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Bordeaux

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

From Garagiste, a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec—in this case from a biodynamic producer (something of a rarity in Bordeaux), the 2015 Château de Monbazan Graves Rouge is plush on the nose and palate. The first impression is one of cherry pie, followed by vanilla, baking spices, and the merest suggestion of violets. It's easy going on the palate, with no hard edges. And while it lacks the earthy, leathery soulfulness that Graves is known for, it has charm. Drink now. 13.5% ABV Château de Monbazan 8.8 Points...

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

A decadent elixir, Castelnau de Suduiraut is the second label of Château Suduiraut—in an excellent vintage like 2010, it offers fabulous QPR—and is exactly the sort of wine I'm inclined to haul out of my cellar during the holidays. Lavishly layered aromas of dried apricot, quince, dried orange peel, sultana, and crème brûlée rise from the glass. The impression of richness, a glycerol-rich palate, a well of honeyed fruit that is only interrupted a coursing and singular thread of of minerality on the finish. Château Suduiraut 9.1 Points...

Château Cantemerle Les Allées de Cantemerle 2010

Château Cantemerle Les Allées de Cantemerle 2010

Another wine tasted in Transylvania at the ROVINHUD wine show in Timișoara. Les Allées de Cantemerle is the second wine of Château Cantemerle, as such it's a good value. The 2010 is endowed with a classic profile of cassis, black cherries, blueberries, cedar, and an alluring top note of freshly turned soil. It's still youthful, medium-bodied, and bright. There is perhaps a touch of astringency that gives way to cedar and bay leaf. The finish is a tad short, my only criticism of this otherwise charming Bordeaux. Sample Château Cantemerle 9.0 Points...

Château Lafite Rothschild 1999

Château Lafite Rothschild 1999

The 1999 Lafite Rothschild, is a ruby-hued beauty with a translucent rim—this bottle was incredibly fresh and vibrant on opening. Initially, seemingly more red fruit-driven, the nose evolved into a darker expression with time in the glass. Nuanced aromas of loamy earth, rose petal, black currant, and pencil shavings led into a wine that, while restrained and elegant, boasted ample sweetness at its core. Ultra-fine, polished tannins gave way to a medium-plus finish that culminated in bay leaf, cigar box, and spice. Château Lafite Rothschild 9.4 Points ...

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Lovely and accessible, the 1995 Angélus shows off its pedigree and high percentage of Cabernet Franc with only minimal decanting. A slightly woodsy bouquet of black currants, plums, cedar, forest underbrush, spiced orange pomander, dried lavender, and incense. On the palate, poised supple tannins and a fine acid backbone underpin steeped blackberry, crème de cassis, bay leaf, dried herbs and delicate minerality. This legendary Saint-Émilion dances in the glass, and ends triumphantly, in a grand jeté. Château Angélus 9.4 Points ...

Château Marjosse Bordeaux Blanc 2014

Château Marjosse Bordeaux Blanc 2014

Slightly smoky, flinty notes precede underripe pineapple, canned pear, gooseberry and grass. The 2014 Château Marjosse Bordeaux Blanc is inexpensive, moderate in weight, expressive in temperament—fleshy tropical and orchard fruit give way to leaner tones of white grapefruit. The oak component serves as more or less a backdrop, and the finish tapers off without fanfare. Sample Château Marjosse 8.7 Points  ...

Château Auney l'Hermitage Graves Blanc 2015

Château Auney l’Hermitage Graves Blanc 2015

Château Auney's Graves Blanc 2015 is an elegant composition of 65% Semillon, 20% Muscadelle, and 15% Sauvignon Blanc harvested from small, organically farmed two-hectare parcel planted in gravel, clay and limestone soil. Barrel aging has graced it with softer tones of lemon curd, golden apple, and pear layered with a pinch of forest honey and dried thyme. It's subtle on the palate, gently unfurling to reveal an undercurrent of pent-up energy at the close, one that is laced in flinty minerality and white grapefruit. Sample Château Auney 9.1 Points...

Paul Barre Château La Grave 2011

Paul Barre Château La Grave 2011

I would like to revisit this wine, perhaps from a less challenging vintage. As such the 2011 Paul Barre Château La Grave is somewhat austere, requiring ample time to open. Initially reserved aromas of black cherries, plums, and red currant are followed underbrush and earth. The attack is soft, giving way to fine, powdery tannins and high-toned, tart acidity that co-mingles with swirling and subdued tones of ash and dried leaves. 13.0% ABV | Sample Vignoble Paul Barre Château La Grave 8.8 Points  ...

Château Les Charmes-Godard Francs Blanc 2014

Château Les Charmes-Godard Francs Blanc 2014

I'll admit, I'm always happy to have a Nicolas Thienpont wine in my glass. The Thienpont family are associated with other great Bordeaux properties including Puygueraud, Pavie Macquin and one of my personal favorites, Vieux Château Certan. The 2014 Les Charmes Godard is slightly austere, with pronounced herbaceousness. Smoky minerality swirls around boxwood, cherimoya and gooseberry notes. It's lean and racy on the palate, hemmed in by oak. Here lime zest, white grapefruit, and white pepper take the center stage. Château Les Charmes-Godard 9.0 Points...

Tire Pé DieM 2012

Tire Pé DieM 2012

When I receive samples, I make a point of waiting to research the wines until after I've tasted them. First impression—that it's primarily Cab Franc possibly from the Loire was incorrect—turns out the Tire Pé DieM 2012 is 100% Merlot, organically grown in clay and limestone soils. The profile is light and primary. Cherry clafoutis, vanilla, fennel pollen. Fermented and aged in concrete, the tannins are quite powdery, a silkily brocaded backdrop to high-toned tart acidity cherries. Pie cherries, rhubarb compote, and crushed lavender linger at the close. 13.0% ABV | Sample Château Tire Pé 8.9 Points...