Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2006 Chateau Lestrille Bordeaux Superieur - Superieur Indeed!

Another absolute gem from the people at Planet Bordeaux. This red blend is from Bordeaux Superieur, an appellation in the Bordeaux region of France. I know it may sound confusing but think of it this way, the geographic area of Bordeaux is the same as Bordeaux Superieur. The differences start with the age of the vines, and also includes the length of aging a wine receives and it's minimum alcohol content. Therefore it is safe to assume that if you see a label that says Bordeaux Superieur AOC, you're getting a more refined, ambitious wine. For a more detailed explanation, click here to visit the Bordeaux AOC website. Another good discussion of differences is found at the Planet-Bordeaux website.

(img copyright Beau Carufel 2011)

Great color, like a dark ruby with that quintessentially aged-wine look. Bordeaux can start dark, as evidenced in the Chateau Feret-Lambert that I tasted last week. The 2006 Chateau Lestrille on the other hand, has lost the almost purple color and moved towards something...searching for the word..classier! Merlot followed by cabernet sauvignon make up this blend, or at least that is what I was able to find out. There could of course be three other varietals mixed in.

I got whiffs of tobacco and leather, cassis and sweet black cherry. Ripe but restrained, lovely finish. Silky smooth tannins tell me this is drinking at its peak. Everything is so nicely integrated especially considering the price. Sure, this won't compare to a 2005 Chateau Leoville-Las Cases but let's be realistic. We're tasting inexpensive wines from Bordeaux that end up delivering in spades, more so than the typical $11 wine from California.

After spending about an hour open and being passed through my Vinturi, the Ch. Lestrille was loaded with darker flavors. Ever chewed on your baseball glove as a kid? Check! How about gnawing for a brief moment on a cinnamon stick because you thought it tasted as awesome as it smelled? There in spades! Have you been fortunate to taste freshly made plum jelly? There's that here too! Were you one of those kids who ate some bittersweet chocolate and hadn't developed a taste for it yet? I found a strong vein of that nearly-raw cocoa running right through this wine. Wonderfully complex with some silky but firm tannins creating the wine's backbone.

No flavor overwhelmed another, the balance was impressive considering you can find this wine for about $11 on the internet. 2006 was by most accounts a good year and with a bit of bottle age, I think the Chateau Lestrille shows how wines from Bordeaux start to mature. In its youth I can imagine a tannic monster loaded with clove, cinnamon and leather..And not much else. Now, flavors calm down, integrate, and balance out. Utterly delightful Bordeaux, one I give a B+ and a hearty BUY recommendation to. I'd suggest pairing with roast beef, glazed pork and/or ham, and cured meats like salami or sopressata. If you think of any fun, interesting pairings, be sure to post them in the comments section!

This wine was recieved as a sample from Planet Bordeaux via Balzac Communications

Beau Carufel

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