Thursday, July 19, 2012

pulling out an old friend

2004 Château de L'Estang
2004 Château de L'Estang AC Côtes de Castillon

Because I refuse to call it Côtes De Bordeaux: Castillon.

This wine is like an old girlfriend that still makes you tingle a bit down there when you think of her. Ladies, you know what I mean too. You get caught up being busy everyday - work and all that - and you forget to take some time to reconnect with the past. You move on, you make new friends, whatever . . . that doesn't mean old relationships still don't give you a little bit of a thrill. Are we still talking about wine?!

There is no contradiction between Bordeaux and value. It's the big players that get all the attention, but with thousands upon thousands of tiny producers, how can you not find inexpensive, authentic wines from here? And in my opinion, Castillon leads the charge of these wines that are so much more than just value-driven . . . naw, these wines can be absolutely exciting. Like this bottle. This producer plants to about 70% merlot and 30% cabernet franc in the vineyards, and while I'm not completely sure about the final blend, the assemblage should reflect those proportions, with only about 30% aged in new oak. It was already delicious young - the last bottle tasted in May 2009. Even though it was sealed under reconstituted cork, I knew the wine had the structure and fruit to age gracefully. And I was proven right.

This has all the delicacy and purity that merlot can bring, with waves of absolutely delicious sweet fruit on the palate. Finely structured, lots of great energy. This is just one of those wines in full maturity that are simply a joy to have with dinner.

Most of the time, you need to let the past, be in the past. But damn, when you pull these mature wines out . . . you realize that there's still something special about Bordeaux, no matter how humble, or simple the wine might seem. As in life, balance and subtlety are the only things that are everlasting, and never out of style.


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