Vintage Comes Early

16 Nov

The 2009 vintage brings wines that are enjoyed much earlier than usual for Bordeaux vintages. These recommendations can be popped and poured as soon as you get it home but they will improve with a little time either in the glass or under the stairs.

2009 Château Lestruelle is from a typical Cru Bourgeois of this vintage – lots of fruit amidst solid structure so that you could have a steak – it is principally merlot with cabernet sauvignon. Not a big wine. Pick up a bottle, #295840 $18.95,  let it breathe – one-two-three – a bit and compare to your favorite cab blend.

Another Bordeaux that breaks the price barrier and will bring pleasure is the 2009 Château La Gravette Lacombe (#295808 $19.95). This wine is a little more structured and restrained than the one above. If there’s one complaint I hear about Bordeaux is that it isn’t as ‘fat’ as most cabernet/merlot blends that we taste in the New World. If ‘fat’ is what you’re used to, opt out of Bordeaux and into California or Australia.

Staying close to home, let’s focus on the great 2010 vintage in Niagara. Do you remember that summer? You do? Then you got married, had a kid, or separated/divorced – because it wasn’t that memorable for the rest of us. It did produce some pretty great reds, including the 2010 Peninsula Ridge A.J. Lepp Vineyards Reserve Merlot (#299222 $19.95). Now, I usually find Bordeaux grape reds from Niagara i.e. merlots and cabernets (franc et sauv), a bit green due to not enough heat, I believe. But this vintage allowed the grapes to mature and ripen fully. If you’ve decided against Niagara reds, try this and tell me if this changes your impression.

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