Alright, I’ll admit it. I bought this wine to satisfy my inner geek. What can I say—resistance was futile.
Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will recall that Chateau Picard was the fictional 24th Century red wine estate in La Barre, France owned and operated by Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s brother. The wine was featured in several ST:NG episodes and movies. At the “40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection” auction held in October 2006, two empty bottles of the 2267 vintage of Chateau Picard, which were used as props in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis, sold for $6,600. Talk about wine futures….
The real Chateau Picard is located in Saint-Estèphe and was classified a cru bourgeois in 1932. Mähler Besse purchased the property in 1997 and modernized the equipment. The property grows Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) and Merlot (15%).
On the nose: The nose is not all that fragrant, though you can detect light notes of graphite, spices and green peppers.
On the palate: Typical of wines from Saint-Estèphe, the acid in this medium-bodied red is fairly high, and the tannins are not too far behind. The Merlot seems to restrain some of the tannins in the mid-palate, but eventually they boomerang back to claim the finish. The cherry fruit flavors are fiercely tart and subdued. Sadly, not as elegant or as refined as you would expect from the family of a decorated Starfleet Captain (perhaps the 2267 vintage will be a little more supple). But even without the help of a Tricorder, you may be able to detect a few faint notes of chocolate and nutmeg lurking in the background.
On the wallet: I tend to enjoy acid and tannins in my wine. And I do prefer Picard over Kirk. So this wine is fun for me, at least it will be for a bottle or two. But unless you’re really into tannins, acid and/or bald Starfleet Captains, $23.99 may be a bit steep for this sharp, little gum-stretcher.
On the table: This wine screams for food. Stick with rich meats or cream-based dishes. Avoid pairing with tomato sauces and Klingon cuisine.