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Jean-Pierre Boyer makes Margaux that resemble the wines of the distant past. His 2000 shows a slightly maturing red/black color with bright aromas of red currant, cassis and raspberry with cedar, rose, citrus and earthy sous-bois notes, really lovely and complex. Relatively light for a Margaux, the palate is deep and velvety with firm tannins under lovely blackberry and cassis fruit with earth, licorice and mineral flavors. It's delicate and powerful at the same time and very long. Delicious now with three to four hours in carafe or after another ten to twenty years in the cellar. David Lillie
A Margaux like no other, more akin to a 19th century claret than to a modern Bordeaux.The 2004 from Jean-Pierre Boyer shows a lovely deep garnet color and smoky red-currant aromas with earth, violet, licorice, spice and citrus peel. The palate is dense and mineral with firm structure, but showing velvety blackberry, cassis and red currant with earth and mineral flavors and a bit of bitter licorice. The finish is long and firm. Suspend your ideas of Bordeaux and enjoy this complex and Burgundian Margaux. Carafe four hours in advance or cellar ten to twenty years.(On day 2 the wine has deepened and softened into a lovely Burgundian Bordeaux)
The 2009 BAMA shows bright deep red/black color with lovely high-toned red fruit liqueur - strawberry, black-currant and cassis, with violet and earth. The palate is dense and ripe with bright acidity - not at all heavy, but with intense black and red fruits backed by flavors of mineral and earth. On day two the bright deep fruits have become more focused and linger on the palate in the long and very mineral finish. This is quite enjoyable as a young wine, especially after a day open, unencumbered by over-extraction and new oak - but beware, this style is for those who like some earth in their Bordeaux! Best to cellar for a very long time...
The 2010 Bel Air-Marquis d'Aligre is from very old vines and also from approximately 50 year-old vines planted by M. Boyer at 10,000 plants per hectare. There is a long fermentation without extraction, the juice remains in cuve until spring, then spends 6 months in old barrels followed by two to three years in cement vat. These are wines made in the lighter "claret" style of the 19th century, although the 2010 shows an incredible density of flavor, given the less-extracted style. Upon opening the wine shows subtle aromas of earth, red currant and cherry fruit with licorice and brown spice. The palate is deep and quite expressive with black cherry, strawberry, earth, licorice and mineral flavors, quite Burgundian in texture. The finish is very long with lingering tart cherry, sous-bois and mineral flavors. After two days open (re-corked) the aromas have broadened with prune, ripe cherry, tobacco, spice and rose and the palate is intense with red and black fruit liqueur, spice box and earth and ending with lingering red fruits and firm acidity. Delicious now with a long decant, this will be an extraordinary mature wine, best perhaps 2035 - 2050. David Lillie
This second label of Chateau Coutet is a great value! With flavors of violets, red and black plum, dark cherry, tobacco, earth and musk, the wine displays an elegant bouquet that is lifted by bright acidity, grippy tannins and superb minerality. With a good finish, the lovely flavors linger on the palate. Pair this wine with a classic steak and fries, roast beef, and lamb shoulder. Caroline Coursant
This fantastic organically-farmed Saint Emilion is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, fermented in concrete tanks for 25 days and then aged for 22 months in first- and second-used-barrels. With a beautiful minerality of clay and limestone, the wine shows the finesse and elegance of a great vintage. The bouquet is complex with dark berry, prune, plum, dry tobacco, cedar, violet and herbal notes and the palate is luscious with supple tannins, good acidity and a lingering finish. A delicious wine at a great value to drink with brisket, roasted lamb and hamburgers. You can also cellar the wine for several years (+7 years) if you would prefer to consume it later. Caroline Coursant
Maison Blanche always makes great wines and this 2014 Saint Émilion is no exception. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from at least 45-year-old vines planted on clay, the wine is aged for several months in oak with some low percentage of new oak, and with minimal addition of sulfur at bottling. On the nose, the bouquet is complex and enticing with dry violets, crushed plums, ripe dark berries, dry earth, brown tobacco and cedar notes. On the palate, the wine is exciting with bright energy from the acidity and minerality and grippy tannins. To drink now or cellar it for several years (+7 years), the wine will show wonderfully with the traditional holiday meals of roasted lamb and ham, and spare ribs, braised beef, or classic steak. Caroline Coursant
A delicious Bordeaux at a great price - Château Massereau is an estate situated in Barsac, approximately 30km from Bordeaux, that practices organic farming and is fully committed to natural wine-making, using minimum amount of sulfur when devatting. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot planted on alluvial soils, the grapes are fermented for a long time (10 weeks) in concrete vats and then aged for 16 months in neutral barriques before a 10-year elevage in the bottle before release. On the nose, the wine is complex with a bouquet of dark berry, plum, cedar, violet, and tobacco. On the palate, the wine is lifted by its beautiful acidity and displays great density and soft tannins. Perfect for your holiday festivities, the wine will fantastically pair with braised rosemary lamb shoulder, roasted turkey with gravy, and red-skin mashed potatoes. Caroline Coursant
Château Massereau, an estate located in Barsac, has been farming organically since its acquisition by the Chaigneau family in 2000. Made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot planted on alluvial soils, the wine ferments in concrete vats and is raised in new barriques for 18 months with minimal addition of sulfur when devatting. The new oak is "white roasted", leaving no flavors of new oak on the wine. Fresher than its 2010 vintage, the wine displays a bouquet of juicy red plums, dark and red berry, and tart cassis notes with menthol, rose petals and cedar undertones. With a beautiful structure of great acidity, precise minerality and good tannins, the wine is complex and vibrant. A great wine to drink now, this wine will pair fantastically with hamburgers, brisket, beef bourguignon, lamb shanks and hard and blue cheeses. Caroline Coursant
This delectable, organic Bordeaux from the Fédieu family is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. On the nose, the wine displays notes of dark berries, cassis, menthol, dried rose petals, violets, yellow tobacco, young leather and oriental spices. On the palate, the balance between acidity, tannin and oak is beautiful; with great minerality coming from the gravelly sandy soils, the wine shows some weight with a bright freshness. Complex without being too much, this lively wine strikes the right balance between a table wine and a wine for more special occasions. Drink with meat recipes such as steak au poivre, ragouts, lamb kebabs, or braised pork. Caroline Coursant
Château Fonroque is a superb certified biodynamic and organic estate in the Saint-Émilion appelation. Owned by the Moueix family since 1931, the estate is a proponent of traditional winemaking techniques with hand harvesting, spontaneous yeast fermentation, and limited use of new oak. An elegant Bordeaux with precise minerality, the wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from 35-year-old vines, planted on limestone soils with some portions of clay on the hillside of the vineyard. The wine is fermented with native yeast in concrete vats and then aged in oak (with a small portion of new oak). The resulting wine is fantastic showing the impressive savoir-faire of Alain Moueix. The bouquet is complex with notes of juicy plum, cassis, crunchy black raspberry, tobacco leaves, hibiscus, baking spices, and leather, with some purple floral and savory undertones. Showing great energy and tension on the palate, the wine displays a beautiful calcareous minerality, bright acidity and soft tannins. To enjoy now with roasted beef, duck breast or full-flavored cheese, or age it for several years (7 years or more). Caroline Coursant
This is a delicious wine from a small biodynamic estate in Fronsac, next to Pomerol and St. Emilion. A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine displays a bouquet of ripe dark plums, crunchy cassis, tobacco, purple floral, and herbs de provence notes. With bright acidity and grippy tannins, the wine has a good complexity and persistent finish. Drink this wine now with braised duck, lamb shoulder, beef stew, or nutty blue cheese. You may also cellar the wine for several years (+5 years). Caroline Coursant
What a beautiful fresh Bordeaux! Certified organic since 2012, this estate has been making outstanding wines since the beginning, showing the expertise of the Clauzel family and superb terroir. This 2014 wine (a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is elegant and vibrant with a gorgeous bouquet of black and red berries, plum, oriental spices, leather and cedar box notes. On the palate, the wine is bright with acidity and minerality, and shows supple tannins with a long fresh finish. This is a vibrant Bordeaux which can accompany casual to fancy meals. Pair this wine with hamburgers, seared lamb, or with more elaborated dishes, such as, roast beef or braised duck. A delicious wine to drink now or cellar it for a few years. Caroline Coursant
The Clauzel family does not disappoint with this vintage! This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, planted on sandy gravelly soils and aged for about 15 months in barrels. Elegant and classic, the nose displays aromas of dark plum, crunchy cassis, prunes, nutmeg, light tobacco, dried violet petals and leather notes. On the palate, the wine is luscious and vibrant with good acidity, beautiful minerality and supple tannins. The finish is long with a delicate bouquet. A delicious Saint-Emilion to drink now or cellar for +10 years. Pair this wine with roast beef, grilled steak, nutty cheese or roasted lamb. Caroline Coursant
Who said that no S02 red wine can't be classicly structured and delicious! L'Essai is mostly Merlot (90%) with a touch of Cabernet Franc (10%), planted on sandy gravelly soils. Aged for 15 months with no added sulfur, this wine showcases a beautiful structure of good acidity, light tannin and superb minerality while displaying a freshness of aromas, quite unique for this appellation. With a bouquet of juicy red berry, tart black plum, rose petals, white pepper, crushed rock and green tobacco, the wine is vibrant with its complex flavors lingering deliciously on the finish. Pair this wine with hamburgers, steak tartare or a plate of charcuterie and cheese. Caroline Coursant
Le Colombier de la Métairie is Maison Blanche's second label. Certified organic and biodynamic, this label is known for its accessibility while keeping a beautiful structure. The wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from about 45-year-old vines, located in Montagne, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and Libourne. The soils are clay-based, with a subsoil of limestone and gravel. Fermented with native yeast, the wine is aged for 15 months in cement vats and old barrels with minimal sulfur added before bottling. Le Colombier de la Metairie 2014 has a bright and fresh structure with great acidity, superb minerality, and smooth tannins. The nose is full of dark berries and plum notes, with some wood, spice, dry tobacco, herbal and floral undertones. On the palate, the wine is quite enjoyable with plenty of energy, savory notes, and a nice finish. This is a great, fresh wine that can accompany many different meals from the classic hamburger to spare ribs or herb-roasted lamb. A fantastic value to drink now or age for a few years. Caroline Coursant
The Le Geai "2015 "Pure Nature" is a natural wine with no added sulfur, certified Biodyanmic. It's unusual blend is 70% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 10% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.This is a fresh, earthy and delicious Bordeaux, showing vivid aromas of black raspberry, red currant and cassis, ripe but bright; the palate is dense with cassis and red currant, quite lively and with underlying earth and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. For anyone seeking a more natural style of Bordeaux, with zero added SO2, this is highly recommended! David Lillie
Henri Duporge at Château Le Geai makes this unique Bordeaux from Merlot and Malbec, the tradional blend in the northern Libournais in the 1800s. The vines grow in "blue clay" over limestone, fermentation is with wild yeasts and the wine ages 12 months in amfora, with only a tiny addition of volcanic sulfur. Certified organic and Biodynamic. The 2015 Argiles de Pauline shows a deep black/purple color and lush aromas of ripe cassis and red currant with rose, earth, spice and citrus. The palate is deep and ripe with blackberry, cassis and plum, with silky tannins - dense but bright and balanced finishing with black fruits and juicy acids. Drinking beautifully now, this is a perfect pairing for a steak, pork chop or grilled lamb, and aging for eight to ten years should be very interesting. David Lillie
Le Seuil de Mazeyres is the second label from esteemed estate Château Mazeyres, a beautiful and lush estate located in Libourne in the appellation of Pomerol. Certified organic and in conversion to biodynamic farming, the estate is a prime example of balance and authenticity under the management of Alain Moueix. The 2015 Le Seuil de Mazeyres is a fantastic and vibrant wine reflecting the artistry of Alain Moueix. The wine is mostly Merlot (87%) with Cabernet Franc (13%). Showing off the terroir of gravelly and sandy clay soils, the wine is luscious and fresh with an energy unique to Pomerol. A believer of balance, Alain does not add much to the wine, letting the wine speak for itself. New oak is used but not in excess and sulfur is minimally added. The result is a wine that is enticing, with a delicious bouquet of black currant and red berry, crunchy dark cherry, herbs de Provence, mint, dry tobacco and cinnamon spices. On the palate, the wine combines tension, precise minerality, and supple tannins to offer a lively experience for the mouth. This is a superb wine to enjoy young with a classic steak aux frites, lamb shoulder and gratin Dauphinois. Caroline Coursant
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours is a fantastic organic- and biodynamic-certified estate located in Blaye on slopes of clay over limestone. The Quintessence is the top cuvée of the domaine and reflects the beautiful philosophy of wine making of the Hubert family. Typically a blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), the wine has nice structure with supple tannins, great acidity, and firm minerality with a long finish.
Made from nearly equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a smattering of Cabernet Franc, farmed organically. The vines are grown on a gland of gravel and sand over limestone and clay. The 2015 is classic Graves with red and black fruits, notes of tobacco and cassis, with a fine core of minerality and ripe tannins on a medium weight, lifted finish. Delicious now, with a nice upside for mid-term aging. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops in a red wine sauce or hanger steak with an anchovy butter. John McIlwain