Time & Location
16 May 2023, 19:00
Despite a business trip and a bout of COVID forcing late cancellation by two participating branch members, the evening was a rousing, delicious and edifying evening of fine wine and modern French cooking. After enjoying a magnum of vintage Alfred Gratien champagne, the six Bordeaux-variety wines (listed below) were split into two sequential flights – one driven by Merlot and the other by Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines were served single-blind, meaning that everyone knew the identify of the wines being poured, but not the sequence. Participants were asked to comment on their preferences and favorites, then invited to venture guesses as to which was which. Much lively discussion and debate ensued.
The results were divided for the three Merlots. Only one person (Elena) correctly guessed the identity of the wines. The favorite - but only be a very narrow margin - was the Tuscan Galatrona.
The Cabernet Sauvignon flight was more decisive. The majority of participants correctly guessed the identity of the wines, given the clear terroir differences between Bordeaux, Lebanon and Napa Valley. The clear favorite – and perhaps the Wine of the Evening – was the Chateau Musar. It presented itself as elegant, nuanced and alluringly complex.
But most importantly, good times were had by all, new friendships were made, and each went away reaffirmed that wine and food knowledge is a ever-wonderous and humbling affair.
2009 Alfred Gratien (Champagne); 2000 Clos de l’Oratoire (St Emilion)
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc; 2006 Chateau de Sales (Pomerol), 73% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc; 2004 Galatrona Petrolo (Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany), 100% Merlot; 2003 Chateau Musar (Beqaa Valley, Lebanon), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan; 2002 Pahlmeyer (Napa Valley), 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot; 2005 Chateau Pontet Canet (Pauillac), 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot