Tagged Bordeaux, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Chateau Andron, Cordier, Legume Bistro, Merlot, Paris 66, Stagioni
Cordier’s Chateau Andron 2009 has a lot going for it. It is from the highly respected Medoc region within Bordeaux AND this vintage is considered by many to be one of the best in memory! Bordeaux wines are some of the most famous in the world, and pricing can be very high – indeed some of the top Bordeaux wines fetch prices that would make most people wince in financial pain, and even then many of the wines must be held for years before proper enjoyment can take place. However, the Bordeaux region also produces countless wines, priced for the ‘rest of us’ that are approachable from a price and taste standpoint. Cordier is a well-known Bordeaux trading house with history dating back to the 1800s, and although Cordier carries a number of very highly regarded (and priced) wines, their vineyard connections and wine-making expertise is not lost on their more affordable wines, such as the Chateau Andron.
In the glass Chateau Andron is a deep garnet color and the nose exhibits dark fruit notes with a pleasant, perfume-like character. Upon tasting, the Andron’s density is immediately apparent, and this blend of 50% Cabernet, 48% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc is more weighty than expected at this price point – not thick in viscosity, but dense in flavor. I enjoy the blend of earthy, savory notes with the sweet, dark fruit flavors – and the balance of these is clearly successful, with the flavors flowing evenly through the finish with no sharp edges or disappointing harshness (aspects that could be present in a less well made wine or perhaps a lesser vintage). This wine is good – and especially good at the reasonable $30-ish price point in three local restaurants (list below).
To my knowledge, these are the three local restaurants that carry Chateau Andron Medoc 2009
Legume Bistro http://legumebistro.com/
Paris 66 http://www.paris66bistro.com/
Tagged Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, Robert Mondavi, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Siblings
The Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Margaret River 2011 (PLCB Code: 38935 $16.99) is comprised of 73% Sauvignon Blanc and 27% Semillon, which is similar to the traditional Bordeaux Blanc blend. And the Siblings is a tasty example of how well these two varietals work together. Many American wine fans have little experience with the citrusy intensity of Semillon, so I am hopeful that as many as possible can taste this blend.
The nose is light and citrusy. Tasting the wine brings an immediate burst of lime, citrus and grapefruit, with some undercurrent tropical fruit flavors, followed by a surprisingly long and refreshing, mineral-tinged finish. None of the flavors seem out of balance, which to me makes the wine all the more interesting and inviting. I tasted the wine with a smoked salmon and crab dish – and the fresh acidity of the Siblings provided a fine counter to the richness of the salmon and crab. I would pair this fresh white wine with a variety of fish dishes, or light fare – but the intensity of flavor makes it interesting enough to sip by its self.
Leeuwin Estate is situated a few hours drive south of Perth, in the far southwest corner of West Australia, in a region known as Margaret River. Margaret River region is known for its 130+ wineries, some of them dating back to the 1970s and known mainly for turning traditional French grape varietals into high quality wines. Leeuwin Estate was one of the earliest wine estates to settle in the rolling Margaret River terrain during the 1970s, aided by an American wine consultant named Robert Mondavi – things have worked out very well since then, as evidenced by a trail of award winning wines including the Art Series Chardonnay. Not long ago, while visiting my Australian Cousin/Architect/Pittsburgh Steeler Fan in Perth, I was fortunate enough to visit Leeuwin Estate and taste their wines while taking in the views and warmth of their stunning location – I encourage anyone to visit Leeuwin if traveling in West Australia! (leeuwinestate.com.au)