Wednesday, December 15, 2010

****+ $$ Chateau Rollan de By, Medoc, Bordeaux, France, 2005 - Wine Tasting & Review (BEST VALUE)

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Original Tasting and Review, May, 2010, by way of background: Chateau Rollan de By is a primarily merlot Bordeaux blend from the Medoc region of France. I tried the 2004 vintage of Rollan de By and liked it a great deal.  The 2005 vintage is finished at 13.5% alcohol and comprises 70% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 10% petit verdot. We are sampling this five years from vintage date.

In the glass: Chateau Rollan de By shows as deep magenta in the glass, maroon at the edges.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Bordeaux blend shows a classic old world nose of strong dry bramble, cigar tobacco plus some stinky feet along with an underlying deep fruitiness. 

On the palate: The first elements on the palate are sweet, rich and luscious ripe blackcurrants, wrapped still in that aromatic old world robe of leather and spicy old wood.  The flavors pick up into your cheeks and lodge with an outstanding blend of acids and tannins.

And the wrap-up: The finish is lingering and long, shuffling off the fruit, but leaving tannins to carry the dry leaves and spice along for a good long while.

In summary: Overall, a fabulous old and new world combination. Rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for dancing so well between the worlds.  An awesome value.

Wine Advocate awarded a not-too-shabby 90 points, reporting, "The 2005 is a beautifully pure, medium to full-bodied effort displaying notes of unsmoked cigar tobacco interwoven with cedar, black currant, white chocolate, and a hint of new saddle leather. Enjoy this charming, seriously endowed Medoc over the next 12-15 years. "

Following long decant, five days in a partially-opened bottle under vacuum:  The nose has broken down just a bit, feeling over-ripe and somewhat overextended, with the fruit separating from the leather separating from the stinky feet.  The palate, however, has held together very well, and remains consistent.  I suggest a brief decant only to retain the gorgeous aromatics plus the old/new world body.

Updated review, 7 months later, December, 2010:  The nose is spot on from earlier... earthy, funky, deep fruit and power.  Powerful fruit and tannins on the palate still, lodging and lingering.  Essentially unchanged from earlier. 

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