Mark Aselstine
May 24, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Right Bank of Bordeaux comes to Los Angeles

Every so often we have the chance to do something which is both incredibly helpful for our business as well as being really fun within the wine industry. Yesterday was one of those times as the Right Bank Circle of Bordeaux wines brought a tasting event to Los Angeles.

Billed as “From Barrel to Bottle” it was the first opportunity for retailers in the United States to sample part of the 2010 vintage from the right bank. While the Los Angeles event was only one day, there are sessions later this week in both Chicago and New York.

For Uncorked Ventures, we don’t necessarily have a wine club which is a perfect fit for the average wine from Bordeaux because our Wine Exploration Wine Club is only $40 per shipment, while the average Bordeaux price is well above $20 per bottle, but that doesn’t make these types of events a waste of time for us, far from it.

So why attend? To start, it’s always fun to taste great wines and building a better palate is a very real responsibility over time. Understanding why Bordeaux has been a measuring stick for wine the world over for well over 200 years is a very real responsibility. Moreover Bordeaux is known the world over and has been for generations for their Merlot (or in many cases, Merlot based blends), which is dramatically different than the California versions we’ve tried of late. There is a finesse evident in these wines while retaining a fullness which is incredibly impressive.

Secondly, it’s also a great chance to network within the wine industry. I was able to spend some more time with Michelle McCue who I met at a tasting event last month and who I always enjoy speaking with as she is one of the few PR folks seemingly focused on the wine industry for clients. I also spent time with a range of other retailers, wine consultants including someone who is largely responsible for label registration of French wines and even a start up winery or two, one which employs a favorite winemaker of ours. These types of connections are certainly beneficial over time and the ability to meet people face to face is a welcome break for an online retailer such as myself.

Lastly, oh the wine….of course. A couple of my favorites of the day. Chateau Fayat which might be a nice entry point into Bordeuax for those more familiar with California Cabernet Sauvignon because the wine is a bit heavier than others at the event because of a higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. I also enjoyed Chateau La Rose Perriere which I think is going to dramatically improve upon their 87-89 score from Parker for their 2008 vintage. The ‘10’s seemed not only more concentrated, but were so much better on the nose that it was hard to even compare them to earlier vintages being poured.


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