One of the more rare wines I’ve had the opportunity to experience is very much a mouthful. Domaine de la Solitude’s Bordeaux of the Holy Commune of Saint-Familie 2004 from the Pessac-Leognan region of southwestern France, in the countryside outside of the city of Bordeaux itself.

I had picked this $64 bottle up for a special occasion and hoped the dinner guests and our host would enjoy it, but as it turns out, none was a wine drinker. So I savored this deep garnet yumminess over the course of the entire evening.

At first uncorking, and pouring a bit into the glass my initial reaction was to that of opening a box of chocolate-covered cherries. The bouquet of warm spices led to a smooth, toasty flavor of rich oak and tobacco, and finished with a lingering tannin. As the bottle breathed over the next few hours, the flavors softened even more until the last glass, though not as vibrant as the first, was supple and dry with soft leathery notes.

Sipping all by itself before dinner was nice but it was great with the grilled NY Strip and garlic mashed potatoes our host served. I’m sure it would pair fabulously with a very old cheddar too, but at $64 a pop, that would have to be one really special wine-and-cheese party!


Pessac-Leognan France

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