More Bordeaux to keep palate and pocketbook happy

October 1, 2018

More affordable, wonderful wine from Bordeaux leads off this week with Château Le Grand Moulin Grande Reserve Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux. The 2015 won silver at IWC in 2017. It is drinking well now, McD 90 points. I think it is a tad better than the 2010. Dark color had me looking for high tannins but the wine had an appropriate amount. Nose showed barrel spice, walnut and black fruit. On the palate, fruit, chocolate and smooth tannins. Finishes cleanly. Best of all, you should be able to buy under $14. It gets 1 price point at case price of $144/12. Château Lamothe de Haux Cuvée Traditionelle Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2015 is another winner around $12. Blended of 60 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cab Sauv, 10 percent Cab Franc, no oak. This is fruit forward with a round palate and subdued tannin. Read label carefully; this is not the Prestige.

Lamothe also produces a nice white named Château Lamothe de Haux Valentine par Valentine Reserve Blanc; normal blend is 50 percent each Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Fermenting in new barrels and aging on lees for six months drives a full mouthfeel with oak notes, and bright acidity supporting the fruit. An excellent choice for salty shellfish and smoked salmon, 89 McD under $20. I mentioned Domaine de Chevalier as a top Bordeaux white producer and that it was a tad expensive. Wise, informed shoppers like you, my friendly regular readers, will now know that Domaine de Chevalier has a separate project going on nearby. You should dash right out to your pal at your favorite wine shoppe and have them bring in a case of Clos des Lunes Lunes d’Argent Bordeaux Blanc 2015 before it disappears. You’re gonna love it!

Suckling wrote a 93 and said, “Beautiful sliced pear, apple and stone aromas and flavors. Full body, bright and fresh.” Jeb Dunnuck with 92 wrote, “Brought up all in barrel and a blend of mostly Semillon, it’s a vibrant, intense white offering lots of caramelized lime, mint, honeysuckle, and a hint of minerality, full-bodied richness, impressive concentration, and great acidity.” McD says lovely blend of 70 percent Semillon, 30 percent SB; pale, green-tinged golden-colored; opens to citrus, acacia and honeysuckle bouquet, then evolves to grapefruit, lime and mineral flavors riding a full-bodied wine with mouthwatering acidity to balance all. These will easily cellar through at least 2025. Best of all, you can locate some under $240/case. If you do so, rated 92 plus 1 price point. How about Château De Pitray Premier Vin Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, which can sometimes be found in Costco under $20? Fairly typical right bank profile; I let it stand awhile to open it up. Earth, berry nose (blackberries I think), slightly tannic but color confirms that it needs a little time. Pleasing use of oak also. Overall nice balance for a young, inexpensive wine, 88 points under $19. I would have given another point but I felt the wine was a bit short in the finish. 

Château La Branne Cru Bourgeois is a Medoc. Although this is outside the parameters of this series, I’m proceeding. Gerard asked about the 2011 which I recommended a few years back. He has asked how much time is left on storage. Drink it soon, Gerard. My original notes say 2019. This is the safety range. It is entirely possible the wine will still be drinking well years from now if your cellar and care are excellent. The good news is the 2015 is on the market and is 2 points better at McD 90. It can be found with diligent searching around $20. Berries, currants and oak-driven cedar aromas repeat on the palate, add earthy and barrel vanilla, tannins are beginning to incorporate, long fruit finish. The 2014 is running $24, 88 points, unless you are an oakophile. I think if that oaken edge dissipates, these may surprise in a few more years. Color, tannin and fruit may support the aging, and at this price it may be worthwhile. Sort of like a lottery ticket when the jackpot is $20 billion.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter