Monday, March 14, 2005

Side by Side Review: Chateau Meyney- St. Estephe 1996 (NW&PB)

This is a special format in which PB and NW are reviewing the following wine side-by-side without comparing notes until they are entered on this blog.

Chateau Meyney- St. Estephe 1996:

Served at a perfect temperature for my taste- approximately 55 degrees F.
A hint of age is visible to the eye and apparent on the palate
Dark berries and tar on the nose and palate, later joined by strawberry, plum, and herbs
Elegant texture, soft tannis, but not a long finish

This is a classic example of "Old World" wine and an interesting study. It is elegant and smooth, but difficult to discern. There is no burst of fruit like many "New World" wines offer. Rather, the wine requires special attention in order to pick up on the layers. In other words, you have to think about what you're drinking! Initially, dark berries and tar appear. After breathing in the glass, plum, herbs, strawberries, and other light berries emerge. The finish is abbreviated, tapering off with soft tannins. There are no long, lingering layers and very little intensity. While this isn't necessary in a good wine, the elegance of this wine is not enough to carry it. Paired with a Emeril-inspired spicy pork tenderloin in pastry crust, the wine disappeared and went flat. It was enjoyable to pop open a Bordeaux nearly a decade old, but the ultimate experience did not deliver the expected complexity and versatility associated with the best Bordeaux. Raise a glass to the world of wine- just not to this one again! (NW)

(PB) wrote--
(NW) was in for a visit and so we thought it would be fun to have a nice dinner and a side by side review of the same wine. That way, you could see the difference between two opinion of the same wine under the same conditions which, if nothing else, would allow you to see the subjective aspect of wine tasting and wine evaluation. I went into my cellar and opened a bottle of Chateau Meyney 1996. I paid $20 for it not too long ago. We did not discuss our review process. Here are my notes.

The bouquet is pleasant and perfumy with wild cherries accenting a pretty garnet color which still shows some youthfulness. There is little bit of "stinky" nose which dissipates as it breathes. In the mouth it is firm and somewhat harsh and not a lot of flavor though it is well structured if it allows the flavor to emerge. In about 20 minutes time it is vegetal with a little green pepper and sits pretty well in the mouth. There is some flavor starting to emerge with a little bitterness that is pleasant with a fruit foundation fighting its way to the top yet still austere. After almost an hour it is clear this is a well made wine even if in the "old world" way. I’m a new world kind of guy and for the price, there’s much better around! Case in point--you don't drink the label; you drink the wine! Now raise a glass, of something more "in your face!"

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