Tasting with El Jefe: Clyde Pours Bordeaux in Hollywood!

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We are always happy to have a visit from our owner Clyde down in LA, and on Friday, Oct. 18th,  we had the added bonus of a Clyde-hosted tasting–the first one ever in Hollywood! He poured a suite of Bordeaux wines from the 90s (which, to Clyde, includes 2000 but not 1990). The 90s represent an interesting moment to highlight in Bordeaux because it’s the decade that heralded in the garagiste movement–meaning that highly extracted, Merlot-driven wines from newer properties in the Right Bank became very popular. This is especially interesting given that Clyde’s tastes lean decidedly more old-school—wines marked by a more moderate extraction level and moderate fruit ripeness that really express their vintage—and his selection of wines reflected more stalwart châteaux than trendy ones of the era.

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And they really held up. For the most part, these wines were still fresh and full of rigor, with layers of secondary and some tertiary characteristics. And it was great fun to drink them with Clyde, who’d visited many of the châteaux in person, and even seen several changes of guard among them.

We lucky drinkers learned so much about the trips Clyde has taken and the people he’s met. We learned that part of K&L’s approach to buying Bordeaux is to buy amazing wines in so-called off vintages, meaning that Clyde can deliver great prices to the consumers because he knows how to find solid wines. We learned about the vintages in the 90s: 1991 to 1994 were colder years; 1995 & 96 were especially good years; 1997 to 1999 experienced normal conditions. And 2000, of course, was epic. The 2000 Montrose in particular was a beautiful, elegant, complex wine. It was truly special. So was the evening! Lucky for us, Clyde has promised to come back—possibly with a lineup from the 80s next round! 

Thank you, Clyde!

- Kate Soto