1990 Chateau Le Gay Pomerol: I always get a brown sugar nose

march 13, 2011: this was my dad's last pomerol. a magnum, this frenchman was able to serve six people at our house tonight for my dad's belated birthday celebration.

greg seared venison with thyme and blueberry gravy to create a dish that was very flavorful. i tried to reproduce a maytag blue cheese mashed potato recipe that we had had at madeline's fusion restaurant a few weeks ago, but i was clearly setting the bar too high (i forgot how sharp maytag is and added too much cheese). joanne and tom brought joanne's cheese bread and an apple upsidedown cake. and my parents brought spinach and ris d'agneau (lamb sweetbreads), which they had bought in sarasota, fla.

within minutes of their arrival, the pomerol was popped open to reveal a very cherry red and saturated cork, and my dad stood at our stove to lightly pan fry the sweetbreads. then, wine poured and ris d'agneau distributed amongst us, we sat down to enjoy the first course.

we've had several of my dad's bordeaux and i can't quite explain why, but the nose always, to me, seems to evoke brown sugar. it's not that it's overly sweet. it's just that it's both earthy and almost raisiny, with the mouth effect being, to me, a bit astringent. there was definite sediment, and aside from the slight biting feel on my tongue, the flavors were subtle and hard to distinguish. my father was pleased with this wine, saying pomerols really can develop a great bouquet with age.

as for details about the winery, he and my mom had heard from a wine sommelier at a restaurant in paris in the 1980s that chateau le gay had been owned by two sisters. i did some internet research, and that was true -- for a time. now the vineyards have been sold to catherine pere-verge, though relatives of the sisters own the la fleur estate (also once owned by the sisters) nearby.

here is a very descriptive blog posting of the history of the chateau le gay property: http://bordeaux-undiscovered.blogspot.com/2009/05/chateau-le-gay.html

13.5 percent alcohol. last of the bunch.

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