Trending
MOST READ
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges his facial... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Thai Food

Best Thai Food

Best of SA 2012: Tucked off Blanco Road in a bland shopping strip lies a tasty secret that has been keeping SA foodies smiling for over a decade. Once you pass through the rough exterior, you'll... 4/25/2012
Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

Best of SA 2012: We love food trucks. But, honestly, there are days when the restaurant-on-wheels trend feels completely out of hand. Frequently operators wheeling out new mobile eateries... 4/25/2012
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Value Vino

Semi-cellaring Bordeaux

Photo: , License: N/A


The big boys with super cellars and the bucks to fill them are likely to brag about their big Bordeaux, their Burgundies, and maybe even their Brunellos; the rest of us are buying wines to drink tomorrow, next week, or maybe within a month or two if we happen upon a case-lot deal. And our cellars? Well…

Mine, in any case, is an interior closet also shared with stereo equipment. A while back I had an adjustable AC register installed so the tiny space could be cooled in summertime, the idea being that I would simply close it off during heating season. It's the coolest room in the house in summer; winter I'm going to have to work on.

But despite these less than ideal conditions, I did buy some allegedly sorta-cellar-worthy Bordeaux a while back — about 2008, if memory serves. (Memory, too, needs some work.) They weren't first-growth châteaus, to be sure, but rather of the cru bourgeois persuasion — to be specific, Château Caronne Ste. Gemme 2005 Haut-Médoc. Apparently somebody at the time of release suggested that even the lowlier classifications were worth putting away for awhile. There's one left for future evaluation; this was the penultimate bottle. You will have noted that shy of seven years in the so-called cellar hardly makes this a hoary old veteran.

I should have noted the price, of course, but knowing how cheap I generally am, it's a safe bet that I didn't pay more than the mid-teens for the bottles. If you look them up online now, the average price is somewhere around $27 — better than the stock market in the same time frame, but not why I did this. Nope, I did it out of curiosity, and here's the result:
In a burst of uncharacteristic transparency for the French, the grape blend is listed on the back label; it's 60 percent cabernet sauvignon, 35 percent merlot, and 5 percent petit verdot. And the cabernet does dominate. The color is a deep, dark ruby with no signs of turning bricky around the edges. On the nose there's slight tar, leather, even coffee, plus a respectable fruit component that suggests dark plum. A hint of licorice seemed to linger. On the palate, there was still a tannic residue, but it was well integrated; good acid kept the fruit lively. A day in the refrigerator later, everything had smoothed out further, suggesting that decanting might be a good idea.

In sum, it's a keeper, but for another year? I just need to put a Post-it on the bottle.

P.S. The wine website WineX.com has just released a list of Bordeaux "futures" for purchase in advance of their arrival on our shores. The 2009 vintage of the Caronne Ste. Gemme is highly rated and selling now for $16.99 — just in case you'd like to play this game.

Veteran food, wine, and spirits writer Ron Bechtol has been a Current contributor since 1993 and is the local editor of the Fearless Critic restaurant guide to San Antonio.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus