The CHATEAUX PROFILED:
FINE LITTLE “b” BORDEAUX
Ch. Camarsac Classique Bordeaux Superieur
Lurton-family owned property offering good dusty fruit in a classic claret style. Tastes as if it has more than its 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ch. de Prieure Cuvee Reserve, Bordeaux
Ch. la Maroutine, Bordeaux
Ch. Lepine, Bordeaux
From the area of Cadillac and Loupiac (both sweet white wine appellations) on the western edge of the Middle. From the domaine of Michel Boyer and his daughter Catherine d’Halluin, this is the lightest and most red fruit oriented of these picks. Serve cool (55°)
Ch. Nicot, Bordeaux
This property also produces a white wine labeled Entre Deux Mers.
Ch. Penin Tradition Bordeaux
Made by Patrick Carteyron from mostly Merlot grapes grown on his estate in Gennisac located on the eastern edge of the Middle, Ch. Penin is the most typically Bordeaux of these picks. This property is a source for other fancier cuvees (see blow) as well as fine white and pink wines (both a Bordeaux Rosé and Bordeaux Clairet).
Natur de Penin Bordeaux
Patrick Carteyron’s Merlot-based 100% new oak barrels, cold fermented and aged, no-sulfur-added masterpiece. Stunningly good and highly recommended.
Ch. Saint Antoine Bordeaux Superieur
From the same ownership and wine making team as St. Emilion’s Grand Cru Classé Ch. la Couspade.
Ch. Trocard Bordeaux Superieur
The flagship of the Trocard family’s wine estates running from St. Emilion to the north of Montagne St. Emilion. Of the under $10 picks, Ch. Trocard shows more richness while maintain a traditional style.
Ch. Vieux Manoir Bordeaux
The most modern and even “new world” of the under $10 picks, Vieux Manoir (the “old house”) has a broad appeal and is very easy to drink.
SUPERIOR BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR
Ch. Brondeau Bordeaux Superieur
Brondeau is the former residence of former Bordeaux negoçiant and now Domaine de Courteillac owner and l’Aventure (Paso Robles) partner Dominique Meneret. I am partial to the 2007 both for its price and more forward drinkability.
Ch. Croix Mouton Bordeaux Superieur
Ch. Le Conseiller Bordeaux
Both Chx. Croix Mouton and Le Conseiler are owned and made by Jean Philippe Janouiex of Chx. La Confession (St. Emilion) and La Croix St. Georges(Pomerol) fame. Both of these are simple Bordeaux taken to the next level – as you might expect from the owner’s resumé.
Ch. Penin “Grand Selection” Bordeaux
The “woopy-doopy” cuvee from Patrick Carteyron offering more weight, ripeness, structure, and oak.
Ch. Penin “les Cailloux” Bordeaux
An all Merlot selection from Carteyron’s best terroir which is a field of rolled stones (Cailloux) left when the Dordogne river changed course. These same sort of rolled stones make up much of the “beautiful stones” terroir of Ch. Ducru Beaucaillou in St. Julien
Ch. Trocard Monrepos Bordeaux Superieur
Domaine de Courteillac Bordeaux Superieur
Owned by Dominique Meneret (see Ch. Brondeau above), Courteillac is “Domaine” instead of “Chateau” because there is a winery but no formal house on the property. Courteillac is planted at different vine densities but the average for the property is pretty high. And there is a bigger chunk of Cabernet Sauvignon here with up to 20% in the final blend along with up to 1/3 new oak. Stephen Derenencourt consults. While 2009 and 2010 are undoubtedly better vintages, the 2007 is drinking great now.