RKS Wine: The Perils of a 17-Year-Old Wine: French Wine Gods Have Mercy Please!

I had a friend over for a flank steak with chimichurri sauce recently. It is a classic Argentinian dish. The Merquen and young Ontario garlic can create a bit of a piquant sauce. I chose a 17-year-old Château Monbrison Margaux. 2005 was an exceptional vintage in Bordeaux and I have 8 bottles left. I can’t say anyone was “blown away” by it. This is the reward that 17 years of cellaring brings?

The next day out of the terrible humidity the wine was consumed in it was tried again. Considering the wine had been resting in the bottle for 17 years there were no obvious flaws on the palate or on the nose. On the nose there were smoky black cherry and restrained black fruits tucked away in the outer recesses of the wine with strawberry giving an impression of hidden and tamed power. Great power on the decline but great power nonetheless. Think of it as America the great empire in decline. On the palate a perfect harmony of acidity and tannins. The wine is soft yet dense with a muted power that has internalized its power. All said and done the wine is in decline but savouring such a great wine in decline is educational and unforgettable. I paid $36 for this as a Bordeaux future. Perhaps ten years ago it was a starlet with cameras flashing all around it. Now it is a classy and ageless Helen Mirren like in “The Good Liar” can still wow with skill and talent as opposed to upfront flash.

I am having difficulty in rating it. I am tempted to have a special “Senior’s Category” but I am afraid I rate what is the glass here and now with a warning collectors beware. There is a point in time to open your treasures. I have a 1982 Château Latour I must crack open but it is hard. Very hard. But every day that passes is a risk. Anyone out there with a grand to take it off my hands. And the 7 bottles of Chateau Monbrision lend me your private jet for a trip to Greece and they are yours!

To avoid being drawn and quartered I rate the 2005 Château Monbrison a 93/100. French wine gods have mercy.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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