Château de Bel-Air, AC Lalande de Pomerol.
I bought this wine more than 2 years ago. I love the 2004 vintage in Bordeaux, and I love searching for great values in the satellite appellations of the Right Bank. I think I've found one here. 75% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, 5% cabernet sauvignon, 5% malbec.
The second wine of Friday's dinner. I wanted another Right Bank wine to accompany the first wine, for comparison purposes. Also interesting, because this wine was about 1/3 the price.
Dark red, great saturation to the rim. Lots of graphite minerality, fragrant black fruits, earthy and pure. Elegant texture, instantly recognizable as a claret. Velvety, and develops natural sweetness as it oxygenated, over 24 hours and decanted. Sweet on the palate, transitioning into a bitter and spicy finish.
I taste more of the malbec, over anything. Interesting. An understated wine - the structure is present, but unobtrusive. The pedigree is there, but lacks the concentration and complexity of a grand wine.
I'm doing an injustice to this wine by opening it so early. Nevertheless, it shows the archetype of Bordeaux. Maybe not Right Bank claret specifically, but the cabernet influence of this wine is very apparent. I keep saying it, but an interesting wine. Learned a lot tonight.