The Steady Stream of Bordeaux Continues
Robert K. Stephen (CSW) Toronto, Ontario
I have noticed in the past few years the LCBO has been releasing some aged Bordeaux’s in its Vintage product selection. It could be the wines have reached or about reached their optimal maturity date so LCBO buyers are snapping them up from producers at reasonable prices? Just because you produce a Bordeaux does not excuse you from being in a wine glut.
The Château Cailleteau 2014 has a black cherry colour. Wonderfully concentrated notes of blackberry and cassis on the nose.
On the palate firm tannins with a hint of clay and black soil. Loads of black cherry dominate the taste buds. There are also generous spurts of blackberry. But typically, Bordeaux is that neither aromas or taste are flashy. Firm and assertive yes but far calmer and less intense than a Trump Tweet.
If you are not looking for the tannins you’ll find this a smooth charmer. Enough stuffing to last until 2024. Not bad considering its price.
A great sipper and ideal with beef or lamb. I just might buy another bottle and have with our traditional New Year’s Day Prime Rib. Especially yummy with Yorkshire Pudding and loads of gravy.
(Château Cailleteau Bergeron 2014, AOC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, Dartier Earl, Blaye, France, $21.95, LCBO # 550285, 14%, 750 mL, Square Media Group Rating 94/100).
Just because it is Bordeaux do not make an assumption it is magic.
We move to a Chateau Belair 2011. Now there is a wine with some years under its belt. Black plum coloured. Aromatics are subtle black cherry, blackberry, cassis and spiced pomegranate. Smells like a winner!
On the palate moderate tannins. Yet very little fruit seems left in the wine. The hefty tannins appear to be blocking the fruit out. I like to say Bordeaux is subtle but there is no subtley here as there is no fruit left just tough tannins. The train has left the station. I really feel kinship with Roger Voss of The Wine Enthusiast as we are always very close in our ratings of Portuguese and French wines but in 2014 he rated it a 92 and said don’t drink until 2018. Sorry Roger your future predictions were off! Drink right now.
(Château Belair 2011, Cru Bourgeois, AC Haut-Médoc. Domaines Martin, St.-Julien-Beychevelle, France, $ 27.95,13.5%, 750 mL, LCBO # 416172, Square Media Group Rating 87/100).
Too bad there is no white Bordeaux available at my local LCBO so we finish off with a red Château Le Temple from the Médoc.
Black plum in colour. Aromatics are firm. Loads of tightly wound and disciplined black fruit namely black cherry, blackberries along with some cassis. Restrained richness with a little steak of wild child courtesy of Petit Verdot in the blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
On the palate moderate and chalky tannins. On the palate surprisingly juicy with fruit presenting itself in a lip-smacking fashion. So Un-Bordeaux!!! There is some red plum and black cherry but the ultimate fruit seems a bit diffuse, almost watered down.
A bit of a short finish.
The taste stumbles given the top rate aromatics. This wine has faded. LCBO is too late in picking this one up.
No sense in ageing. Best with simple Friday night fare like pizza, burgers or homemade pasta light on the meat preferably vegetarian. As an aside I was New Haven Connecticut recently at The Elm Social Club and had a ultra rich Spaghetti Bolognese just loaded with meat. The wine here would simply not stand up to the dish. I could barely finish half the huge American portion.
(Château Le Temple 2010, Cru Bourgeois, A.C. Médoc, Denis Bergey, Valeyrac, France, $27.95, LCBO # 550327, 750 mL, 14%, Square Media Group Rating 86/100).