Nostalgia, Lady Marmalade, and Moulin Rouge

In 2001, my group of girlfriends and I were in our 20s, single, and inseparable.  We lived in a city and subscribed to the philosophy of working hard and playing hard.  In retrospect, since we were all mindful of our careers in politics, background checks, and security clearances, our version of “playing hard” was probably pretty tame—working every day, happy hour almost every night, not leaving until last call, grabbing a few hours of sleep, and starting the cycle all 

over again the next day.  It was definitely a fun period in our lives.  At the time, “our” song was “Lady Marmalade,” and the movie, Moulin Rouge, was always on when we were together.  This group of girlfriends and I still keep in touch and we all still live in the DC area, but our 30s are definitely different from our 20s–still fun, but different.  Now, instead of closing down the bars, we’ll literally grab a glass of wine or two, or maybe even meet for brunch.  However, we still dance together to “our” song at weddings and when someone hears it on the radio, she sends an e-mail to the group saying thought of us. 

Because of my nostalgia for “Lady Marmalade” and Moulin Rouge, it’s not surprising that when I saw the bottle of 2004 Chateau du Moulin Rouge (snooth), I had to buy it.  Being from the HautMédoc, the wine is Merlot dominated, although it’s blended with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  The Chateau du Moulin Rouge had a medium ruby color, but was starting to show its age with a garnet rim.  On the nose, there was the smell of ripe, juicy strawberries and a hint of leather.  In the mouth, there were tart redcurrants that didn’t match the juiciness on the nose, followed by strawberries.  The finish was medium length, hinting at sour cherries and leather. 

Is this worth a glass after work? Eh…if you have a bottle on hand, drink it, but I wouldn’t go searching it out either.  At almost $20, this wine didn’t have a lot to offer.  It had an ok flavor, a thin body, and was fairly acidic.  Aging isn’t going to help, so if you have a bottle, I would drink it now.  In terms of food, I paired the Chateau du Moulin Rouge with cheeseburgers and corn on the cob, which was a good pairing and was better than drinking the wine on its own.  I probably had the wine built up in my head a little, since I was trying to take a walk down memory lane, but this wine just didn’t excite me in the way I had hoped.

Overall: 2 corks


  1. David Carley says

    It’s a shame you didn’t make it to the Chateau itself, it’s charming, I was lucky enough to be given a personal tour by the owner and the price of the wine when purchased at source was, naturally, no where near the $20 you got charged, in fact it was a snip.

    The 2003 & 2005 from Chateau du Moulin Rouge are wonderful, and if you like St. Julien wines you’ll be very happy because of the close proximity and style of the wine.

    • says

      David–that sounds like it was a wonderful visit to the Chateau. There is nothing like having a personal tour of a winery. I will keep my eye out for the 2003 & 2005 vintages. Thanks for the suggestion!

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