Mouton Cadet Red expresses all the richness and diversity of one of the world's foremost winegrowing areas.
Produced in Entre-Deux-Mers ("between two seas"), a picturesque region of Bordeaux sandwiched between the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, this zesty Bordeaux blanc from the highly regarded 2010 vintage is a perfect all around summer white. Although most Entre-Deux-Mers is dominated by the assertive Sauvignon Blanc grape variety, Château Martinon's conscientious owner, Jerome Trolliet, favors Sémillon, using it for more than 60% of the blend, with Sauvignon Blanc (30%) and Muscadelle (10%) making up the rest. The emphasis on Sémillon yields a wine that is considerably more rich and savory than most Bordeaux Blanc. The floral and mineral scented 2010 Château Martinon offers juicy lemon, citrus, and marmalade fruit, which makes it an ideal accompaniment to oysters (the classic match), fish, grilled poultry, and light meats. It is also a great choice to sip all by itself, with the sea breezes blowing.
This is one of our first arrivals from the highly regarded 2010 vintage, and if the delectable style of this modestly priced petite château is any indication, wine lovers are going to be arguing for decades over which is the greater vintage, 2010 or 2009. Made from a blend of 50% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 18% Cabernet Franc, this fruit-forward wine, from the northern part of the Entre Deux Mers appellation, is made by Jean Lobre and his two sons, whose family has owned Bellevue Rougier for four generations. Absolutely ready to drink now, this easy-drinking Bordeaux offers oodles of soft, spicy fruit, lightly seasoned by notes of red berries, Provençal herbs, and cedar. Although it has sufficient stuffing to match with main courses of meat or poultry, this wine is also delicious by itself or with light cheeses.
Supple and smooth, this is a distinctly pretty Graves rouge, with ripe Cabernet and Merlot fruit gracefully layered over soft tannins. The voluptuous style of the 2009 vintage really plays to its strengths, and combines nicely with the château's excellent Graves terroir. The owner is Michel Boyer, whose daughter Catherine d'Halluin also makes outstanding wine at Château Clos Bourbon in the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux.
Dubbed a "sleeper of the vintage" by Robert Parker, the 2009 Château L'Estang offers pure, nicely delineated flavors of red berry and cassis, gently layered over fine-grained tannins. Decidely stylish.
Until the recent investments by leading St.-Emilion estates, Château de Pitray was the standard-bearer for the Côtes de Castillon. I have no doubt that its quality through the years was among the factors that attracted its well–heeled St.-Emilion neighbors. I purchased my first case of 1982 Château de Pitray at Calvert Woodley in 1983, and enjoyed every bottle over the next 5 years. As memorable as the '82 was, the supple, generous, gracefully oaked 2009 is immensely more impressive and delicious.-- Ben Giliberti
Quite stylish, harmonious, and complex, with a generous finishing sheen of new oak that makes it taste considerably more expensive than its modest price would suggest.-- Ben Giliberti