Tasting Wine · World Tour of Wine

Chateau Clerc Milon and Chateau de La Dauphine Bordeaux and Steak with Bordelaise – Bon Appetit

I left the Beaujolais province and headed to Bordeaux.  The one thing that excited me most about the Bordeaux region was the dessert.  One of my favorite cookies, coconut macaroons (or rocher coco) are native to this region.  I love coconut macaroons.  They are chewy, sweet and delicious.  And if you have one that is dipped in chocolate, it is like a little piece of heaven.


I found a simple recipe for coconut macaroons on this wonderful French Food blog, called Easy French Food. The recipe was easy, but I still managed to mess it up (not surprising for me).  Fortunately, once dipped in chocolate, the macaroons were quite tasty.

Ah, I digress.  This is supposed to be a wine blog after all.

My family has a tradition, we have a steak dinner the day after Thanksgiving.  So, this year, we decided to step it up, French style.  My brother Ian picked out two lovely Bordeaux’s – Chateau Clerc Milon 1999 and Chateau de La Dauphine Fronsac 2001, and my husband made a bordelaise sauce for our steaks.  I provided the dessert, as mentioned above.

bordelaise and bordeaux

The Chateau Clerc Milon 1999 Grand Cru Classic is owned by Baronne Philippine de Rothschild who is a cousin to those who own Lafite-Rothschild.  So, you can say the wine business runs in that family.  The Bordeaux we were drinking was from Appellation Paulliac Controlee.  Paulliac is north of the City of Bordeaux on the left bank of Gironde. It is also a 5th growth, something that stems from the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, when Napolean III was showing off his favorite wines to the world. Chris Kissack does a nice summary of Chateau Clerc Milon on his Wine Doctor site.

The Chateau Clerc Milon 1999 was a ruby-red and garnet in color (the edges of the wine had a brown hue) and nose of leather, savouries and meat, earthiness and a hint of plums.  On the palette, I could taste tomatoes and tannins, with the same earthiness in the undertones.

The bordelaise sauce was very savory and earthy.  It tasted wonderful with the steak and complimented the wine – as it pulled in the some of the same flavors.


The Chateau de La Dauphine Fronsac 2001 Grand Vin de Bordeaux is from the right bank of Gironde, drawing up a nice comparison of the two banks.

This wine was ruby-red in color.  It had a fruitier nose in comparison to the Clerc Milon, smelling of plums and cherries. I also did smell the same tomato, but also hints of menthol.  The palette on this Bordeaux was more of tannins and spice (mostly pepper), as well as hints of raspberries and cherries.


Even though the Chateau de La Dauphine had a different taste than the Clerc Milon, it also paired nicely with our dinner.  The spice of the wine melded nicely with the steak and the sauce.

You can imagine that after two days of rich foods and good wines, we were all very sated.

So after much digesting, I am heading off to the Loire Valley, where I hope to try vouvray and a yummy meal of sorts.

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