WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

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WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby Dave Moritz » Mon May 15, 2006 3:50 pm

Enjoyed this white Bordeaux a few nights ago with company. Served it with Russian beluga (the fish meat, not the caviar!) that my Russian son-in-law had brought over. Background music, courtesy of an old recording of the Odessa Balalaikas.

It was no doubt a bit too soon to open this baby, but curiosity got the better of me. Upon popping the cork, significant modernistic oak on the nose and the expected sauvignon blanc on the palate. I was underimpressed. However as the evening went on, it seemed to open up a bit with an acidic backbone providing some welcome structure. Towards the end of the bottle, just a little complexity emerged with a bit of lime and white fruit.

My final impression of this was positive. At $20 a copy, I'd say it's not heavy on the QPR factor. I've no experience in how this wine would age. Imported by I and B Imports of Chicago.
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Re: WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby JoePerry » Mon May 15, 2006 5:18 pm

Dave Moritz wrote:Enjoyed this white Bordeaux a few nights ago with company. Served it with Russian beluga (the fish meat, not the caviar!) that my Russian son-in-law had brought over. Background music, courtesy of an old recording of the Odessa Balalaikas.

It was no doubt a bit too soon to open this baby, but curiosity got the better of me. Upon popping the cork, significant modernistic oak on the nose and the expected sauvignon blanc on the palate. I was underimpressed. However as the evening went on, it seemed to open up a bit with an acidic backbone providing some welcome structure. Towards the end of the bottle, just a little complexity emerged with a bit of lime and white fruit.

My final impression of this was positive. At $20 a copy, I'd say it's not heavy on the QPR factor. I've no experience in how this wine would age. Imported by I and B Imports of Chicago.



Weeeeeiiiird... we were just talking about this wine elsewhere earlier today. Here's what I had to say:

I like Carbonnieux well enough. Unfortunately, it falls into my "limbo" category of wines: it's too expensive for average weekly drinking, but not quite good enough for a wine geek dinners where $30 goes a long way as a good white from Germany, Loire, Alsace, Austria, Tondonia-land, etc. But, as Jay says, it does drink better than any other young white Bordeaux I've tried. Maybe with ten years?

If you've found the wine for $20 then that's a great deal. It'll certainly age well for a long time based on everything I've heard.

Best,
Joe
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Re: WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby Dave Moritz » Mon May 15, 2006 10:34 pm

Joe:
Darn! I was afraid that I was commiting infanticide. Much the pity as it was the only one I had on hand!
My QPR judgment on the Carbonnieux was also calibrated on whites from the other areas that you mentioned. However, I ask a favor: Would you kindly define "Tondonia-land" for a sorta-newbie like yours truly? Thanks!
All the best...
Dave
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Re: WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby JoePerry » Tue May 16, 2006 8:48 pm

Dave Moritz wrote:Joe:
Darn! I was afraid that I was commiting infanticide. Much the pity as it was the only one I had on hand!
My QPR judgment on the Carbonnieux was also calibrated on whites from the other areas that you mentioned. However, I ask a favor: Would you kindly define "Tondonia-land" for a sorta-newbie like yours truly? Thanks!
All the best...
Dave


Oh, you were certainly committing infanticide, but in the upside down world of white Bordeaux, infanticide with some producers can actually be an almost undrinkable experience (they can be musky as hell).

Tondonia-land refers to one specific producer: R. Lopez de Heredia (or RLdH). The best vineyards of RLdH are the Vina Tondonia and Vina Bosconia. While most Vina Tondonia is red, they also make a white, or "Blanco." These whites can be double the price of the red in some vintages (as the new Zachy's catalogue shows). The Tondonia Blanco are really complex, savory white wines in an ultra-traditional style. The winery only releases them when they feel the wines are ready to drink. The most recent Gran Reserva is the 1985, while the most recent Reserva is 1988. Although not from the Tondonia vineyards, there is also a Vina Gravonia which is excellent and a bit more universally enjoyable. These wines are tough to come by outside of NYC, but well-worth tracking down. They tend to polarize people, but everyone can agree that they are truly unique and interesting. While I have had better individual bottles of dry white wines (at much much higher price points) my overall favorite white wine of all time is the 1987 R Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Blanco Reserva (and it’s only $25-$30).


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Joe
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Re: WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby Dave Moritz » Thu May 18, 2006 4:25 pm

Joe:
Carrumba! Many thanks for these words of explanation and wisdom! Your description of the RLdH style as "ultra-traditional" has really piqued my curiosity (though, look what curiosity got me vis-a-vis the Carbonnieux Blanc - Ha! Patience is a virtue, and we wine geeks need to be virtuous people!!)
That being said, I do make it a point to buy wines out of the main stream to broaden my tastes and to help support variety in the industry as a whole. Thus I'll snoop around a bit to see if I can make contact with a bottle of RLdH or two.
Much obliged!
Dave....
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Re: WTN: 2002 Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan

Postby JoePerry » Fri May 19, 2006 10:59 pm

No problem!

Hunt down the Vina Gravonia first - it's the cheapest and it'll ease you into the style.

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Joe
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