RKS Wine:  Red Bordeaux Trio

  1. Chateau Larroque 2018 Bordeaux Supérieur $15.95 (84)

Be forewarned at 62 degrees Fahrenheit the wine is flabby so try to bring it down to 55 degrees which is what your refrigerated cellar temperature should be. The nose is primarily black fruit with some plum and mocha all sitting on a pool of kirsch. On the palate the tannins are soft but a bit of pepper on the finish. There is cherry and overly ripe strawberries. Definitely drinkable but mundane and boring which unfortunately rather summarizes 90% of the wines on the shelves of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Their buyers are asleep at the wheel boring consumers to death. Is there no daring and chutzpah at the LCBO? Yawn! A falling asleep wine. Jamessuckling.com gives this a 91. Give me a break. Wineflation seems to be the Suckling game. And the Liquor Control Board of Ontario loves it as does the pay to play cadre. Quite frankly are there other wine writers that the LCBO recognizes other than Suckling at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario “media control centre”?

(Château Larroque 2018 AC Bordeaux Supérieur, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 92536, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine Rating 84/100).

  • Château de Marsan 2018 Cadillac-Côtes de Bordeaux (84)

The wine is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The label says open the bottle an hour prior to serving but I think after you open it up then pour into a decanter/carafe to let it breath. Simply opening up a bottle doesn’t facilitate the flow of air to the wine. If you are searching for a top-quality wine above the “usual” you will not find it in this wine. It is a respectable wine without a wow factor. But again isn’t that the case with 95% of wines you buy?

On the nose immediately one notices a high-test alcohol wine at 14.5%. Is this Australia?  Black cherry, blueberry, licorice and red plum. Fine grain tannins with acidity to perfection. The finish is dilute. Again the LCBO obsession with Suckling as they include a Suckling rating of 90. My experience is that there is always a minimum 3-point inflation in a Suckling rating. I give this an 84. There are 7 Bordeaux reds in the LCBO August 13, 2022 Vintages release and 5 are Suckling ratings. Give me a break. Could it possibly be Suckling ratings are inflated so they can be used to sell wine? My God are wine writers pimps! No way! Right?

(Château de Marsan 2018 Cadillac-Côtes de Bordeaux, Confrier Freres, Gironde, France, $17.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 46245, 750 mL, 14.5 %, RKS Wine Rating 84/100).

  • Château Haut-Mazières 2019 Bordeaux (86)

A blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Cabernet Franc which has aged 12 months in oak. On the nose loads of black cherry and blueberry all rather dense and sleepy. On the palate expect a brief clash with muscular tannins but it is only momentary and edifies the structure of the wine. Quite frankly this is a burly if somewhat explosive wine but not a cheap thrill. Put another way a well-made wine that can lift beef and lamb to stellar heights. Yes this is a foodie wine. And cheapest of the three I find it to be the best.

(Château Haut-Maziéres 2019 AC Bordeaux, Caves de Rauzan, France, $14.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 487546, 750 mL, 13.5%, RKS Wine Rating 86/100).


Bordeaux reds usually do far better than the three reviewed here. Those wines are drinkable but certainly not the hidden gens for Bordeaux reds I have tried in the past.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" 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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