An Epic Fantasy Novel - from the Writer of Red Wine Please!

SUBSCRIBE!

If you would like to be notified of new posts please enter your email address

FBFPowered by ®Google Feedburner

Travel Spots

Previous Posts

A Great Value in 2012 Bordeaux: Chateau Lestage from Montagne Saint-Émilion

chateau_lestage_logo_mseWe’ve said it many times before, one of our favorite things to do is buy Bordeaux from great vintages.  We buy the lesser heralded Chateaux, and most are not included in the ranks from the Classification of 1855, which grouped the wine producers of Bordeaux into ordered tiers of quality (you can read more about that by clicking here).  In great vintages they all make excellent wine, and still the prices for most of Bordeaux are very reasonable.  You don’t have to spend $1000 on a First Growth to drink great Bordeaux.

That said, it is also generally true that a lot of producers make very good to excellent wine even in average vintage years overall.  These are always out there, waiting to be discovered.  We’re going to tell you about one today, from Bordeaux, and from the 2012 vintage.  This was considered a good year, but not a great one.  The wine for today is a pretty great value, and would be worthy of any year including the great ones.

We’ll journey to the Right Bank of Bordeaux for this wine.  Almost entirely on the north banks of the Dordogne River, the Libournais surrounds the town of Libourne, and stretches to the north – northeast, with Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac also included to the west. Grouped here are several Appelation d’Origine Contrôlées, or AOCs, which designate a specific area of premium wine production in France.  You’ve probably heard of several from the Libournais, such as St. Émilion and Pomerol.  The Chateau Cheval Blanc drunk from a paper bag at the end of the movie Sideways is from St. Émilion, right on the border with Pomerol.  Classic wines like Petrus, Le Pin and Lafleur hail from Pomerol, and can run you in excess of $2000 for a 750 ml bottle.  Here Merlot is the prominent grape, mixed with Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon, or by itself (actually Cheval Blanc is generally more Cab Franc than Merlot, but that is the exception).  A map of the region is shown below.

st-emilion-map-legendmap_saint_emilion_mainAs the map shows, just west of Montagne St. Émilion is Pomerol, with St. Émilion proper to the south.  Here the land is hilly, and somewhat higher in elevation.  The soil composition is quite similar to Pomerol, and thus the basic material for great lestage_back-1-of-1-9wines is in place.  Chateau Lestage is an 18.5 hectare vineyard and Chateau on the highest hill in the area, with over 15 hectares being planted to Merlot.  The vines soak in the sun all day, and the elevation brings winds carrying breezes from the sea.

Chateau Lestage produces two wines from the Montagne St. Émilion property.  One is the Chateau Lestage, the other Tage de Lestage.  We have the Chateau Lestage 2012, a 100% Merlot wine.  The 2012 Tage, which we unfortunately do not have a sample of, is a blend  of 70% Merlot, 20% Cab Franc, 5% Cab Sauvignon and 5% Malbec.  The only missing classic Bordeaux varietal from the Tage is Petit Verdot.  Let’s see what we thought.

img_2046Wine:  2012 Chateau Lestage  

Winery Location:   Montagne St. Émilion

Tasted By:    Neil & Cheri            Date:  August 2016 

Tasting Notes:     – this is a dark red, tending toward ruby, and brilliant.  The nose is rich, with a core of berry fruit nuanced with chocolate and vanilla.  On the palate the berries are wonderful, and the wine is surprisingly full bodied and rich.  It’s very long.  Tannins build slowly throughout, and are well integrated.  This is really delicious, will last another 5-8 years easily and is drinking very well right now.  You could easily believe this is from a highly rated Chateau, or from one of the “great” Bordeaux vintages (e.g. 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010).

Price Point –    Suggested retail is about $22.  We happen to know you can get it online for $16.99 at http://www.liquorama.net.  Wine-searcher lists it at $16.99 as well at various shops in California.

Would We Buy It?    absolutely.  This is an excellent bottle of Bordeaux for $30, never mind $16.99.  This is great value and we’re adding this to our Value List.

So when should you buy Bordeaux?  We firmly believe that the best time is during a great vintage, but not the big names if

Montagne St. Emilion

Montagne St. Emilion

you are looking for value.  That said, this wine is a clear indication that great wines, and great value wines, occur all the time.  So maybe the answer is that you should buy Bordeaux whenever you find one worth it.  Take our word for it, this wine is more than worth it.  We can’t wait to see more from Chateau Lestage.

A votre santé!

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>