This Week’s Wine Testing
Chateau la Graviere Blanc 2014– Entre deux Mers, Bordeaux. 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sauvignon Gris, 40% Sémillon and 10% Muscadelle. “Vines average 25 years old. Soil is a combination of gravel and clay. Fermentation from 15 to 20 days in thermo regulated stainless steel vats at 18 ° C. Ageing on fine lees until bottling. Stirring of the lees twice a week for 2 months. This dry white wine is provided with a very high content of white fruit flavors. The palate is round and surprising. This wine embellished your palate and then a note of freshness especially nice with seafood, fish, white meat or just for a friendly drink. Serve chilled between 9 and 12 ° C. Drink within 2 years to enjoy the aromatic complexity of the wine and freshness.” $9.99
Chateau La Rame Blanc Sec 2014– Sainte Croix du Mont, Bordeaux. “The hillside vineyards overlook the Garonne River and face full south as they slope down towards the river. The vineyards are planted 75% to Semillon and 25% to Sauvignon Blanc with an average age of 50 years (as of 2011).” “The grapes for this cuvée come from a four hectare hillside parcel of clay and limestone soil with a full southern exposure that overlooks the Garonne River and is planted to Sauvignon Blanc. The vines have an average age of 20 years (as of 2011). After a manual harvest, the grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled vats and left on the fine lees for six months prior to bottling. The overwhelming majority of this cuvée is reserved for our use in the US market (18,000 to 24,000 bottles per annum).” $17.99
Pierre Riviere Menuts 2012– Bordeaux. “This wonderful Bordeaux is produced by Philippe and Jean-Pierre Rivière who now run the family Châteaux and Negociant business in Saint-Émilion. They source grapes from their properties and on contract from some of their wine associates to produce a wine reminiscent of their Clos de Menuts Grand Cru St. Émilion and Château Cheval Brun Grand Cru St. Émilion. Aged in those St. Emilion Grand Cru barrels, the blend is virtually the same with 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, with slight variations from vintage to vintage.
Their idea was to produce a modern-styled red Bordeaux that their Grand Cru St. Émilion customers could drink every day. They succeeded in creating a wine with the earthy character and complexity of a St. Émilion with a lower price tag. The wine is well balanced, with plenty of fruit up front, a delicious bouquet and excellent texture for the money. It has a dark red/purple color and shows dark red fruits, a touch of earth and minerality, and a firm, but smooth finish. Although this nicely balanced red could age a few years, it is quite drinkable on release.” $15.99
Chateau Saint-Chel 2010– Bordeaux Superieur. “Appellations Bordeaux Supérieur and Bordeaux are the largest category of Bordeaux wines, accounting for over 50 per cent of all Bordeaux appellations. They have the same varieties of grapes as regular Bordeaux: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Malbec and Petit Verdot. The geographical area of the Bordeaux Supérieur is the same as Bordeaux, but by law, the wines have lower yields, a higher minimum requirement of alcoholic content (a consequence of warmer, better vineyard sites) and usually older vines. They show more complexity, power and richness than appellation Bordeaux wines, and typically require (but not always) a slightly higher price. They age 3-5 years easily, a year or two more than Bordeaux appellations. The acres planted as Bordeaux Supérieur amount to close to 12 thousand hectares or close to 31 thousand acres. Pair these wines with roast chicken, lighter red meats, charcuterie or cheese.” “This example offers ripe fruit and sweet oak on the nose. An approachable and friendly-drinking style.” $16.99
Chateau La Tonnelle 2009– Bordeaux Superieur. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. “The vineyard of Château LA TONNELLE was part of the Picourneau estate in the 19th century. In 1850, this famous property already producing 80 casks ranked No.1 in the commune of Vertheuil according to the first issue of the Feret guide. Since 1982, the Fabre family has replanted the vineyard and built a new winery to ensure that the estate again ranks among the best. This wine spends 12-months in oak. In order to clarify and oxygenate the wine, the racking process is repeated several times during aging depending on the tasting results.
The vintages of Château La Tonnelle exhibit a dark sustained colour with aromas of red/black cherry fruit. Rich and supple entry, Fruity on the palate with delicate and lightly toasted oaky notes. Long and silky finish. After a few years, the tannins soften and then give way to a charming blend.” $17.99
Chateau de la Cour D’Argent 2010– Bodeaux Superieur. “A blend of 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Vines average age 35 years. Deleafing and green harvesting, soil improvement using organic materials exclusively. Table sorting of grapes. Fermentation in thermostatically controlled 200Hl stainless steel vats, long (30 days) vat fermentation, délestage (the juice is removed and poured back over the cap) and pigeage (the cap is forced into the juice). Aging 14 months in barrels which were only used once before.” “Deep in color with softer qualities. Bright fruit flavors. Balanced and long.” $23.99