While the widely-heralded 2009 classified growths and famous chateaus of Bordeaux are still a little ways off, the Petite Chateau wines have arrived and are a great indicator of the quality of the vintage, and are amazing values, to boot.
Vintage has a strong influence over the wines from the old world, and especially in Bordeaux, where prices can fluctuate wildly from vintage to vintage. Robert Parker declared, “2009 may turn out to be the finest vintage I have tasted in 32 years of covering Bordeaux.”
2009 Chateau de Macard
Chateau de Macard is located in the village of Pessac sur Dordogne , 95 meters above the river, facing south. The soil is exceptional and unique to the area, it has all the components to make a great wine including limestone to give minerals and retain acidity, gravel to give elegance and clay to give power.
The Aubert family has been established in the Saint Emilion and Dordogne region for 250 hundred years and own several properties in and around the Saint Emilion region, including the venerable Grand Cru Classé Chateau La Couspaude. Amélie Aubert with the help of her father Alain and lifelong friend Michel Rolland, is the sixth-generation winemaker for the family owned Chateaux.
The 2009 Château de Macard Bordeaux Supérieur is an absolutely delicious wine and perfect example of an everyday red from the region — a category for which Bordeaux has not been known for recently.
“Ripe and dense, but fresh, with silky-textured plum, blackberry and blueberry fruit carried by sweet spice and maduro tobacco notes. The fleshy finish shows nice drive. Should open up more with brief cellaring. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.”
—Wine Spectator, 90 points
Suggested retail: $12-15 dollars (US)
[EDITED 2/29/12 - This wine is sold out]
2009 Chateau Tassin
From one of the most ancient medieval towns of the region, Rions, the vineyard of Chateau Tassin falls away sharply on slopes which dominate the area. 46 hectares of vines are situated in the valley of the Garonne river, of which 43 hectares are dedicated to red , rose and claret wine, and 3 hectares to white wine.
Composed of roughly 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from 16-year old vines, this little beauty shows little oak influence, and instead is all about the plush Merlot fruit backed up with a hearty dollop of Cabernet structure.
The 2009 Chateau Tassin is also available in 3-Liter Wineberry Box format.
Suggested retail: $15
2009 Chateau Aimée
Proof that there is value to be found on the left-bank of Bordeaux as well, Chateau Aimée is a gem discovered at Vinexpo 2011. After tasting through literally hundreds, if not thousands, of wines Aimée was a welcome, refreshing surprise.
Aimée is a juicy blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet, which is a bit unusual for a left-bank wine. The relatively large helping of Merlot gives this wine a great sense of fruit, and the Cabernet keeps everything in check with solid tannin and structure. Perhaps the most unusual thing about this wine is that it retails for around $20, not something easily found on this side of the river!
While you wait for your 2009 futures to arrive, these Petite Chateaux from the same heralded vintage are readily available for your enjoyment now. Dig in.