Sunday, August 24, 2008

By George, I think They've Got It!

As Gilbert & Sullivan once wrote, "Here's a howdy-do":

If the 89 Project is meant to give a modest amount of additional publicity to wines that might otherwise go unnoticed, what do you do with a wine that is actively promoting its 89 point status?

If it's Georges Duboeuf's 2006 Chardonnay Reserve (Vin de Pays D'oc), you drink it. And enjoy it. Because it's good, and at $10 (or under) you could drink a lot of this wine - even on a tight budget.

Duboeuf is not an outfit armed with dummies. Known as le roi du Beaujolais, they are one of the largest French wine merchants, with as much marketing muscle and resources behind them as probably any big wine operation in France.

With the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve, Duboeuf seems to be playing up the 89 point status (see inset pic for an in-store example). With a snazzy opaque bottle and a card proudly announcing its 89 point Wine Advocate score, it's almost daring you to ignore it.

"Hey, boss, check me out over here. I'm cheap. And I damn nearly got a 90. Go ahead. Pass me up. Make my day!"

As for the wine: The nose is a bit muted and a little out of balance with the alcohol dominating. On the palate, though, there's tropical fruit and sweet vanilla. While the fruit isn't complex, the wine has enough balance to be crowd-pleasing and make it a bit of a steal at its current price.

So go ahead. Pass this wine up just because it's an 89.

Duboeuf dares ya.



dhonig said...

This is a great post. I think the really interesting question is what would the wine have rated if it were truly blind, and tasted among far more expensive bottles. Was this truly a "technically perfect but missing that certain something" 89, or was it a "this is great but it's only $10 so it can't be a 90" 89?

Joe Roberts, CSW said...


I'm betting on the later.

But what do I know, I'm "just a blogger!" ;-)