Monday, March 28, 2011

TasteLive with Planet Bordeaux and the San Diego Wine Mafia

Planet Bordeaux sent me a bunch of wine late last month, which I've been sampling over the past few weeks. All the wines to date have been good to very good with none being over $20 a bottle. The next stage in their campaign was a virtual wine tasting using the TasteLive website, which took place this month. A group of bloggers were sent samples from the Bordeaux Superieur appellation along with instructions on how to participate. The San Diego Wine Mafia enthusiastically took part in the tasting, held as usual at our Secret Lair.

Tastelive allows the participants to tweet under one hash tag and see the tweets of a designated moderator all on one screen. When doing a live, online tasting, this is a convenient to interact with everyone while avoiding the clutter and disarray that a normal Twitter stream can usually bring. I was glad to be able to follow along with our session leader, Mike Wangbickler, and also see what my fellow bloggers were tasting in these exciting wines.

Here's what Joe aka Suburban Wino blogged about after the tasting, it's a good read. My friend Ed Thralls over at Wine Tonite also did a good writeup on the event, click here to check it out. And of course, my buddy Keith aka BrainWines posted up his succinct yet infinitely readable blog here, recapping what we tasted together that night.

So without rambling on further, here are my tasting notes from the Planet Bordeaux Tastelive event of March 18th. All the wines were tasty, some more so than others, to me at least. I had a great time tweeting and tasting with my fellow bloggers and of course, my friends the San Diego Wine Mafia.

2006 Chateau La Gatte La Butte Bordeaux Superieur - 100% merlot. Smells like gravel mixed with crushed spice element as well. Classically tannic Bordeaux but brighter reds than I expected. Still tight after being open for three hours. Red currant and mineral texture on the palate but you gotta work for them. B- $14 SRP

2008 Chateau de Lugagnac Bordeaux Superieur - 50% merlot noir, 50% cabernet sauvignon. Nose like mixed berries and dark, rich earth. good complexity, vibrant flavors are very inviting. Soft, lush and positively hedonistic for a Bordeaux. Nothing out of place here at all. Ripeness and silky tannins with a touch of herb that prevents it from being too fruity. B $16 SRP

2008 Chateau de Terrefort-Quancard - 64% merlot, 36% cabernet sauvignon. Neat nose because I really have to tease out flavors, everything is more nuanced, nothing's screaming at you right out of the glass. Spices and red Mike 'n Ike are hiding a bit of wet cement funk. Great wine on the palate, full of silky tannins and ripe sour cherry flavors. Really enjoying it. B $14 SRP

2007 Chateau de Parenchere Cuvee Raphael Bordeaux Superieur - 60% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot. Beautiful color, like red satin sheets gently waving in a breeze. Smells like forest floor and berry preserves sitting in a baseball glove. Very cool! Smooth and richly textured. Earth, red currants, blackberry fruit leathers, and cedar. Wonderful!! A- $15 SRP

2008 Chateau Penin Tradition - 90% merlot, 5% cabernet sauvignon, 5% cabernet franc. Spices and cherry like you'd expect, good depth, smokey even? Not much going on though, it's still super closed off to me. Second taste gives earthy notes like mushrooms mixed around with baking spice. There is some potential here though, after hours in a decanter. Then again, why decant a $14 bottle of wine? Contradictory elements in my mind, at least. B- $14 SRP

Each wine was well chosen and collectively they showed a nice range of styles from Bordeaux. These are all wines that are food friendly, fun ways to explore perhaps the most famous wine region on earth. Luckily (for me) all these wines are available in California but I would suggest using Wine-Searcher to seek out the stores that might be selling them in your respective areas. That or order online, you can always put together a mixed case. I like that Planet Bordeaux clearly has their act together from a consumer standpoint, showcasing some delicious wines that are not at all expensive.

Also, I must apologize for taking so much time to put this review together, I'd originally intended to have it up by the 23rd. Other bloggers were much more "on it" than I, but in the future I promise to do a better job.

All these wines were press samples presented by Balzac acting for Planet Bordeaux.

Beau Carufel


  1. This is the first time I am reading your blog and so far I am enjoying it! I bookmarked it on my phone using the bar code. I will try to read it more and more. Thank You.


  2. Thanks TBC! I'm really stoked you're reading it, please let me know what you think. I always enjoy chatting about wine with you.