I recently had the great pleasure of enjoying a meal with some good friends.  One of whom was a former team member of our Blackcomb Liquor Store & Fitzsimmons Pub family, returned to BC from Australia for a short vacation.  As a wine enthusiast, any excuse will do to fetch something from the cellar and this being such an occasion I felt obliged to pull out some fun and interesting wine.  Dining on rib-eye steaks, grilled to perfection, broccoli sautéed with pumpkin seeds, and baby potatoes, we enjoyed a very pleasant evening together.  Here are two of the accompanying wines which provide an interesting comparison to each other both in terms of vintage and region.  (Both of these wines were gently decanted approximately 5 hours prior to drinking.)

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint-Julien 1988

A wonderful example of how interesting aged Bordeauxcan be.  The deep ruby colour showed some age as it was starting to fade to a ruddy, brick tone.  The aromas were layered and also showing maturity with dried leafy floral notes, classic hints of cedar bark, graphite minerality, subtle hints of leather, dusty earth, some savoury spice notes, clay, and dried currant and raspberry fruit.  The palate was dry with balanced acid and softening tannic structure, and medium to medium-full body.  The delicate flavours of leathery cassis and slightly raisiny red berry carried through with hints of dried violets, green peppercorn, and licorice.  Polished and balanced through the persistent finish.  Quite elegant overall, still drinking well, excellent with the meat.

Kendall Jackson ‘Great Estates’ NapaValley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

A slight surprise here with a display of more elegance than I had suspected, for such a big vintage.  Fairly dense purple colour with some ruddy ruby creeping in around the edges.  The nose was moderately youthful with some developing character showing fruit dominant notes of cassis, sun dried cherry, toasty vanilla, subtle wood spice and a slightly nutty cocoa hint.  The palate was dry, with balanced structure and just a slightly warmer alcohol feel than the Bordeaux.  Medium full bodied with stewed red and black fruits, hints of cassis cordial, toast and slightly sweet nutty spice notes.  Long finish with a warm lingering note.  Overall well balanced, and maturing well with a core of focused fruit, paired well with meat, offers more fruity drinking pleasure on its own.

Have a delicious and happy Thanksgiving!