Saturday, December 29, 2007

Celebrate the New Year with a Pauillac

The other day, we invited our good friends over for a holiday dinner that started with Champagne, oysters, and foie gras. For the occasion, our friend Rick had brought a bottle from his magnificent wine collection, a 1996 Château Pontet Canet that we opened with the main dish, a chicken roasted with chestnuts.

Château Pontet Canet is a Fifth Growth estate located in the northern end of the Pauillac commune, across the road from Château Mouton Rothschild. It has 80 hectares of vineyards, planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The average age of the vines is 35 years.

The wine was simply outstanding. It was medium red in color with a multi-layered nose of blackberry aromas and gamey notes. On the palate, it was intense and luscious with a long finish dominated by licorice. Purely enchanting.

I am afraid the magnum of 1998 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District that I opened later didn't stand comparison with the Pauillac. But the company was merry and nobody cared.

Happy new year!

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