Last week I fell back in love with Bordeaux a bit. Just a bit. And I’ve never really been out of love with Bordeaux, it’s just, well, there is only so much you can take, isn’t there? If you view your relationship with Bordeaux as just that – a relationship – Bordeaux has been, well … don’t you feel a bit cuckolded?
I drank some pretty smart wines while I was there: 99 Eglise-Clinet, 00 Branaire, 88 Lascases – that sort of thing. And some seriously smart wines: 96 Margaux, 00 Margaux: to be honest it doesn’t get much smarter than these two – both hover around 98 or 99 points from me. But it wasn’t any of these that made me think about forgetting the infidelity, forgetting the cuckoldry. Forgetting how quickly Bordeaux hitched its skirt for the new, old world of the Far East. And forgetting that it will do exactly the same thing next time for the Indians, the South Americans, the Russians … I don’t know quite who – but there will be someone. But, right now, it looks like Bordeaux might be coming back to me, to us.
And, whilst I’m not so stupid as to believe that it’s love – I know that there’s an agenda here, I know that, well, I’m not the greatest catch in the sea, I’m just convenient and comfortable and a safe bet right now – I’m going to welcome her back because, because, because…
Because she’s beautiful and I can’t resist.
I want to fall back in love with Bordeaux. And I want you to, too. Because you can have all the Brunello and Barolo and Burgundy and whatever other kit you can think of in your cellar but you know that your cellar is going to be empty – missing something – without claret. Empty; missing a light bulb.
And here’s the thing: it wasn’t the Margaux that really got me rolling (and this was drunk in pretty much Elysian surroundings and company). It was a bottle of 2005 Potensac, with a little bit of help from a bottle of 2005 Clos du Marquis. But it was the Potensac that did it. Not a flash wine, nor a particularly expensive one. But a real one. A wine that would have set you back £130 or so for a case on release, and not that much more than £200 a case today, and a wine that will bring a smile to your face today and a smile to your face in five or ten years’ time.
And a wine that has that inimitable thing that is Bordeaux, something one can’t quite describe. Something that, for what it’s worth, I think that Leoville-Lascases , Potensac’s Daddy, smells of more than any other wine, something as simple but irreplaceable as roast beef on Sunday, roast lamb at Easter, roast Turkey at Christmas.
Bordeaux. It is brilliant when it wants to be, when it’s honest. When it’s what I want it to be. When it’s not flirting with the bloke on the next table. And the ****ing waiter at the same time.