Tagged bordeaux

Chateau Puy Galland 2006: Ready to Drink Discovery from Bordeaux’s Insider’s Favorite: Cotes de Francs

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 Puy Galland comes from Bordeaux, where
the Cotes de Francs vineyards
are in the undiscovered (and high value)
area just 10K east of Saint-Emilion.

Cotes de Francs. A rolling, green part of Right Bank Bordeaux that’s producing some of Bordeaux’s least known but most amazing wine values.

The Thienpont family first put Cotes de Francs on the map. They own Le Pin in Pomerol. You remember, Le Pin. It set an auction record a while back – 12 bottles went for $32,000. They know how to make wine.

The Thienponts recognized what glorious terroir there was in Cotes de Francs which is just northeast of Saint-Emilion and they bought Chateau Puygueraud and then other chateaux. Hubert de Bouard of Chateau Angelus caught on next and bought a chateau for himself there and suddenly people started paying attention – including myself.

I’ve always got my eyes open when it comes to affordable Bordeaux made by winemakers whose livelihood actually depends upon their making a knockout wine. Of course, I am especially keen on finding them in good Bordeaux vintages years like 2006.

In fact 2006 is a very fine vintage but equally important it is now 5 years old is is getting very ready to drink. and it will drink nicely over the next several years.

These smaller, family owned chateaux often are not too good at the marketing part, but they’re great at the wine making part, which is what I care about. I don’t expect my wine to come to me via some snazzy press kit – I’m willing to go out and break a trail if I have to. The rewards for doing this are often stunning.

All of this points right to Chateau Puy Galland. Bernard Labatut’s Chateau Puy Galland is exactly what I look for. A classy Bordeaux with flesh and black cherries, very round in the mouth. Many people don’t realize it, but there are a lot of affordable wines in Bordeaux that just get shouldered aside by the Classified Growth buzz. Yes, you can drink great Bordeaux every night – you just have to know where to find them.

Bernard Labatut is the third generation to work the vines at Chateau Puy Galland. His 26-year-old son will soon take the reins. Bernard likes the organic approach to wine growing. He de-leafs and green harvests to produce better quality, riper grapes.

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Chateau Biston Brillette 2006: A Winning Bordeaux from the Medoc in a 90-Point Vintage

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 The classic elegance of the Chateau
Biston Brillette label

Shimmery, garnet robe and dark berry fruit that is perfectly balanced with its tannins, this wine is real Bordeaux class. Chateau Biston Brillette is on my Top Ten list of my favorite Petits Chateaux, and I’ve sampled hundreds.

Biston Brillette is a Moulis wine. This very high-value-to-price commune lies between Margaux and St Julien. In fact if this same wine was from St Julien or Margaux it would cost + 50% more. That is why finding very well made wines from neighboring communes to the famous Medoc appellations can be the insiders source for the best values in Bordeaux.

I love going on a quest for over-achieving, under-priced Bordeaux. I’ve been doing it for 25 years now and Chateau Biston Brillette was one of my first discoveries. I first got interested in Biston Brillette when I started seeing it on many restaurant wine lists in the Medoc & Bordeaux.

This is significant because these are the restaurants that all the Chateau owners and winemakers go to and a bad wine is not going to stay on the list for long. Over the years, vintage after vintage of Biston Brillette has remained on those wine lists. And, it is no surprise to me.

Wine Spectator gives the 2006 vintage in Left Bank Bordeaux an “outstanding” 90-Point rating. This is not a vintage to miss.

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Chateau Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes – 2009: One of the Best Values of a Great Vintage in Bordeaux

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 The Chateau Beaulieu
Comptes de Tastes Label

They’re here. The 2009 Bordeaux are just starting to arrive.

Most of the top Bordeaux 2009s are sold-out last year when they were first offered as futures and this would have been also except I just never got around to offering in the flood of releases last summer. Grab a case while we still have this available.

The 2009 Bordeaux vintage Wine Spectator rates a 95-98 for the Right Bank and describes as, “rich and powerful yet round and friendly, with velvety texture and loads of fruit,”

This is the vintage we have been clearing space in the cellar for,. The vintage Robert Parker started a fire storm of demand for when he wrote, “some of the greatest wines I have tasted in 32 years,” one of the greatest vintages of our lifetimes – it’s here.

Kick it off right with Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes 2009.

Robert Parker raves about this Right Bank estate:

“This is one of Bordeaux’s finest run over-achievers.”

Wine Spectator bestows a whopper of a rating: 88-91, reviewing this gem as, “A minerally and fruity wine, but subdued and balanced. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a long finish. Score range: 88-91 -JS” – Wine Spectator

Parker liked this Bordeaux Superieur wine so much that he selected it for inclusion in his book Robert Parker’s Wine Bargains: The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25. “…this sensational wine exhibits excellent texture, medium body, and soft tannins and is a beauty to enjoy over 5-6 years.”

This is the wine that everyone is looking for – a 2009 Bordeaux with incredible taste and quality for a price you can pull the cork on everyday.

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First Report: Bordeaux 2009 “Some of the Greatest Wines I Have Tasted in 32 Years” -Robert Parker

There is no question that 2009 is going to be one of the greatest Bordeaux vintages of our lifetimes. Parker, Tanzer, La Revue du Vin de France, Wine Spectator – they all agree. Below are three of the first wines to be released. They are spectacular values. But first, let’s hear what the big names have been saying about the 2009s.

“In short, I do not think I have ever tasted such extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignons, and I believe the 2009 is at its greatest in the Medoc and Graves.”Robert Parker Wine Advocate April 2010

“The 2009 vintage is a superb success in Bordeaux, notably in the Medoc which will become legendary. The wines are splendid in the Graves, Sauternes, in Pomerol and in St Emilion in spite of some vineyards hit by hail.” – La Revue du Vin de France

“Everywhere I went in the two weeks I spent tasting the 2009 wines in Bordeaux, the song remained the same: simply put, virtually everyone agreed that ’09 will go down in history as the greatest Bordeaux vintage of all time.” Whoa! -Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

“The reasons for such high praise? A seemingly endless line-up of remarkably concentrated yet balanced wines, and the possibility that more properties than ever before have made what may end up being their best wine of all time. There are also rich pickings in the value-for-money appellations of Castillon, Francs and Fronsac.” -Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

“…I’d like to bring the conversation back to the vintage’s exceptional quality. I love the way the wines have such opulent fruit backed by powerful tannins. Yet the tannins are round and polished with the top wines. In addition, the reds are fresh and vibrant.

“A lot of people make comparisons to 1982, which I have to agree with to some extent but, honestly, I think they are better.” James Suckling Wine Spectator

There you have it. Consensus on the quality of the 2009s.

Two Reasons to Buy Bordeaux Futures (in Great Vintages) First it assures you access to the best wines before they are sold out. The top rated wines often sell out in Bordeaux within a day and often in hours. Second while you do pay in advance you will get a substantial discount to their price once they reach the US (if they are available at all) In 2005 this discount was from 30 to 100%.

How Bordeaux Futures Offers Work Here’s how you can secure some of these wonders for your cellar. Nearly every morning, I will be getting allocations directly from the negociants in Bordeaux who get their allocations directly from the chateau owners. The prices will be thepremier tranche (i.e. opening) prices. This is the best time to buy the best Bordeaux – before they disappear or the prices shoot up (which they will). I will get very limited quantities (there is a whole world out there vying for these wines, particularly for this vintage).

I will decide what to buy and immediately make an offering to everyone via an early morning email. It will provide the price and some background and also why I am recommending this estate. So check your email to see what is being released each morning (France is 6 hours ahead of us) and choose the wines that interest you.

Quick note: There will be a lot of offers and, therefore, emails over the next 2 months as the wines are released. “Bordeaux 09” will appear as the subject line for all these emails to distinguish them from my regular emails for wines in stock. Cynthia Hurley

Here are the first three Bordeaux 2009 Futures
Very Good Prices (thanks falling euro) and what is shaping up to be a Legendary Vintage.CHÂTEAU CÔTE MONTPEZAT Côtes de Castillon Cuvée Compostelle 2009Wine Spectator Score: 91-94 $219 per case.
“Beautiful nose of crushed blueberries and raspberries. Full-bodied, with soft and velvety tannins and lots of pretty fruit.” -J.S.

CHATEAU CHARMAIL Hautes Medoc
Rating 89-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate $259 per case
“This classic over-performer has turned out another super-attractive, supple-textured, dark ruby/purple- colored wine displaying notes of flowers, licorice, spice, and background oak. It should drink nicely for a decade or more. (Tasted two times.)” – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

CHATEAU CROIX MOUTON Bordeaux Superior
Rating 89-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate $165 per case
“One couldn’t ask for a more serious owner than Jean- Philippe Janoueix, who has done such a terrific job at La Confession in St.-Emilion and La Croix St.-Georges in Pomerol. Tiny yields of 31 hectoliters per hectare as well as super attention to detail in both the vineyard and winemaking has resulted in a wine that is a final blend of 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot coming in at 14.1% alcohol. The wine is stunning, dense purple in color, with notes of chocolate, espresso roast, pain grille, blackberries, and cherries. It is a hedonistic mouthful of wine to drink over the next 4-5 years. (Tasted two times.)” -Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate