Monday, August 12, 2013

Cinq Cépages vertical

I brought up three bottles of Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages wine, from 1996, 1997 and 1999.

The Cinq Cépages (French for "Five Grapes") is always a blend of the five classic French grapes—cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot and malbec—but is anchored by the cabernet sauvignon, which always makes up at least 75% of the blend.

The 1996 was the Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year in its release year (1999), when it sold for $28 at the winery (the price elsewhere rose dramatically after the accolade was bestowed, but the winery held the line at $28—and I made a special trip to the winery just to buy a bottle). The 1997 was, according to some, an even better vintage. The 1999... well, I just bought it years ago to extend the vertical.

In recent years, I had read online tasting notes suggesting that maybe these wines were past their prime. And upon opening, it seemed maybe that was true for the 1996 and 1997. But a while later, with steak, they rallied. Whether it was the additional time open or the steak, I don't know, but they were all delightful. The 1999 (of which I still have a bottle) actually seemed a bit young, even after 14 years, so maybe I'll hold that one back for a few more years.

No comments:

Post a Comment