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One of the few Bordeaux estates to be certified Organic (since 2002), Château de Bellevue has 12 hectares of Merlot and Cabernet Franc on limestone and clay near Saint-Emilion. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermentations are with wild yeasts and the wine is bottled without fining or filtration. The 2008 has a dark ruby robe with a touch of bricking on the meniscus. A bit circumspect aromatically upon opening, but a quick decant (this has a touch of sediment) offers aromas of black currant, crushed herbs, and cigar box. The palate is dry, punchy, and racy with brambly hedge fruit flavors and a long, savory, mineral finish. John McIlwain
Château Cru Godard’s vines grow on southerly exposed hillsides adjacent to the Saint-Emilion appellation and geographically closer to Bergerac than to the city of Bordeaux. The wine is fermented by indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks and is then matured 50% in tank and 50% in used barriques that have seen two passages. The 2015 has a dark ruby robe. The nose offers aromas of sweet black fruits, tobacco, and cocoa. The mid-weight palate has soft flavors of black cherry, cassis, blackberry, and coffee framed by savory earth notes and fine-grained tannins. This has good sap and good freshness and cries out for hanger steak with red wine shallot sauce or lamb chops grilled pink on the inside. John McIlwain
Made from organically-farmed 70 % Merlot, 20% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon in clay-limestone soils. Fermented in concrete with native yeasts and aged in tank and used barriques. The 2016 Grand Launay Côtes de Bourg has a dark purple robe. The expressive nose offers aromas of blackberry, cassis, and violets and a faint hint of cedar. The ripe mid-weight palate offers plummy dark fruit and ripe blackberry flavors with notes of bramble and cedar. This has nice acidity and fine-grained tannins and excellent depth for its class. John McIlwain
It's always a pleasure to drink a good Bordeaux such as Château La Grolet’s Tête de Cuvée, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec; it has complex fruit with deep savory layers not clouded by new oak and is certified biodynamic. The nose is dense with intense notes of fruit liqueur - strawberries and dark cherries with hints of red currants followed by turned earth and resinous herbs. The palate is firm and elegant with smooth tannins and fair acidity, showing more of a floral tone of violets and slight notes of leather. After some time open the wine begins to reveal itself; dark red fruit with figs, strong herbal character, and more pronounced florals with delicate tannins. An exciting Bordeaux that could pair well with leaner steak, pork chops on the grill, or savory chicken dishes.
This is a delicious wine from a small biodynamic estate in Fronsac, next to Pomerol and St. Emilion. A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine displays a bouquet of ripe dark plums, crunchy cassis, tobacco, purple floral, and herbs de provence notes. With bright acidity and grippy tannins, the wine has a good complexity and persistent finish. Drink this wine now with braised duck, lamb shoulder, beef stew, or nutty blue cheese. You may also cellar the wine for several years (+5 years). Caroline Coursant
What a beautiful fresh Bordeaux! Certified organic since 2012, this estate has been making outstanding wines since the beginning, showing the expertise of the Clauzel family and superb terroir. This 2014 wine (a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is elegant and vibrant with a gorgeous bouquet of black and red berries, plum, exotic spices, leather and cedar box notes. On the palate, the wine is bright with acidity and minerality, and shows supple tannins with a long fresh finish. This is a vibrant Bordeaux which can accompany casual to fancy meals. Pair this wine with hamburgers, seared lamb, or with more elaborate dishes, such as roast beef or braised duck. A delicious wine to drink now or cellar for a few years. Caroline Coursant
The Clauzel family does not disappoint with this vintage! This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, planted on sandy gravelly soils and aged for about 15 months in barrels. Elegant and classic, the nose displays aromas of dark plum, crunchy cassis, prunes, nutmeg, light tobacco, dried violet petals and leather notes. On the palate, the wine is luscious and vibrant with good acidity, beautiful minerality and supple tannins. The finish is long with a delicate bouquet. A delicious Saint-Emilion to drink now or cellar for +10 years. Pair this wine with roast beef, grilled steak, nutty cheese or roasted lamb. Caroline Coursant
Who said that no S02 red wine can't be classicly structured and delicious! L'Essai is mostly Merlot (90%) with a touch of Cabernet Franc (10%), planted on sandy gravelly soils. Aged for 15 months with no added sulfur, this wine showcases a beautiful structure of good acidity, light tannin and superb minerality while displaying a freshness of aromas, quite unique for this appellation. With a bouquet of juicy red berry, tart black plum, rose petals, white pepper, crushed rock and green tobacco, the wine is vibrant with its complex flavors lingering deliciously on the finish. Pair this wine with hamburgers, steak tartare or a plate of charcuterie and cheese. Caroline Coursant
Le Colombier de la Métairie is Maison Blanche's second label. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from about 45-year-old vines located in Montagne, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and Libourne. The soils are clay-based, with a subsoil of limestone and gravel. Fermented with native yeast, the wine is aged for 15 months in cement vats and old barrels with minimal sulfur added before bottling.
This biodynamically farmed wine is mostly Merlot (87%) with Cabernet Franc (13%). Showing off the terroir of gravelly and sandy clay soils, the wine is luscious and fresh with an energy unique to Pomerol. New oak is used but not in excess and sulfur is minimally added.
This year's Quintessence from the famille Hubert's estate in the Cotes de Bordeaux is composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from beautiful biodynamically farmed vines on clay limestone soils. The nose is dense and ripe on opening, showing ripe cassis, blackberry and raspberry, with hints of warming spice. With time open, the wine shows increasingly complex aromatic qualities, with more tobacco and earth coming through by hour 4 or 5. On the palate, the fruit is again ripe and dense, with cassis liqueur, ripe blackberry, and black cherry balanced by bristly tannins and limestone minerality on the long finish. After some time open, the palate leans more towards cacao and earth, but the ripe fruit remains dominant. A pleasure now with butter basted rib eye steak or roast beef, it will certainly improve over the next 10 to 15 years for drinking with lighter fare. Ben Fletcher
Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, good value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the rich clay soils in which it is grown, there's ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat or sipped on its own. Amanda Bowman
What's atypical about this delicious wine? It's a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc rather than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, giving the wine a more supple palate and quite different fruit character. The 2017 has lovely, deep blackberry and cassis aromas with red currant, cassis and cherry on the supple, lush palate, with hints of earth and smoke. More "forward" than most Bordeaux, this versatile wine will pair beautifully with almost any beef, pork or lamb dish and is a fabulous value!
Didier Michaud works 1.7 hectares in the Medoc with 30 to 100 year-old vines on limestone with thin soils of clay with sand and stones. He has old vines of Merlot Queue Rouge and massale selection Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed organically with just a little compost and shallow plowing. Vinification with wild yeasts, no extraction and usually no added sulfur. This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux. The 2016 vintage is wonderfully balanced, a wine both fleshy and tense at the same time. Ripe notes of cassis, blackberry, black cherry and plum are framed by lively acidity and herbaceous tones of blackcurrant leaf and slight menthol. This wine also displays a mineral edge, with graphite and wet stones present on the long and persistent finish. Perfect with a hamburger or a leaner steak, the 2016 Planquette is drinking very well now, but will surely improve with five to ten years in the cellar.