Sunday, 7 July 2013

Chateau Potensac 2008

My local Co-op store has gone crazy again! I went in to get milk and bread, but like many wine nerds, i had to check the wine isle. I'm very glad i did, because i stumbled across another rediculously cheap Bordeaux. This time it was the Ch. Potensac, Medoc, 2008. They didn't have the original (non sale) price on the shelf, but i think I've seen it at about £18-£20 before. The current replacement price is just £7 again. Crazy! So i bought 4 bottles.

Now, I know that this wine is one for medium-term cellaring, even from the 2008 vintage, which is good, but not quite as good as 2009 and 2010. This is confirmed in Hugh Johnson's pocket wine book, which i consult quite often for quick reference. He also confirms that this wine is from the same stable as Leoville-Las-Cases, and the class shows in good vintages. Despite this, i though it rude not to give it a taste, to see how it's faring. It was only £7 after all!

I decanted and left it for one hour before tasting, but i did sample a tiny bit of the dregs straight out the bottle. This was of course a bit gritty, but it was also surprisingly fresh and supple. Not at all closed or bitter/green. I ate my desert, post summery salad, while the wine was airing. I had strawberries from the garden with meringue, which isn't the best thing to have just before red wine, but actually served to clear the palate quite well.

The 2008 Potensac looked very dark in the decanter, but in the glass was less so. It was a good, dark red colour with not much purple. There was a slightly lighter red edge, under light, but not much sign of age. Giving it a swirl, it looked to be medium to full bodied, with good legs. The nose was light and fresh with definate blackcurrents, and also lighter red fruit that were hard to place. This wine, apparently, has a lower merlot content, which would explain the lack of plummy and jammy flavours, i think. There were also slight aromas of flowers and maybe cool mint, both potentially coming from the Cab Franc, which is over 20% of the blend. On tasting, the wine keeps it's freshness, presenting cassis and cherry to the tongue. At this stage it's easy to tell that this wine is young. The fruit flavours become secondary to chewy tannins as it moves through the mid-palate. The tannins are fairly smooth, though they impart green bitterness, but it's not wholly unpleasant. The finish is still smooth and fresh, with a hint of spice, and surprisingly long lasted.

Overall, i like this, and it's another crazy bargain at £7. The wine shows great potential. It has a good balance of acidity, alcohol and tannins. It's another petit chateau that is maybe more powerful than elegant, but it's still well structured and will definately age well. I hope it softens and leaves the fruit flavours intact. I would say, although it's approachable now, it really needs a good 5 years in the bottle. Potentially drink this between 2018 and 2022. I can't wait!

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