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A Pair of Affordable Bordeaux for Now and Later

I decided to rectify the absence of Bordeaux on this blog by asking Mark at MacArthur Beverages for a pair of recommendations.  He had quite a variety to pick from so I opted for two affordable bottles.  The 2009 Chateau de Chantegrive, Graves has roots with the Leveque family who have been acquiring plots since 1966.  Today they have 96 hectares of vines making them the largest estate in Graves.   The vines are planted on soils of pebbles mixed with fine sand.   I would like to think this soil contributes to the mineral infused cool black fruit.  This bottle was more open on the nose  with the flavors still revealing their supportive structure.  I recommend cellaring this for another year.  The modern history of 2009 Chateau La Prade, Francs – Cotes de Bordeaux is shorter as the estate was purchased by Nicolas Thienpont in 2000.   That short history does come with vineyards of old vines.  Half of the six hectare vineyard has soils with small shells and the other half limestone with clay and iron.  This bottle proved to be the more forward of the two.  It had a meaty nose with more weight and ripe texture in the mouth.  Both of these bottles showed an herbaceous/greenhouse note with controlled fruit, good acidity, and balanced structure.  You cannot go wrong with either choice so pick what sounds best to you.   These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Chateau de Chantegrive, Graves – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 25 year old vines.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in 50% new oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was aromatic with deep plummy notes.  In the mouth there were delineated flavors moving between cool black and greenhouse notes to  to tart red.  The cool black fruit continued with, minerals, acidity on the tongue, and nice tannins.  The structure became more evident with air.  This had good flavor that made for a bit of a seductive aftertaste.  **(*) 2015-2024.


2009 Chateau La Prade, Francs – Cotes de Bourdeaux – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is 100% Merlot sourced from vines averaging 40 years of age.  It was fermented in cement tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation then 15 months of aging in 60% new French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose revealed blue fruits, greenhouse, and meaty aromas.  In the mouth there was a rounded start with a little greenhouse note.  It had a red cranberry middle with integrated acidity making for a round presence.  The flavors became blacker in the finish with a touch more weight.  With air lots of ripe texture complemented the well-balanced flavors and good acidity.  *** Now-2024.


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