Château Larose Trintaudon 2005 Rouge, Haut-Medoc
November 25, 2011 by Erin Thomas
How I compare far too much television to Bordeaux wines.
*Bottle #113: Château Larose Trintaudon 2005 Rouge, Haut-Medoc
*Price Tag: $20
*Running Tab: $1,435
*Retailer: Pete’s Wine Shop, Seattle
I should have liked this wine right off the bat when researching the label – their homepage on their Web site looks like a trailer for LOST which usually equals excellence to an epically cultish proportion. Unfortunately, this wine didn’t start out with a bang (or a plane trash, for that matter), it actually started out in doldrums, dragging its feet in a lazy, “I’m Bordeaux and I know it” fashion.
As in, the estate started in the early 18th century with the Château de Trintaudon getting built within sight of the original winery in 1856 (where it still stands today), has been passed around by French nobles (two counts, one duke) over the generations and an insurance agency in 1986. Maybe not a classically romantic French winemaking story, but one of wealth, obligation and history.
Although it takes a little of the lust out of the equation, Trintaudon’s Haut-Médoc (left-bank Bordeaux) 2005 vintage was the precise proponent for a solid harvest. It was a hot and dry, resulting in an early crop, rich in sugar content and balanced in acid.
Upon first tasting this wine, I thought the 60/40 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend was lean, cold, grainy and stiff – similar to many French connections and stereotypes made with Americans (much like LOST’s Danielle Rousseau). After giving it some decanter love and watching the red cling to the glass for two hours (it could have had longer), the wine began to expand to more than just the glassware (just like Danielle… Sorry).
A cranberry nose beefed up with the help of brandied cherry, earth, sandy minerality and an aroma like re-toasted baked goods (think scone filled with the above fruit), the wine gained some weight in denser, darker fruit over time with air.
With some more “consumer-friendly priced” Bordeauxs, I find they have a window to finish them in before they waste away to nothing. This $17 bottle is the opposite – the longer I waited, the better it got. Yes, I spent about 3+ hours assessing this wine while giggling uncontrollably through a collection of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Charlie Day’s “Charlie” is comic gold).
When the wait was over, the palate puts on some lbs in complexity as well. Although beginning with a simple and straightforward attack, the mid-palate brought forth cranberry, red currants and pomegranate fruits. Fresh and ample, the wine shines the brightest in acidity and pulls out a ounce or two of finesse in delicately firm tannins. Finishing mostly with tart red fruits and medium grip, the wine is clean and precise.
I immediately thought “mis en place,” the French kitchen expression translating to “everything in its place” – an organized, direct and exact practice of living and, in this sense, wine.
This is an easy, no brainer that might have lost a bit of its elegance over time but will taste pretty good next to some leftover bird, stuffing and cranberry when you’re inevitably craving Turkey Day Part Two. BAM – Thanksgiving connection. I’m out.