2005 Peugeot Update

newclosure.jpgI took the 2005 Peugeot to a party last night, expecting it to represent the Garagistes with rectitude, if not pulchritude. Man, was I surprised.

I remember loving this blend when we put it together in the summer of 2006. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 20% Franc. The Sauvignon we got that year had been mismanaged by a new grower we were trying (and did not return to), who left it hanging until it clocked in at nearly 28 brix before he called us to come get it. Since rocket fuel was not our objective, we added water to ratchet back the brix by a point or so and bring the alcohol down to a less incendiary level.

Even though the water was added before fermentation, it really hadn’t integrated even 10 months later at our blending trials. My notes remark on how something so alcoholic could also be so watery in the mid-palate. Luckily, our two other grapes filled the mid with texture (Merlot) and flavor (Franc), so the resulting Peugeot was nicely complex and lingered pleasingly.

But even though I remembered the blend fondly, the odd bottle or two I’ve uncorked in the last 16 months have been uneventful, even dumb. Toward the end of each bottle, after prolonged oxygen exposure, the wine usually began to shake off its grogginess and hint at its former glory, but frankly, I’d begun to wonder if that glory had ever existed at all.

At last, patient Garagistes, I can confirm: the glory is ours! The wine I opened last night was simply stunning. Beautiful, silky tannins, lovely round fruit caressed with chocolate and deep spice, and a finish that kept tapping my shoulder even with a party raging around me. And no trace of a watery mid-palate: so while the Merlot and Franc (contributing that chocolate and spice, I believe) clearly did their jobs, I think the water we added to the Sauv has finally integrated and that grape is pulling its own weight. Mmmm.

That jibe with your recent experiences?

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