WTN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

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WTN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:46 pm

Betsy saw pheasant at Fairway Friday, knowing my fondness for gamebirds she picked up one (like 3.5 lbs, big for pheasant). Sunday she made a recipe from the d'Artagnan game cookbook, pheasant with Jack Daniels (!?!?!). I was worried re wine matching, but it was fine. Cabbage is cooked in a dutch oven, while the pheasant is browned in a skillet. Then pheasant is nestled in cabbage (with pancetta over breast to keep from drying) and roasted. Then (with bird removed) JD is added to cabbage, then cream. It's not as bourbony as it sounds, makes for a rather deep-flavored sauce/side. Sweet potatoes and green beans accompanied.

Normally I think pheasant is a good match for mature Bordeaux, but I was afraid of the sauce with a more delicate wine. So I opened the 1998 Roc de Cambes (Cotes du Bourg), a bottle I had gotten in a trade with the generous Matt Richman recently. Mocha, baby, mocha. Rich chocolate & coffee aromas over a nice base of plush and lush black plum fruit. This could easily pass for a good Pomerol. Spice and smoke add to the mix with time. Medium tannins, there's no hurry on this, but my guess I wouldn't really enjoy it any more with more age. OK match with the food, but this is a wine I'd probably be happiest with just enjoying slowly over an evening. Thanks Matt! A-/B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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Re: TN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

Postby Otto » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:38 am

Nice note, thanks! Sounds like my recent experience with the 2002. Not bad - if you're not an oakophobe like me. But the planks of chocolatey oak hitting me inside the mouth were just too much. It was painful.

Edit: Sorry, that didn't come out very positive now did it? I'm rapidly making myself unpopular with such undiplomatic anti-oak propaganda :( Just keep in mind that I am oversensitive to oak, and I didn't mean the above to sound quite so gruff.

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Re: TN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:02 pm

Otto:

I'm more tolerant of oak in merlot or CabSauv based wines than in say Pinot Noir. It also comes down to what I expect- I don't expect a Roc de Cambes, Barde-Haut, or Pavie Decesse to not show some oak (for that matter, I also expect new oak aromas on a young First Growth). Come to think of it, I have gotten oaky notes in young Musar. :)

I haven't tried the 2002, and am unlikely to. Overall my experiences have not been positive on Right Bank 2002s, with the Troplong Mondot for instance not having the depth of fruit to stand up to the wood.
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Re: TN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:20 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Otto:

I'm more tolerant of oak in merlot or CabSauv based wines than in say Pinot Noir. It also comes down to what I expect- I don't expect a Roc de Cambes, Barde-Haut, or Pavie Decesse to not show some oak (for that matter, I also expect new oak aromas on a young First Growth). Come to think of it, I have gotten oaky notes in young Musar. :)


I have noted the same thing myself, Dale: the more delicate the wine, the more sensitive I am to any oak character, though new oak in Barolo and Syrah still makes me wince! :wink:

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Re: TN: 1998 Roc de Cambes

Postby Otto » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:37 pm

I quite agree that some varietals take oak better than others and some are catastrophes with new oak or barriques and that the Bx varietals can take new oak very well. Even Musar, yes can sometimes be oaky when young, but usually in the Bordeaux manner where it is slightly chocolatey, smoky even - always savoury anyhow. But when I get vanilla and blueberry I get annoyed. Hence me not liking Roc de Cambes 2002 while being ok with the 2001 Lafite which was just as oaky.
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