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
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.
Throw this impressive, full-structured wine into a blind tasting of St.-Emilion Grand Cru, and don't be surprised if it beats out one or more of the big boys. It tastes considerably more expensive than its modest price would suggest. To the massive 2005 Côte Montpezat, which was one of our favorite petit chateaux of that great year, the 2009 adds an element of fruity succulence, which is the hallmark of the remarkable 2009 vintage. Deep ruby in color, with dark, roasted fruit, shaved cedar, and new oak prominent on the nose and on the palate, this concentrated wine begs for further cellaring, but is quite delicious now (decant 45 to 90 min. in advance).
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
The home of Château Chasse Spleen and numerous other excellent Châteaux sharing the name "Poujeaux," the commune of Moulis has some of the finest, deep gravel ridges in Bordeaux, outside of the famed Margaux commune. In contrast to its very supple 2008, Dutruch Grand Poujeaux has produced a startlingly powerful 2009, with deep, smoky flavors of baked cherry confit, cassis, Provençal herbs. A concentrated, impressive wine that will clearly reward 5 to 7 years of cellaring.-- Ben Giliberti