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A bouquet of affordable red Bordeaux (left-bank edition)

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More notes from the under-$30 Bordeaux event. Arranged in order of increasing price. It wasn’t always clear whether the quoted private import prices were for restaurants or individuals, so check with the agency concerned before submitting your order.

Côtes de Bourg 2007, Château Bujan ($18.60, 862086)
75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Attractive nose of sweet cassis and graphite with floral and oak notes. Supple entry, pure fruit, subtle oak, raspy tannins, bright acid and a little astringency on the finish. Seems lighter than the 2005 and 2006 but no less appealing.

Bordeaux 2007, Marquis de Bordeaux ($20.85, 6 bottles/case, Raisonnance Inc.)
65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh nose of plum and cassis. Smooth and fluid attack. Good fruit and acid on the mid-palate though a bit oaky. Tannic finish. Not bad.

Bordeaux Supérieur 2005, Pavillon Rouge ($20.85, 6 bottles/case, Raisonnance Inc.)
Definitely not Château Margaux’s similarly named second wine. Blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Candied cassis and raspberry with tobacco scents. Pure and straightforward, more about fruit than structure. Herbs and tobacco scent the long finish. This would make a good bistro wine. A winner.

Bordeaux Supérieur 2007, Hyppos, Château Majoureau ($22.60, 6 bottles/case, Plan Vin)
About 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Spent 12 months in French and American oak barrels, a fraction of which were new. Red fruit and spice with oak hints. Smooth and silky, with pure, sweet fruit. Supple tannins, lingering finish. Vin plaisir. If I ran a restaurant, this would be on its wine list.

Graves 2001, Château d’Ardennes ($23.90, 869933)
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Cabernet Franc and less Petit Verdot. Cassis and raspberry with floral and subtle oak notes. Fresh and smooth, more medium- than full-bodied. Round on the mid-palate, showing pure fruit and a minerally undertow. Fine tannins and a credible finish. Elegant and enjoyable.

Pessac-Léognan 2005, Château de Cruzeau ($24.95, 113381)
Slightly more than half Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot and a homoeopathic shot of Cabernet Franc making up the balance. Spent 12 months in barrels, about a third of which were new. Fresh, cedary nose dominated by cassis. Smooth and elegant albeit a little austere. Velvety tannins wrapped around a core of sweet fruit. Ashy minerals on the finish. Good but a little anonymous, like one of those B-movie heroes whose looks you can admire but whose name you can’t remember.

Pessac-Léognan 2005, Château de Rochemorin ($27.95, 743005)
About 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Spent 12 months in barrels, about a third of which were new. Dark fruit and oak with hints of cedar and wet earth. Tight and very dry. Muted fruit, unmuted oak. Long astringent finish. The potential’s there but this needs time.

Côtes de Bourg 2006, Château Falfas ($28.58, 6 bottles/case, Raissonance Inc.)
Biodynamically farmed Merlot (55%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Malbec (5%). Spicy red fruit with a hint of oak. Supple and smooth, lively acid, sweet fruit, silky tannins and a caressing finish. Overall impression of freshness and elegance. A winner.

Saint-Estèphe 2007, Château La Croix ($29.30, 00048561)
About half Cabernet Sauvignon and a third Merlot, the balance made up by Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Textbook nose: cassis, cedar, tobacco, graphite, hint of oak. Plush fruit structured by fine, tight tannins and not masked by oak. Long finish. A decent $30 Médoc that will be even better in a year or three.

Pessac-Léognan 2006, L’Abeille de Fieuzal, Château de Fieuzal ($36.25, 10924338)
About 2/3 Merlot and 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Cabernet Franc. Beautiful nose: cassis, red plums, spice, tobacco, gravel, vanilla. Equally beautiful on the palate. Rich, ripe fruit and subtle oak structured by firm acid and tannins. Long but also broad and even deep. I’m not usually a fan of second wines but this is a winner.

Written by carswell

November 9, 2010 at 14:09

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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