Over the years I have fallen in love with the wines of Bordeaux. I don't think any other wines of the world match the complexity that a great Bordeaux can offer.
Bordeaux is one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world, located in Northwest France, a few hours from Paris. Bordeaux wine first received acclaim in the United States from former US president, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was infatuated with Bordeaux and he built up a formidable collection of Bordeaux wines (with some help from US taxpayer dollars).
Bordeaux is typically divided into two major sections; wines produced on right side the Gironde river and those produced on the left side of the Gironde river. Those on the right side tend to be more Merlot dominant. These wines are typically softer and are more approachable early. Wines produced on the left side of the Gironde are typically more Cabernet dominant and are more geared towards long-term cellaring. In fact, some of the best left bank Bordeauxs can be cellared more than 50 years!
Keep your eyes on the 2009 and 2010 vintages, which are some of the best Bordeaux vintages in history. The vintages are so good that if you pick a '09 or '10 Bordeaux up at the grocery store, it is virtually guaranteed to be good. But if you open one up, make sure to decant it for at least an hour, as these wines need some time to open up. Here is a small sampling of some of the best Bordeaux wines that I have sampled recently.
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2009 Chateau La Croix Lartique- Rich color with sour cherry, provencale herbs, figs and oak on the nose. After an hour the palate is enriched with blueberry, blackberry, violets and coffee. Smooth and viscous, this can be enjoyed now but can also cellar 5+ years. -92
2009 Chateau Les Grands Marcheaux- This wine improves after an hour of decanting. 84% Merlot with the rest Cab. Palate is smooth and viscous with prune, black cherry, anise and milk chocolate. Delicious. Drink now. -92
2005 Chateau Margaux Pavillion Rouge- This is the second wine of Chateau Margaux, first being produced in 1908. Red currant and provencale herbs on the nose, with vibrant acidity on the palate, as well as strong tannins. Also red currant, blackberry and black cherry flavors. Not ready to drink but delicious. Cellar for 3+ more years. -93
2005 Chateau Reignac- One of my favorite producers of Bordeaux, this wine needs roughly two hours to open up. 75% Merlot and the rest Cab. Deep and dark hue, the wine has boysenberry, coffee and oak on the nose. Palate is rich with creme de cassis, coffee and blackberry. Strong tannins, suggestive that this wine needs another 3+ years of cellaring. The combination of concentration, terroir and smoothness that makes this wine exceptional. -93
2003 Chateau Greysac- Taken from a hot vintage, his wine has roasted plums, oak and dried fruits on the nose. Palate has dark fruits and creme de cassis with blackberry. Delicious and could cellar another 3+ years. Hard to not drink now. -93
2000 Le Angelique de Monbosquet- This is the second wine of Chateau Monbosquet. Taken from an esteemed vintage this wine has dried herbs and prune on the nose. After an hour this thing comes together. Dark fruits like plums, cassis and blackberry. Somewhat astringent and has good minerality. A little thin. Drink now. -91
2000 Chateau Quinault- Sage with dried fruits on the nose with light oak. Palate is fat and viscous with fig, boysenberry, and nutmeg. Delicious and well-balanced. Drink now. -93