Our friend, owner Francois Nony, just keeps raising the bar at Caronne! A perennial winner, his 2010 has a nice bit of blackcurrant in the nose, with well-integrated, ripe tannins. There are attractive Medoc earth flavors that carry through into a long and elegant finish. (tasted twice including once at the chateau)-- CW Wine Staff (April 2011)
Listrac's deep gravel soils rival the best of the Haut-Médoc, and this prominent Listrac château makes its wine to a classified growth standard, with the flavors of new oak well-integrated into this dark purple, powerful wine.-- Ben Giliberti
Climens is a wine with a strong and heady character: every deed and every gesture involved in our complex trade as winemakers is aimed tirelessly at attaining this objective: finding that particular grace every year that is the signature of Climens, beyond the differences in vintages, and with which so many passionate wine lovers have fallen in love.
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.
Made from Merlot (75%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), and Malbec (5%) planted on clay-limestone terraces close to Saint Emilion, this wine delivers a palate impression well above its official pedigree and price. It is produced by Jean-Luc Thunevin, the owner of the legendary St. Emilion Premier Cru Classe Château Valandraud. Jean-Luc is also the self-confessed "Bad Boy" of Bordeaux, who believes that quality and value should trump official classification, regardless of the price. The 2012 Château Lafont Fourcat exudes the powerful, yet rich fruit of the 2012 Right Bank Bordeaux. Jean-Luc has skillfully integrated into the palate impression notes of smoky vanilla obtained by aging a portion of the wine in new oak barrels. This wine is pure, deeply fruity, supple – and an absolute steal at $11.99. -Ben Giliberti
Back when most Bordeaux estates were yanking out white grapes in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Château Thieuley owner Francis Courselle bucked the trend by increasing his acreage of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The freshness of the just released 2012 Thieuley Blanc makes it a perfect summer sipper, as well as a splendid match for fish, poultry, and light meats cooked on the outdoor grill. The crisp, lemony notes of Sauvignon Blanc play harmoniously with the ripe, juicy, fruit flavors of Sémillon. Gentle lees stirring provides a touch of summer spice on the finish.
"This blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc displays loads of power, structure and impressive density. The color is a healthy dark ruby/purple, and the wine offers up notes of black fruits, charcoal and forest floor. It is full-bodied and moderately tannic, but the low acidity and alcohol levels give it a certain accessibility. This is a sleeper of the vintage in Pomerol and possibly the best wine I have tasted from this estate. Give it several years of bottle age and drink it over the following 12-15 years."91+ points — Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
This delicious white, from white wine master and enology professor Denis Dubourdieu, has bright and tangy flavors of lemon-zest and grapefruit, with a very long and focused finish that ends with a nice bit of minerality. It should age nicely, if you can wait! (tasted three times including once with Denis Dubourdieu himself)-- CW Wine Staff (April 2011)
Finis Terrae was conceived, designed, and built by Chile's masterful Cousiño-Macul winery to go head-to-head with the First Growths of Bordeaux and Napa Valley. With the just-released 2010 Finis Terrae, a breakthrough vintage for this wine, it has become a remarkably good impersonator of La Mission Haut-Brion, at 1/20th the price. It is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Syrah (a clever addition to the traditional Bordeaux cépage, which has given Finis Terrae the last bit of LMHB-like richness it needed to complete the picture). The wine is aged for 15 months in a combination of Seguin Moreau, Taransaud, Demptos and Saury French oak (55% new). What jumps out first and foremost is the cedary, plummy fruit, accented by very Graves-like notes of scorched earth, damp forest floor, and minerality. Supple and amazingly sophisticated for the price, the 2010 Finis Terrae, while immensely enjoyable now, has the structure and balance to age gracefully for an additional 7 to 10 years. Decant one-half hour before serving.