A Few Bordeaux Wines In Stock
CHATEAU TOUR de MIRAMBEAU
Despagne family owns a hand-full of estates in Bordeaux and their wines have
been gaining great attention from the French wine media.
This estate is located in Naujan-et-Postiac, pretty close to Libourne.
We have a fabulous Sauvignon Blanc from Despagne, along with his
"reserve" bottling of red, called Cuvée Passion.
- The cellar at Tour de Mirambeau.
Previous vintages have gotten great accolades in the Guide Hachette and the wine is deserving of
praise. About 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon (40 year old vines),
the 2014 Cuvee Passion (used to be labeled "Grand Vin" until
recently) shows a lovely black fruit fragrance, a touch of an herbal note and
some cedary, woodsy notes from its maturation in oak. Though it will
certainly soften with additional bottle aging, this is perfectly drinkable
right now, especially with a grilled steak or rack of lamb.
A side note: Some producers from Europe were visiting and they
had some Bordeaux wines which struck me as over-priced. I mentioned
we liked the wines from the Despagne family and they nodded, agreeing the
wines are good. Since they arrive directly, the prices are
especially reasonable, so these people knew they'd been "aced"
out in terms of quality and value.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
OF THE DESPAGNE WINERY AND "LUNCH".
- Currently in stock: 2014 Bordeaux Supérieur "Cuvee
estate has long been a favorite of Americans as the name is easier to
pronounce than numerous other wineries in Bordeaux. It doesn't hurt
that the wine is typically pretty good and the price is usually within the
realm of reason.
The late Henri Martin, who died in the early 1990s, lobbied endlessly for Château
Gloria to be included on the list of "classified" estates in the
Medoc. His argument was a good one: the property consists of
parcels which had all been pieces of other classified estates (Château Léoville-Poyferre,
Château Gruaud Larose, Château St Pierre and even Château Duhart Milon, a
Pauillac estate that owned a patch in Saint Julien at one time).
Unfortunately for Hank, these parcels would take on the classification of
the new owner. Had Leoville Las Cases purchased these, they'd
suddenly be considered as a second growth. Since Monsieur Martin
was not the owner of a classified estate at that moment, the parcels lost
their "nobility", so to speak.
Today the estate comprises something close to 47 hectares. It's about
two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one quarter Merlot with a small percentage of
Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It's run by Martin's son-in-law,
Jean-Louis Triaud who also runs the classified growth of a neighboring
property, Château Saint-Pierre.
The wine is not the most flashy or compelling Saint Julien, but it is reliably
good and recent vintages suggest the estate is intent on improving (even
though it's already at a pretty good level of quality).
The 2012 is about two-thirds Cabernet with a healthy amount of Merlot and a
bit of Petit Verdot. The wine was matured in something like 40% new
oak, so there's a nicely woodsy note to frame the dark fruit.
It's quite good presently and probably can go another decade, or so, in
- Currently in stock:
CHÂTEAU GLORIA 2012 SALE $54.99
2009 Bordeaux Supérieur $14.99
Roumage owns this property and makes a range of wines. Wine guru Michel
Rolland's lab is hired to run lab analysis of the wines here, though I'm not
sure he makes too many suggestions regarding the wines.
to his/her 2009 "Cuvée Tradition," a wine which spent a year in oak.
This is one of the best "fourteen buck Merlot" wines you can buy,
easily more complex than any of the watery California Merlots in a similar
price range. It's become a "by-the-case" wine for many
customers, testimony to its quality and value.
The Cuvee Prestige was outstanding! Here's a wine which, much like
first growth Bordeaux, has been matured entirely in brand new oak
barrels. The fragrance of the sweet, cedary, coffeeish oak is
striking. The wine is delicious, being drinkable now and having a bit
of cellaring potential as well. We have the 2006. Our late
Gorman laughed when he tasted this, recalling a lot of the really famous
estate's wines we've tasted from 2006.
"How do these guys do it?" he asked. "They are unknown
and yet they've made wines which far outclass many of the prestigious
Estelle in 2011
They are big supporter of local artisans, too. On a recent visit,
there were dozens of interesting pieces on display and for sale.
The Cuvee Prestige spends a fair bit of time in new oak and it's a
remarkably good bottle arriving here at less than $20.
White wine has improved dramatically at Lestrille over the past half a dozen
years. And it's perfect when paired with shrimp, oysters or crab.
The entire range is impressive.
In the cellar at Lestrille-Capmartin.
This "watering can" is used to top up the barrels, keeping
them full and preventing the wine from being exposed to air.
Jean Louis and his daughter Estelle.
Medoc has vineyards all over the place and there are some good values in
the areas north of Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe where this marvelous bottle
It's a wine made by Philippe Berard, whose family has long cultivated
vineyards and raised cattle in the northern Medoc.
- Our late colleague Bob was surprised to learn President Obama had invested in
a winery in Bordeaux. But he forgotten to put new batteries in his
hearing aids. It's "Haut Bana, not Obama, Bob."
We've tasted several vintages from this guy and he clearly knows how to
make a stylish little Bordeaux and he sells it for honest money.
Now it's not a wine in the same league with hugely prestigious neighbors
such as Latour, Lafite or Mouton and, thankfully, it costs pennies to
their dollars. But you will recognize the wine as coming from
Bordeaux and you may even recognize it as a pretty good Medoc wine.
The vineyards are located about 15 kilometers north and a tad west of St. Estèphe.
The vineyard has a fairly high percentage of Merlot and the wine shows
some nicely plummy red and black fruits with a lightly cedary note from
the oak aging. Six months in wood have rounded out the
wine. The vines are roughly 30+ years of age on average.
We have the 2016 vintage in the shop presently...it's a medium-bodied red
and, owing to the high percentage of Merlot, it's quite drinkable in its
Currently in stock: 2016 CHATEAU HAUT-BANA Medoc $17.99
CHATEAU SAINT AUBIN
- One of our
French connections was interested to scope out affordable wines from the
highly-regarded 2010 vintage in Bordeaux and came back with this lovely
The Chateau Saint Aubin (not to be confused with the Burgundy wines of St.
Aubin) is situated about a 45 minute ride north of Chateau
In the 1700s, the estate was devoted to raising horses and it was some
sort of equine training school. Today, though, it's all about
viticulture and enology, as they've been making wine sine the 1870s, or
The wine of this estate is made with the idea of being drinkable in its
youth and so you need not cellar this for a decade to be able to enjoy
- The sandy, gravelly soils are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit
Verdot, Merlot and they even have a few rows of Carmenere. The wine
is aged in small oak barrels, with about 15% of the cooperage being brand
new. The wines of this estate are best known in Germany and Belgium
as they've not been exporting much to the USA market.
We like the dark plum notes of the ripe fruit of the 2012 vintage.
You can sense the bit of cedary oak here, too and the tannins are supple
and round. It's a delightful twenty-buck bottle of Bordeaux.
Currently in stock: 2012 CHATEAU SAINT-AUBIN
Saby family traces its history back to the days of George Washington and
noted wine aficionado Thomas Jefferson.
Sometime in the 1800s they created the domaine of Château Rozier which is
named after a local abbot who it seems was a wine fancier back in the
Today Rozier comprises about 28 hectares in the appellation of St. Emilion.
The family owns a few other estates these days and farms something like 70
The wine is, of course, predominantly Merlot with about 20% Cabernet
Franc. The wines sees new and second use oak barrels and this
contributes a mildly toasty, vanillin element to the wine.
Like many 2015s of less notoriety, the vintage really helps confer some
intensity and character to the wine.
The tannin level is modest, suggesting it may be cellared for a few years,
but drinking it in the short term is ideal.
Currently in stock: 2015 CHÂTEAU
Bordeaux We Like
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