Continuing from the theme below, we tried some mid-price samples from Bordeaux yesterday - we are always looking for good clarets that we can sell in the €15-20 region, but the wines really need to over-perform for us to commit to buying a pallet of the stuff as it is a big commitment to buy the wine, pay duty and vat upfront and store the stuff at home. We really need to be happy with the wine and, as a result, we have to taste a lot of dross before we find the needle in the haystack. Unfortunately, yesterday's tasting was more of the usual stuff - 3 hard, tannic wines. 2 of the 3 were not bad - well made, reasonable wines, but hard enough to drink. The last one was rough out, nice presentation but it was like something you would get in the Superquinn French wine "sale" - it might be "was €24.99 now €14.99" - it has the name, nicely presented but the wine was poor.
We also had a bottle of Castello di Brolio 1997. At the time, this was as good as Chianti got and I decided to stash a bottle of the famous 97 vintage away and see what it was like. And so, on Sunday, we tried it. It still had plenty of life, nice secondary fruit but it was as austere as anything. Those tannins will never soften, I think. Fresh Chianti acidity and bitter cherry fruit made this a very typical Chianti. Did we enjoy it? Yes, but we didn't finish the bottle, as when the food was gone, we just couldn't drink it on its own.