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Chateau Haut Floranne 2009 Bordeaux

by Dennis Mayer March 1st, 2013 | Red Wine, Wine
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vin rougeI often complain while writing these reviews that even in this day and age, plenty of winemakers neglect to throw even a place-holding website up on the Internet. Seems to me that at a time when consumers often walk through supermarkets and liquor stores with their smart phones in hand, searching out Snooth reviews and Wine Spectator scores (along with whatever Parched No More has said, of course), a winemaker is hurting their chances of earning business if they don’t post some sort of information. (Plus, if your wine doesn’t have a website, your only search engine impressions will be of wine reviews — which you can never guarantee.)

Today’s wine will shut me up. This 2009 Bordeaux has a quaint little web page with a decent amount of information — only it’s posted in French. (Which speaks to the wine’s authenticity, I’m sure, but still.) Google Chrome helps me translate the page nominally, but other than telling me that this wine is 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 percent Merlot, and that it’s made without added sulfur, all I’ve learned is that “in the mouth, it reveals generous, expressive, round, strong, long and tasty.” Which just proves that you should never use an automatic Web translator for anything important, anywhere.

Anyway, on to the wine, which despite the simple blend, I’m hoping proves to be a decent Bordeaux. (The drawing on the label is at least quaint, and it’s aged a couple of years, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.)

How’s it look? The wine swirls thick, clings instantly to the glass, and leaves thick legs. Let’s expect something sweet but substantial. The color is a very dark, completely opaque magenta.

How’s it smell? Very strongly, first and foremost, which probably means this fruit was very ripe when it was picked and produced. Bright, red fruits are the primary aroma, with some sweet floral undertones. The nose doesn’t reveal any tannin or alcohol, even though this wine is 13 percent alcohol by volume.

But how does it taste? The flavor is completely surprising, very dry, and much more complex than I expected from the nose. I get earthy notes — dirt, with a bit of truffle, dark cocoa, and sweet tobacco — and a mellow astringence that muffles any fruit flavor. Some cherry and strawberry flavors shine through if you’re really looking for them, but for the most part, this is a Bordeaux blend that is very heavily influenced by the preponderance of cabernet sauvignon in the blend.

What should I eat with it? This would pair equally well with a rare, fatty ribeye or a rich dark chocolate.PNM-3-corks

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