As the holidays quickly approach it’s time to reach into the cellar and pull out those great wines you’ve been saving. But if you haven’t been building your cellar there are still some great wines to enjoy.
Chateau Beycheville is one of my favorite wines and last week I opened the 1996 for some friends and it was awesome. This is what great Bordeaux become after ten years. It was complex across the pallet with a good balance of black fruit and barnyard that lingers on your tongue. I wish I had more!
As I have mentioned here many times, 2005 was a stellar year in Bordeaux and those wines are being released now. The best thing to do is buy more than you can afford and put them in your cellar until at lest 2015. But if you must drink them now, I have two to recommend.
The first is the 2005 Saintayme – from St. Emilion. This very nice wine is under $20 and is a good value. It has nice hints of black fruit and slight earth tones that are pleasant enough on the pallet.
The other is 2005 Chateau Haut-Colombier from Cotes de Blaye. This region is just across the Girond river from the Medoc and can produce excellent wines at much less the price of top Bordeaux. This wine is slightly complex with new world big fruit, and some of the earth tones that make Bordeaux more interesting than your average new world fruit bomb.
For those of you looking for a great value, try the 2005 Vieux chateau Grean. This is a very basic Bordeaux from the Medoc that is a little rough around the edges, but interesting for its price – under $15. I took this to a dinner last night and loved it.
If you can still find wines from the 1995 vintage, check out the Chateau D’Armailhac. This is typical of what great Bordeaux becomes when it has aged. This wine has big broad black fruit, leather, barnyard, mushroom, earth and incredible balance in just the right amounts. As is true for most great Bordeaux vintages this can last another ten years. If you find it buy it
Last, but not least is another wine from one of my favorite wineries – Chateau Greysac. I found – and bought – the last three bottles of the 2004 vintage at our nearby Total Wine store and it is outstanding. This is by far the best wine for under $20 on the market. It has good complexity, is approachable now and carries big black fruits with some layers of oak, hay and mushrooms. I love this wine.