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2001 Ch Gazin

April 7, 2010

I was lamenting about the paucity of tasting opportunities over the last few weeks when an offer of lunching with some ex-colleagues at Les Amis came along that I immediately took, knowing full well that my liver would welcome some fresh input from the restaurant’s excellent wine list. The lunch menu has been refreshed, and I happily settled down to a meal of Atlantic salmon and lamb shank, washed down with two half bottles, a white and an obligatory red.

The 2005 Saint-Veron from Maison Verget, dull golden in color, that began the meal exuded quite an expansive bouquet of orangey citrus with moderate minerality and a faint yeasty note. It was rather flat at the initial sip and somewhat hollow towards the finish, but it expanded rapidly within minutes, filling the palate with a broad swathe of smooth minerality interspersed with pockets of delightful acidity, medium-full, nicely weighted and balanced, but it hasn’t developed much complexity in spite  its apparent depth. Nevertheless, this wine is remarkably truthful to its terroir (extreme south of the Maconnais region, just north of Beaujolais), accurately filling the gap between some of the greeness of Macon-Villages and the lean chalkiness of Pouilly-Fuisse. An excellent drop, going for SGD78 on the restaurant list, probably much less on retailers’ shelves. Highly recommended.

The 2001 Ch Gazin, deep red with a crimson hint, had quite a bit of bottle stink that took about 30 minutes to blow off, coupled with pungent earthy notes that could have passed as Pessac-Leognan. It settled into its stride thereafter, the ripe cool fruit of predominantly dark berries producing a lush, grippy, medium-bodied wine of understated elegance with excellent depth and concentration on the verge of developing its secondary textures. It’s difficult to pin down a Pomerol, the master masquerader, on blind tasting and this bottle was consistent with my experience. Nevertheless, I just felt that this particular bottle was somehow under-performing, for I recalled a standard bottle in 2008 hitting all the right notes from the start, possessing greater opulence and lift.

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