Sunday, March 6, 2011

Calvet Reserve, Bordeaux, France

Every once-in-a-while, everyone needs some time with a good friend. Maybe you play some basketball, maybe you go to a movie, or maybe, like me, you sit with a good cigar and a bottle of wine. No matter the "indulgence" (shall we say) the intent is the same: to share time with the ones we love.

 Tonight I was lucky enough to do exactly that.

 Rocky Patel produces some exquisite cigars, of which the "The Edge: Square" would most definitely be one... I smoked this cigar for over 30 minutes and was only half-done, it was smooth and full of rich nuanced flavors, tightly rolled and a genuine pleasure. Rocky Patel produces no mediocre cigars, and I have always treated them as the special occasion they are (no matter how frequently I may smoke them).
 At the current rate of under $3/ cigar ( has them on sale for a box of 50 for under $150), these are a pleasure you can enjoy any day of the week. I was lucky enough to have them included in a sampler pack sent to me, and will enjoy ordering them again.

Rocky Patel, The Edge "Square"
Country of Origin: Honduras
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Corojo, Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

 But the cigar was only part of the evening. Just as important was the wine, and tonight we shared a bottle of Calvet Reserve, 2009; Merlot- Cabernet Sauvignon

 One of the things I really appreciated about this wine was its approachability; easy to drink as soon as we opened the bottle, that doesn't always happen with Bordeaux wines. My theory is that this is mostly Merlot based, perhaps around 70 to 80%, because it is so supple and full or rich body (and drinking so easily so young). The Cab-Sauv is there for some structure and a bit more layering of the perfume. Smart way to make Bordeaux style wine if you want it to drink early.
 Of course, no one could ever think of Maison Calvet as being anything less then savvy wine people. The infamous Emile Paynaud ( started with them at the tender age of 15 in 1927... Emile was not only a brilliant eonologist but was also decidedly full of common-sense, a sometimes rarity in the wine (or any other) industry.

  Emile brought many new ideas to winemaking (eonology): picking fruit when it was fully ripened, selective picking, accelerating the speed from picking grapes to actual fermentation, and what may have been the most controversial at the time - using malolactic fermentation as a technique and not viewing it as a mistake. These and many other reasons are why Decanter Magazine ( named him "Man of the Year" in 1990, and deservedly so.

2009 Calvet Reserve, Bordeaux, France
Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV, $16 CAD  **Very Good Value**
  • visual:   clean; deep plum-garnet core with slight cherry rim
  • nose:   clean; moderate+ intense youthful aromas of cherry, blackberry and cassis, light hints of old leather, dark florals like irises, dark roses, some green peppercorn at the end
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ (red currant) acids, moderate+ (dry chalky) tannins, moderate ABV, moderate+ body, moderate+ intense youthful flavors of red and black currants, red and black raspberries, light nuances of old leather, some dark florals and light peppercorn at the end of the palate. Good balance and structure, short to medium length.
  • conclusion:   Well thought out and executed value wine. This doesn't express much of Bordeaux, but is imminently drinkable for $16 which can't be said for alot of wine in that price-range. Drink now or hold for up to 18 months, will not improve with aging
  • PAIRINGS: Classic Steak Tartare; the bit of Cab-Sauv wants some beef flavors to marry against, but the soft Merlot doesn't want too intense flavors. The moderate acids will love a touch of fat, and because it's an easy drinking wine its a good way to start a meal rather then use during main course. Want it for a simple dinner? Pasta bolognese - or as I'm doing tomorrow, some rich and robust lazagna!
As always, I welcome and value your comments.

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

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