Monday, 13 January 2014

Trekky-tastic: A Wine for Star Trek Lovers

I've been exploring Bordeaux in a bit more detail recently as part of a project for work and last week I stumbled upon a Saint-Estephe property that sort of made my day: Chateau Picard.

Obviously, I did clock that it shares its name with the famous Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek fame, but whilst researching the property I stumbled upon the Star Trek trivia website Memory Alpha, and it turns out there was a fictional, futuristic Chateau Picard mentioned several times throughout the series, and Jean-Luc Picard was QUITE A FAN.

Not only did he reserve several bottles of the stuff on the Enterprise for special occasions, but apparently when visiting his family Jean-Luc mistook the 2346 vintage for the 2347. So it doesn't look like he could have packed it all in for a career as a wine buff or anything. We even learn the 24th century winemaker's name is Robert Picard.

I don't want to ruin your day, but the Trekky Chateau Picard isn't the same as the Bordeaux one. Soz. The Star Trek one is actually from Jean-Luc's homeland, the La Barre commune in eastern France, so it probably tastes like arse to be honest. Oh, and it's not real.

HOWEVER, if you would like to have a trekky glass of vino, I can highly recommend the real one. The real Chateau Picard is a cru bourgeois property (which, if you're unfamiliar with Bordeaux terminology, means it's a good quality estate but it wasn't included in the 1855 Classification that still defines the hierarchy of Bordeaux wine producers) in Saint-Estephe, an appellation in the famous Medoc region on Bordeaux's left bank. 

The 8 hectares of vines are owned by well-respected negociant Mahler-Besse, who own several other properties, and like Picard to contrast with their more merlot-based wines. As such, they lob a heftier chunk of cabernet than usual into Picard - 85%, to be precise - and age the wine for 14 months in oak (30% new oak). The result is a bright, fresh, clean-tasting wine that ages impressively (I'm told for up to 15 years) and is a very safe buy.

You can pick up a bottle of Chateau Picard from Majestic (check whether your local store stocks it) for £14.99, or currently £9.99 each if you buy two, as well as from The Knotted Vine for £19.25. Not doing so would be illogical.
(Yeah, that was awful. Beam me up, Scotty.)

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