I spent eight days in France in March looking for wines
for B&B’s French Wine Club. We tasted some amazing wines and were able to find some great ones for the club. You can read about it all on my blog of the trip at:
Unfortunately, back in the
states, I’ve been drinking a lot of overpriced, mediocre wine lately. The price of good Bordeaux continues to skyrocket, and it seems to me that most of the good ones are approaching $30/bottle. As a result I only have six wines to recommend to you this month.
The first is a stunning
Chardonnay from Washington State. Chateau Michelle has long been one of my favorite American wineries (yes I have a favorite American winery) and they have made a fabulous Indian Wells, single
vineyard Chard. It is big on oak and butter, with lingering butterscotch that is perfect for summer evenings. At $15/bottle this is a great buy.
The second wine is a lovely Rhone style wine from the Vacqueyras region. Vacqueryras is located just east of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and makes some very interesting wines. The name of this wine is L’Authenique and it has soft spices on the pallet and a nice complexity. Don’t expect to be overpowered by this wine, but it is another great wine for summer sipping. At $18/bottle it compares favorably to many higher priced Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s and is an excellent companion to food.
The ’03 vintage in Bordeaux continues to
impress me and I have two wines to recommend. The first is the ’03 Chateau Poujeaux, from Moulis en Medoc. This is a WOW! It is classic Bordeaux with big black fruits and layered mushrooms, oak and wet hay. At a dinner in Chicago we were blown away by this wine.
The other is the ’03 Chateau
La Tour Carnet from the Haut-Medoc. This too is a classic with deep fruit that lingers on your pallet and fills your mouth. It has the barnyard layers, but is more fruit forward than the Poujeaux and another WOW! Buy these two before they are gone.
If you are looking for a
classic Bordeaux at it’s peak then try the 1999 Les Tourelles de Longueville. This is a wonderful Bordeaux that is drinking great now. It hangs on your tongue and changes three
times as it opens up and breathes. Another WOW!
The ’02 vintage in Bordeaux is less
celebrated than the surrounding vintages of 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, and the powerhouse 2005. This means that while the entire vintage is not as big and dense as the others you can still find
great wines that are more reasonably priced than the more notorious vintages. I had tasted the ’02 Chateau Leoville Barton from barrel a couple of years ago and was impressed at the time, so it was with some anxious anticipation that I was ready to taste it last month. The wine is a little soft –
consistent with the vintage – but nevertheless lovely. It is a beautiful and elegant wine that is
complex without being dense. This is a wine to drink now and enjoy while the other vintages are aging in your cellar.