Time Passages and Big Salt


Our perception of the passage of time is a funny thing. It moves in a straight and constant line (as far as we know), yet at times it seems to skip on by. On Monday evening, as the rain poured down and frigid winds blew in, I had the impression of waking up. Almost as if the past year had simply disappeared and I was someone different with the change of the seasons. Change takes time, whether we perceive it or not, and this is quite apparent in the world of wine. So I come to the 2010 Chateau La Cardonne Medoc.

2010 was a benchmark vintage where wine buyers were encouraged to buy it up while they could, and rightfully so, as it would be long gone before it was really ready to drink. This by and large has proven true as most Bordeaux I am seeing on the market now is easily 2014 and beyond. By whatever twist of fate though, the Chateau held on to some older vintages which have now made their way to our state.

A blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2010 Cardonne pours a brilliant ruby with some rusted edges. The wine is quite aromatic out of the gate, with vibrant eucalyptus, vanilla, forest floor, and black cherry notes melding together nicely. The palate is medium bodied, very structured and mineral, with grippy tannins wrapping around a core of fruit that is only coaxed out with being left to the air for a bit. (A half hour to an hour in, the stuff really starts to show its colors.) Seductive and complex, this truly Old World wine will stand up to rich, cold weather meals… I am thinking beef tenderloin with sautéed mushrooms all day.

The 2010 Chateau La Cardonne retails for $29.99 a bottle and earned 90 Points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and 90 Points from James Suckling. There are about 8 cases left, due in Friday.

As an added bonus, I also wanted to highlight the delightfully delicious and odd 2019 Big Salt White Blend from Ovum Wines in Oregon. A co-fermented blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and early harvest Muscat, this wine is opulent, juicy, and aromatic. Nectarine, white flowers suggesting gardenias, and citrus fruits are all found here. The palate is deliciously textured, with good richness and ripe stone fruits. The mid palate give an impression of sweetness that is quickly followed by a brisk, briney acidity on the finish that is all dry Riesling in flavor. It is pretty irresistible and dangerously quaffable on its own, but is also a match made in heaven for spicy fish tacos and Pad Thai.

Ovum’s Big Salt earned 91 points with Wine Enthusiast and shows what cool climate white wines from Oregon can really do. Retail is $19.99 a bottle.


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