February 16, 2013

Lost in the Intendant's spiral

I started my trip in Médoc in the beginning of the year, but got stuck in Bordeaux on my way south. Probably at l'Intendant, the unusually designed wine store, where the wine bottles are stacked on shelves around the walls surrounding a spiral staircase leading from one floor to the next and the next. All filled with those highly wanted Bordeaux wines.

That is the differentiating bit. While the indendant's storage comprises of Bordeaux, my lips have met wines from all corners of the world during the last few weeks. Austere Riesling and Grüner Veltliner from Austria's Weinviertel. Beautiful young Burgundies squabbling with each other, each of them wanting a place of their own in the lime light. Sherry, port and madeira - so enjoyable, ought to increase consumption. Impressing Carmenère from Chile, typical delicious Pinot from New Zealand, etc. etc. And my eyes have rushed through so many rows of information and many, many maps. An express trip around our world of wine in too short time. 

The sommeliers' day in Gothenburg was the highlight of the past month. The express train slowed down significantly during a few pleasant hours. Unfortunately there are relatively few opportunities for comprehensive tasting on the west coast compared to what is offered in the capital city of Sweden. The sommeliers' day is therefore a welcome event. This year the tables stood really close to each other and we had many interesting conversations around wines with good sense of origin from a variety of regions.

One of the best wines tasted this month is in fact a Bordeaux. I liked the Château La Garde 1998 from Pessac-Léognan. This vintage is available in Sweden along with the 2009 and 2010. 57% Cabernet sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 3% Cabernet franc. Pronounced nose, delicious mature bouquet with root vegetables, leather, dark berries and plum. Quite full bodied, nice tannins with balanced acidity and good length with leather, blackcurrant and roots. Wonderful now, but could be stored for another few years in the cellar. A comparing tasting of the three available vintages would be interesting.

However, time to move on. Compass course set. A few bottles from the Intendant's shelves packed in boxes. I leave the store, a bit reluctant. It is time to travel south, but just a tiny bit.

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