Posts Tagged With: bella vino

Old wine sure does taste good!

Last week I got the opportunity to taste some back vintage Bordeaux at Bella Vino Stony Point.  We had 8 wines on tap for the evening from all over Bordeaux, from St. Emillion to St. Estephe. 



We started off the evening with the one white of the list and the youngest wine of the evening.


Wine 1 – 2007 Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc (100% Sauvignon Blanc) $18 – Made by winemaker Herve Dubourdieu, most famous for his Sauternes, he uses the leftover Sauvignon Blanc to make this wine. This wine was fairly round so my guess it was aged Sur Lies since no oak was used in its production.

Nose – mineral, apricot and grapefruit

Taste – citrus, star fruit and slate

Mouthfeel – medium body, round in the middle with slight crispness at the end

Finish – quite long for a Sauv. Blanc


I prefer Sauvignon Blanc’s to be crisper than this one was. It was an enjoyable wine but for $18 you can find a lot better examples of the varietal.


Wine 2 – 1998 Chateau Simard St. Emillion (70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc) $35 – This wine is usually released after 10 years of aging and the vineyards are a stones throw from the first growths.


Nose – leather, tar, cherry, red currant

Taste – dusty reminiscent of grandmas house, leather and raspberry

Mouthfeel – full body, with leathery tannins

Finish – long, dry with nice balanced acidity


Wine 3 – 1998 Chateau Le Castelet Pomerol (100% Merlot) $32 – 1998 was a great vintage in Pomerol, that led to smooth age worthy wines.  There was some debate on whether or not this wine was corked or if it had some induced brett that went a bit too far. I thought it was brett personally, the aromas didn’t give me the same nose and taste that TCA usually does.


Nose – red raspberry, cassis, cedar and funk (reminiscent of brett)

Taste – cherry, leather, cranberry, fresh raw green pepper, bandaid??

Mouthfeel – medium body, very fuzz tannins

Finish – long, very dry, even for a ’98 this wine could use some time


Wine 4 – 2001 Le Pardre de Haut-Bailly Pessac-Leognan (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot) $40 – This is a second wine from this producer so it allows greater value from the region.


Nose – smoke!, blackberry (except for the smoke, the nose was fairly tight)

Taste – black cherry, eucalyptus and vanilla

Mouthfeel – medium with dusty tannins

Finish – long, dark fruit flavors hanging on till the end


Wine 5 – 2002 Chateau Les Ormes de Pez St. Estephe (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) $31 – From vineyards both North and South of the town of St. Estephe on the left bank of Bordeaux, this wine is another good value from the region.


Nose – red fruit, cooked greens, nice funk

Taste – blackberry, anise, blueberry and stinky cheese

Mouthfeel – medium to full body with dry fuzzy tannins

Finish – long with a lingering flavor of red apple peel


Wine 6 – 1999 Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac (61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc) $62 – Classified as a 5th growth, the vineyards for Pontet-Canet are neighbors to 1st growth Mouton Rothschild.


Nose – earth, barnyard, horsey (but in a good way), bright cherry

Taste – cedar, leather and menthol

Mouthfeel – very “rustic”, medium body, fuzzy tannins and nice acidity

Finish – very long with lots of earthy notes


Wine 7 – 2001 Chateau Lagrange St. Julien (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot) $62 – From the heart of the Medoc, this 3rd Growth, is the only one in line up to include Petit Verdot.

Nose – espresso, black currant, wet earth

Taste – black cherry, raspberry, cocoa, vanilla

Mouthfeel – medium body, nicely integrated acidity and dusty tannins

Finish – medium to long in length with blueberry flavors creeping up at the end


Wine 8 – 1985 Chateau St. Pierre St. Julien (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) $98 The grand finale of the evening so to speak, this 4th Growth was very smooth, evident of its 23 years of aging.


Nose – horse stall, broken raw bell pepper, raspberry

Taste – cedar, cherry, red currant, earth

Mouthfeel – very smooth and round with medium body and a touch of acidity on the mid palate

Finish – long and smooth, the tannins were very well integrated yet still present enough to provide nice structure



The ’85 definitely was the highlight of the bunch, great funk, great fruit, super integrated tannins and acidity. My second fave was the ’99 Chautea Pontet-Canet with its great earthy, horsey notes, but it could’ve used a bit more fruit to go with it. 3rd favorite was the Chateau Simard (which I bought), great fruit, nice complex layers and a good price point. If you could have combined those two, it would have been perfect for my palate.


Bella Vino mangager Brad Hemp (middle)


We did end up opening another bottle of the Chateau Castelet to settle the TCA/Brett debate and I when I left the jury was still out. It definitely didn’t have the same nose but I still got abundance of brett on the flavor profile. The difference could’ve been that we popped and poured the second bottle and the first bottle was open for 2 hours, but if it was TCA it would’ve been there no matter what. Oh well…


Thanks to Brad and David for the great tasting, it was definitely a great education for the palate.


Bella Vino Stony Point

9200 Stony Point Parkway
Ste. 155A
Richmond, VA 23235
Phone (804) 272-3202
Fax. (804) 272-3203

Categories: Bordeaux, wine tasting | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Back Vintage Bordeaux Tasting at Bella Vino – December 18th 8:00-9:00

This Thursday Brad and the team at Bella Vino Stony Point have pulled together some great back vintage Bordeaux bottles for you to try.



Here’s the list:


Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc 2007
Chateau Simard St.-Emilion 1998
Chateau Le Castelet Pomerol 1998
Le Pardre de Haut Bailly Leognan 2001
Chateau Les Ormes de Pez St.-Estephe 2002

*Palate Cleanser*

Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 1999
Chateau Lagrange St.-Julien 2005
Chateau St.-Pierre St.-Julien 1985


Tickets are $20pp or $32 for two


If you are free this Thursday December 18th from 8:00 – 9:00, don’t miss a great opportunity to taste some rare finds from the Bordeaux region.


Make sure to call and let the shop know you plan to attend.

Bella Vino Stony Point
(804) 272-3202



Categories: wine tasting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Wine Tastings Coming Up Around Town

In addition to the usual Friday and Saturday tastings around town this week there are a couple of special ones at some of the shops I frequent.


Tonight – Bella Vino Stony Point 7:00 – 8:00

Come taste some Swiss Wines and meet the winemaker for Delea 19. Talk it up, enjoy 4 of his wines and some Fondue.


Tomorrow – Barrel Thief at 5:00

If you can’t make it out to Bella Vino tonight, the winemaker from Delea will also be at Barrel Thief.


Two great chances to taste Swiss wines, I know I haven’t had any and figure most people probably haven’t.


Thursday – The Wine Cellar in Midlothian 5:30-7:30



Also, Next Thursday Bella Vino will be having another special wine tasting event, unfortunately it isn’t free but it sounds like a great time and $15 is still a steal.


From Brad: “The wines of Oregon and Washington State have slowly begun to emerge from the shadow cast by California. On September 25th John Cheski of Free Run Wine Merchants will guide us through a tasting of some fantastic wines from small producers of the region. In addition, we’ll celebrate the end of summer with live music and great food paired with the wines. Reserve a space to party with some great wines!”Menu:
Left Coast Chardonnay 2005
Brandborg “Or” Blanc 2006
Left Coast Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2005
Brandborg Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir 2006
Palate cleanser: L. Mawby “Us” Sparkling Wine
Dr. Wolfe’s Family Red 2006
Terra Blanca Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Terra Blanca Red Mountain Reserve Merlot 2002

Live music
Smoked Salmon, BBQ Ribs, and assorted cheeses

Tickets: $15 for one; $25 for a pair
($5 discount with Bella Vino Amanti tag)
(Further $5 discount if you attended the previous tasting)



Also, all next week Barrel Thief will be celebrating their one year anniversary to be sure to check out their events website for details on the happenings.


Get out and taste! Cheers

Categories: wine tasting | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment