As for Bordeaux reds there is, as far as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario goes, a decent supply available at reasonable prices and you are almost assured good quality wines. You can spend a bundle for the “first growths” upwards and beyond $1,000 a bottle but you can be parsimonious and spend in the mid twenties.
Our first Bordeaux baby is a Château Pierre de Montignac 2015 from Médoc. The Médoc region is made up of two appellations. One is called the Medoc which is the appellation closest to the Atlantic Ocean and the other is the Haut-Médoc.
On the nose this Médoc has notes of blueberry, cherry, blackberry and a wee bit of coffee. I get the impression this is one of those tightly wound French reds. Although the tannins are noticeable they are mild indicating the fine is not suitable for any serious ageing. On the palate there is some juiciness but the fruit is so well hidden one is left with a dusting of tannins on the mouth but little fruit. Bordeaux’s often are very parsimonious with noticeable fruit but this wine has almost none on the palate. The finish is bland. Personally I’d stay away from this one. You can do better in Bordeaux.
(Château Pierre de Montignac 2015, Cru Bourgeois, AP Médoc, Earl de Montignac, Civrac, Médoc, France, AP Médoc, $25.95, LCBO # 437954, 13%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me so Rating 84/100).
Not off to a good start with Bordeaux and I am both disappointed and surprised. Hopefully with a Château Le Cap 2018 from the Côtes de Blaye region we can remediate that situation. The wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of wines in Côtes de Blaye are Merlot and it is here if you look carefully and know your producers you can snap up some excellent Bordeauxs at an attractive price. This region is across the Gironde River almost directly opposite Médoc.
On the nose Santa Rosa plum, black cherry, blackberry, beets with a hint of Café Americano. On the palate the tannins are mild. This wine is stubbornly traditionally tight on its fruit or perhaps I am just caught in the past. I pick up some terrified of exposure blackberry, black cherry and loganberry. This is not a wine you open up and immediately pour and drink. It I so shy it needs some decanting to combat its shyness. I also think it needs a couple more years in the bottle and that a traditional Bordeaux red of a few decades ago when immediate accessibility was not favoured by consumers. There is possibility of sophistication if you age this a couple of more years. I think this would go well with roast duck and potatoes that have been cooked with the duck.
(Château Le Cap 2018, AC Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, Vignobles Carreau, Cars, France, $17, LCBO 11838, 14%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me so Rating 90/100).
Here is hoping the last Bordeaux makes up for the lacklustre first. It is Château Corbin Montagne 2015 and it is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon.
On the nose a rich black cherry and red plum rule the roost. Strong secondary notes of blueberry. On the palate is that this is a bit high on the alcohol of 14.5%.for a Bordeaux and this is because recent retaliatory tariffs on French wine imposed by the US on certain European wines do not kick in if the wine has a greater than 14% alcohol content! The tariffs were imposed by the Trump administration in retaliation of certain European governments subsidizing Airbus manufacturing. In my view the high alcohol of the wine distorts the fruit or possibly even obfuscates it. The underlying fruit of black cherry and blackberry is almost completely buried by the alcohol. You could get away with this in Australia but it just doesn’t work in this case. Save this one for your next chunk of goat or bowl of goat stew. Drink now. Please forgive me but you can always try this wine and see if you agree with me that its potential may have been ruined by an attempt to enter the US market without a 25% tariff slapped on it.
(Château Corbin Montagne 2015, AC Montagne Saint-Émilion, bottled in the Château by Maison Tanase, Le Bouscat, France, $25.95, LCBO # 17481, 14.5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me so Rating 85/100)
A very disappointing wine