Friday, October 9, 2009

Why We Spit - Even When We Don't Want To

If you've ever attended one of those big wine tastings with dump buckets all over the place and people looking like they're standing over their bathroom sinks gargling, you will be able to appreciate the following; When you are tasting more than 4 wines you cannot drink it and not begin to act stupidly! They are called wine tastings for a reason. They are not wine drinkings. You do that afterwards at the nearest wine bar with your buddies. If you don't have a comfortable spit-zone then by all means, drink it! But do not feel compelled to drink all of it and please, please do not ask for more. This is just wine tasting etiquette folks. Having said that...

The photo with this blog is called "The Last of the Cos." There's another that goes with it called "When Spitting is just Wrong." We did a comparison study of important Bordeaux and their "second label" wine. For example, Chateau Leoville-Las Cases, a Second Growth or Deuxieme Cru Bordeaux has a less pricey second label wine called Clos du Marquis. The point was for our speaker to convince us that A: the current ranking of Bordeaux wines is bogus and B: that so-called "second labels" are no reflection of their ranked big-deal siblings. Point A remained under furious debate. Point B didn't work out quite the way he planned either. For the most part the second labels reflected the style and quality of the primary labels. And the star of the show was the 2006 Cos d'Estournel and it's little sibling 2006 Les Pagodes de Cos. These are from the St. Estephe region of Bordeaux, an area usually associated with dense, rustic, tannic Cabernet monsters. But even in spite of their extreme youth, both of these wines were elegant, rich, thoroughly sophisticated gems. Here are the truncated notes while tasting along at a furious clip:

Les Pagodes '06 - Med. ruby, aromas of sweet tea, violets, cherry, spice, flavors of dark chocolate, cassis, black cherries and tobacco. Pervasive tannins.

Cos -06 - Deep ruby, pronounced aromas of plum, cassis, chocolate, flavors of bitter chocolate, espresso, dark cherry, very tannic but with some air should be perfect.

And as I sat staring at that generous pour of Cos I was given...I just couldn't bring myself to pour it all out.

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