Sunday, 18 May 2014

An iron fist in an iron glove.

Everyone who's got a soft spot for Bordeaux loves a bit of Pomerol, don't they? Iconic names like Petrus and La Pin set the heart a flutter and get wine fans dreaming of a big lottery win. Power, balance, length and that incomparable blend of red and blue fruit. An iron fist in a velvet glove. The trick is affording it. If you were just trying to find a nice bottle of wine to take round to a friend's house, there a hundreds of better value options to be had. Or are there? I picked this up for 3000 yen from my local Yamaya.

Les Chemins De La Croix Du Casse 2009
This is a second wine. Not the one that Chateau La Croix Du Casse used to sell, Domaine Du Casse, but a brand new label for the 21st century. 
Straight after opening the impression from the nose is very strong. Even before you put your nose to the glass there is a sweetened vanilla and fruit hit that invades the room and piques the interest, hinting at great power. In the glass the colour is a dense, opaque Harvard red that reinforces the sense of concentration from this wine.
On closer inspection, the aroma is totally dominated by the oak treatment Sweet blueberry and cassis are smothered by a heavy handed vanilla that coats the fruit like a heavy sauce. Very muted savoury notes, a little wood, but not very defined. To say pencil shavings is paying this wine a bit too much respect.

The palate is thuddingly insistant. Thick, unctuous bramble and blueberry notes bespeak some decent fruit went into making this wine, but yet again the heavy handed oak treatment dominates and distracts. For a second wine this is certainly built for the long term. Like Victorian architecture, this is overbuilt. This wine would easily survive an earthquake, but survivability is not really what I wanted with my cold roast lamb tonight.
Length? Well that's not a problem. Once again the flavour of the barrels defines this, dragging out the taste of this wine. Not desperately pleasant, but most certainly brutish.
I think I'd like to try other vintages of this wine. It'd be interesting to see what they would do in cooler vintages. The 2009, however, is something I'll leave for those in need of an adrenaline rush and a screaming banshee of wine. There is nothing soft or subtle here. An iron fist in an iron glove.

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