The Roûmieu-Lacoste is a ravishing beast, its decadent sweetness matched only by its refreshing acidity. The excellent balance and dazzling complexity make it a thrill to drink now and a sure thing for the cellar. Don’t underestimate the number of occasions this beauty will serve you. It is a habit-forming apéritif with or without foie gras. It marries better with cheeses than most reds, and the French are known to admire it with Sunday’s roast chicken. Try it with shucked oysters for the most unlikely of revelations. And with dessert? Yes. As dessert? Yes.
Hervé Dubourdieu’s easy charm and modest disposition are complemented by his focus and ferocious perfectionism. Roûmieu-Lacoste, situated in Haut Barsac, originates from his mother’s side of the family, dating back to 1890. He also owns Château Graville-Lacoste and Château Ducasse, where he grows grapes for his Graves Blanc and Bordeaux Blanc, respectively. Roûmieu-Lacoste produces a particularly robust, powerfully styled Sauternes with pronounced acidity. The Graves Blanc and the Bordeaux Blanc are very different from others from their appellations: Hervé blends a high proportion of Sémillon and a splash of Muscadelle with Sauvignon Blanc, creating a rich, full, aromatic mid-palate to complement the clean finish.
Often considered the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux and its wines have captured the minds, hearts, and wallets of wine drinkers for centuries. For many, the wines provide an inalienable benchmark against which all other wines are measured.
Bordeaux is divided into three winegrowing regions with the city that gives the region its name in the near geographical center. The “right bank,” or the area located east of the Dordogne River, produces wines that are predominantly Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The “left bank” is located to the west of the Garonne River and produces wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The third region, Entre-Deux-Mers, lies between both rivers and produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Though technically in the left bank, it is worth noting the appellation of Sauternes, which produces arguably the world’s most famous sweet wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle as well.
Though many top Bordeaux wines are sold en primeur (in advance of their bottling) and often through a middleman known as a negoçiant, Kermit has always preferred to purchase directly from the winemaker. For more than three decades he has sought out small producers, who make classic Bordeaux wines and are willing to play outside the negoçiant system. This ethic has led to longstanding relationships, excellent prices, and perhaps most important—wines of great value and longevity.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171
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