This property is a real hidden "gem", just a stone's throw away from the St. Julien appellation and stars such as Lagrange and Gruaud Larose. We're happy to keep the secret because it means more wine for us! Owner Francois Nony, whom we got to visit with during our recent trip to Bordeaux, delivers a great 2009. A blackcurrant and cassis-like nose leads to a classic Medoc earthy finish. This wine is well-balanced with a freshness of fruit that is a hallmark of this vintage. It should age well for 5-10 more years. A real bargain!
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).
Bordeaux's heretofore obscure Côtes de Castillon region, the home of Château Pitray, appears to be poised for stardom. Recently, the region has attracted the attention of star winemakers from nearby Saint Emilion and Pomerol, These boutique level vignerons have been drawn by the region's outstanding clay-gravel soil, which is similar to that of Saint Emilion and Pomerol, and clearly capable of producing first-rate wine. Château Pitray has been one of Calvert Woodley's best-selling petit château since the legendary 1982 vintage, when we first discovered its outstanding quality and value. As good as the' 82 was, the 2009 is in a different class altogether. Raves Robert Parker, "the finest Pitray yet made. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by copious aromas of crushed rocks, red and black currants, and a hint of kirsch. Medium-bodied and loaded with fruit with impressive glycerin and lushness, it offers a lot of flavor for its humble appellation and price point." -- 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
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.
Owner Eric Perrin, of Château Carbonnieux, working with star consultant Denis Dubourdieu of the University of Bordeaux, has produced an unusually ripe and powerful red Graves in 2009, with excellent structure. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and the wine displays pleasing aromas of super-ripe black fruit and blackcurrant flavor, nicely set off by subtle roasted notes of new oak.
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.
Glowing, intense ruby color. An expressive nose of ripe, soft fruit, revealing blackberry, blackcurrant and cherry, melded with notes of subtle vanilla and spice from oak aging. On the palate, balanced and refined, with a long impression of lively, ripe fruit. The pure, polished tannins on the finish are the epitome of the Médoc classified growth style of élevage. Drink now and over the next 6 to 8 years.
Also declared a "sleeper of the vintage" by Robert Parker, this delectably mouth-filling wine offers blackberry and currant fruit well-seasoned with mocha and cocoa notes. Muscular tannins are grippy but well-integrated with the fruit, and the freshness of the tannins promises excellent aging ability. Best from 2014 through 2022, but drinking quite well now with 30-45 minutes in the decanter. A super value in a fine Bordeaux. — Ben Giliberti