RKS Wine: Château Puybarbe from Côtes de Bourg: Example of Out of Whack Acid

Côtes de Bourg has been long known as a bit of an affordable gem for Bordeaux reds. Will this $15.95 2019 Château Puybarbe fall into this category?

It is a blend of 76% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

The nose presents black cherry, blackberry and blueberry with a forceful frontal assault. On the palate the acidity is excessive. One expects a degree of smoothness with the high Merlot percentage. Well if there is that smoothness granted by Merlot the acidity robs it of that. The acidity is not rampant but subtle enough to notice it with a trained palate. It is too bad you are not here now so we could have a lesson in the fine prickling to the tongue that acidity brings. Of course, you could buy a bottle have a glass and find out for yourself. Wine education could use some tutoring as to what constitutes an off wine. I often use wine in cooking instead of tossing it. However bear in mind the adage don’t cook with what you won’t drink. This will be returned for a refund. As an aside leftover red wine is great in pasta sauces, chili con carne, ragouts and beef stews. White wine in risottos, orzo-based dishes and many pasta sauces where you have no red wine!

Many wine drinkers can’t identify excessive acidity and are reluctant to return to the seller. Understandable but the way I see it how can “sophisticated” wholesale buyers let this happen?

(Château Puybarbe 2019, AP Côtes de Bourg, Château Puybarbe, Mombrier, France, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 22945, 750 mL, 14.5%, RKS Wine Rating 58/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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