OK, before Daniel has a shitfit, I am completely aware that there is nothing "The Rest Of Us" about truffled wood pigeon with a 21-year-old top-rated Bordeaux. Other than that I made it. And I am proud that I am now able to cook stuff like this. As for the bottle, well, what can I tell you? I have to drink my grander wines sometime.
So, truffled wood pigeon. (I have finally gotten the gumption to disregard all the stuff you read about game birds like pigeon needing to be served rare so they don't dry out. There are other ways to prevent that: barding, for example, as tonight.) Roast Marina di Chiogga (The World's Greatest Squash) on the side (I continue to follow the Venetians in putting lots of rosemary on it and loving it that way). And some sautéed spinach.
I figured I wanted a mature Saint-Émillion to go with this. Something Merlot-based, so it would be softer than a Left Bank (this is still poultry and not red meat); and old, so that it would have developed truffley flavors to match the truffled bird. I wasn't expecting to find this bottle, which I'd completely forgotten I had.
1998 Tertre Roteboeuf
This doesn't even have any Cabernet Sauvignon in it: it's mostly Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc (which you definitely taste) rounding out the blend.
Tertre Roteboeuf has become quite the favorite among drinkers of mainstream Bordeaux. And why shouldn't it be, when it does everything right in that style and nothing wrong? Flavors are big, but not exaggerated. It isn't "powerful" or jammy: it's just very robust.
At this point, while there's still plenty of briary black fruit, there's even more tobacco and leather and licorice. Which I like just fine (note to Mrs. Bonner: if this were a scent, I'd wear it). Not a lot of truffles/mushrooms, actually. But it was pretty great with that pigeon anyway.
I read people saying this vintage should be held a while longer. I don't really see that. It's not nearing the end of its window; you don't have to drink it up. But it doesn't taste to me like it's going to get significantly better. Nice fruit slightly overbalanced by strong secondary flavors: just where you want it to be.