The wine regions of Bordeaux include a large number of wine growing areas lying within the Gironde department of Aquitaine. The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuary into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves and a Right Bank area which includes Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Lalande Pomerol, and Fronsac. The Médoc is itself divided into sub-regions, among the best known of which are St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St.-Julien and Margaux. Graves includes the sub-regions of Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes, the latter known best for its sweet white dessert wines. All of these regions have their own appellations and are governed by Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée laws which dictate the permissible grape varieties, alcohol level, methods of pruning and picking, density of planting and appropriate yields as well as various winemaking techniques. The permissible grape varieties in red Bordeaux are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. A rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank being more Merlot based, although the ratio varies considerably among different wineries. Most red blends feature some Merlot, and indeed more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon is grown throughout the region.

Red wines from Bordeaux are medium- to full-bodied with aromas of black currant, plums, and earthy notes of wet gravel or pencil lead. When you taste the wines, they burst with mineral and fruit notes that lead into prickly, savory, mouth-drying tannins. The tannins are often high enough that wines will age for several decades.

In 1855, in preparation for an International Exposition, the best red wines of the Médoc were classified into five categories, or “growths,” reflecting their quality and value in the markets of the day. With just two modifications over the years, this classification remains valid and meaningful today, with wines of the first and second growth categories commanding high esteem and high prices. Most of the other red wine regions have since instituted their own classification systems, using terms such as Grand Cru or Cru Exceptionnel. Indeed some of the wines of Graves, Saint-Émilion and Pomerol can compete with the Médoc wines for international prominence and critical acclaim.

This lot contains highly rated wines from several of the subregions of Bordeaux, including some named in the 1855 Médoc classification and others from lesser known appellations. All have at least 10 years of aging and should be at optimal drinkability. This is a truly unique opportunity to experience some of the finest the region can offer!

• 3 – 750 ml 1990 Chateau Montrose Saint-Estephe (2nd Growth 1855);
– WS 94 “Full-bodied and velvety”;
– RP 100 “majestic and opulent”
• 1 – 750 ml 1995 Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Émilion;
– WS 94 “Elegantly structured and packed with flavor”;
– RP 92 “Complex, rich…well-endowed and pure”
• 1 – 750 ml 1997 Chateau La Fleur-Petrus Pomerol
– WS 89 “A solid and well-made wine”;
– RP 89 “sexy, opulently-textured, full-flavored”
• 1 – 750 ml 1999 Chateau Gruaud Larose Saint-Julien (2nd Growth 1855);
– WS 90 “Full-bodied, with plenty of fruit;”
– RP 89 “impressive, powerful”
• 1 – 750 ml 2009 Chateau Fombrauge Saint-Émilion;
– WS 92 “Dense and ripe;”
– RP 92 “a striking level of concentration and length”
•  1 – 750 ml 2009 Clos Fourtet Saint-Émilion;
– WS 94-97 “Very concentrated and velvety, with a lovely texture;”
– RP 100 “stunning aromatics, unctuous texture and an almost inky concentration;”
– WE 95 “Elegant as well as rich, this is a beautiful wine”
• 4 – 750 ml 2009 Chateau La Vieille Cure Fronsac;
– WS 90;
– RP 93 “pure, nicely textured and layered;”
– WE 92
• 1 – 750 ml 2009 Chateau Saint-Pierre Saint-Julien;
– RP 98 “with striking intensity and flamboyantly rich, exuberant flavors;”
– WE 96 “Very densely structured”
• 4 – 750 ml 2009 Le Plus de la Fleur de Boüard (100% Merlot); Cuvée Gaspard Lalande de Pomerol;
– WS 93 “balanced and alluring;”
– RP 96 “extraordinary intensity and length”
• 1 – 750 ml 2009 Chateau Beauséjour Saint-Émilion;
– WS 95 “Focused power;”
– RP 100 “massive, super-concentrated powerhouse”

Donated by:   Shelly and Mike Page and A Friend of Très Bonne Année