White Bordeaux

Chapter 17 of Bleeding Edge finds Maxine at a disreputable tavern by the name of Junior’s Ooh-La Lounge sniffing out leads on Gabriel Ice and the fire at Shae and Bruno’s place. She meets Randy, a helpful fellow with a fondness for Shania Twain and a key to Ice’s front gate. They drive out to the place, a “what realtors like to call ‘postmodern’” ten-bedroom, and find it half under construction, swarming with contractors. Randy makes a beeline for the wine cellar, which he seems intent on clearing out:

Randy picks up a bottle of white Bordeaux, shakes his head at the label, puts it back. “Dumb son of a bitch got stuck with a rackful of ’91. A little justice, I guess, not even my wife would drink this shit. Wait, what’s this? OK maybe I could cook with this.” He moves on to reds, muttering and blowing dust off and stealing till his cargo pockets and Maxine’s tote bag are full.

Bleeding Edge, p. 192.

Prior to this, Randy hadn’t come across as a gentleman likely to hold strong opinions on French wine vintages. But he sure is hard on that ’91! It does seem though that Randy knows what he’s talking about; Wine Cellar Insider describes the 1991 Bordeaux vintage as “atrocious,” “a complete disaster”, and “not worth buying.” Wine Searcher concurs, declaring the vintage “not a good one.”

This then must be an occasion on which my general practice of ignoring the vintage will serve me very well! Instead of an atrocious 1991, I have a 2014 from Chateau Latour Martillac in the Graves subregion of Bordeaux. (Which actually, we’ve had a white Graves before, a few years back). It’s really pretty delightful — peach and orange zest and lime and buttery pastry just singing together. I would very happily ransack a cellarful of it.

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