background. In the glass, dark and brooding, nearly opaque dark ruby; I decanted this gem for an hour, and once it warmed up a bit, from cellar temperature the curtains lifted and the show was on.

Putting my nose in the glass, a potpourri of delicate dark floral notes, intriguing underbrush, ripe blackberry, freshly wrapped tobacco leaves and a pinch of cedar playing bass in the background. I was taken back after the first sip, like a primer on classic Bordeaux, again reminding me of the unforgettable experiences I had in the region last year and continue to have vicariously through each bottle I uncork.

Another sip, slurp or what have you, wow, riper burnish dark plums flavors popping in and out, warm licorice notes and floral components float about its rich body. But less I be remiss to report, this wine does get a bit ‘grippy’ right away, sporting hefty tannins, [which smooth out a bit with decanting] ample structure and well balanced acidity.

Although enjoyable now, it’s still quite youthful and just starting its evolutionary path. Sometimes, I don’t like reporting on gems like this, because I’d like to keep this wine’s great potential all to myself, but my better nature takes over and I spill the beans. Honestly though, this wine will need another 5 years or more to fully realize how wonderful it will be for those patient enough to wait. My score for this wine is 93 points; it sells most places for $59 and again in my opinion is well worth the price of admission.

If you've ever wondered why I review one wine and not another or why this bottle of Bordeaux, and not a bottle which may have caught my fancy while I was abroad, it all comes down to personal preferences, opinion, availability, price and the right timing. 

It has been said;
"Wine writers and critics of all kinds are in the business of opinion, nothing more and nothing less"
I’m in total agreement with that point of fact or what some would merely call an observation. That said I know I’m highly opinionated about wines I encounter, the events I attend and the places I travel to and eventually choose to write about and share with the kind souls who I affectionately call my readers.

I have finally found a morsel of agreement with Mr. Asimov regarding his statement where he said,
"Personal preferences are not only unavoidable, they are, in fact, the very thing that must govern what a critic has to say."
Yes, you of course are correct, while it governs what I say; it’s just one factor of many, which guide my words and recommendations.

Exactly, personal preferences guide me through each and every article I pen and I've done so without one bit of regret or remorse. Further, my team and I are always honest with our readers, not every wine, whether sample or not, will be featured on this blog. Hopefully that 'frankness' is appreciated and I think it is, because they seem to always come back for more. Until then folks, remember life is too short drink commodity wines, keep on exploring, thinking, tasting and drinking. As always remember to sip long and prosper cheers!


Sean Mitchell said…
The Labegorce-Zede is a favourite of mine. The 2005 vintage took some finding (it is sight unseen in Australia), but I found a few in France years ago to put away in the cellar. The great pity is that, as I understand it, it has been merged now into Chateau Labegorce.
@winegurl4u said…
Wow! Beautiful photos. Enjoyed your post.

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