No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about our recent foray into the world of the petit chateau lately, and we wouldn’t be so dang outspoken about these wines if we weren’t so excited about the results! Your collective response has been amazing! Putting high-quality Bordeaux into your hands for a very reasonable price has caused a great many to come back and reorder resulting in the nearly sold-out status for 2 of the 4 wines already! There is one more wine of this quartet that we haven’t yet told you all about, until now. In many ways, this could be the most elegant wine of the bunch, the 2009 Château La Fleur Grands Landes.
In a great vintage like 2009, everyone in Bordeaux was blessed with ideal weather. It is in those kind of vintages that the playing field levels a bit, because there’s little need for expense in the vineyard if everything is going fine throughout the season. Some of the off-the-radar producers are capable of making some great wine. We asked for 24 samples, of which 21 were red wines. We chose only 4. The 2009 Château La Fleur Grands Landes is one of them. A little online research does actually reveal a little bit about this chateau, perhaps because it has been in one family since the 1700’s. But a check with WineSearcher.com reveals that TWH is the only merchant in the USA with this wine. Located in the appellation of Montagne St. Emilion, the property is now run by Isabelle Fort and her husband, Jean-Philippe. Jean-Philippe is a former oenology instructor, and is part of Michel Rolland’s viticultural team. The property consists of 7.7 hectares planted on slopes of clay; the average age of the vines is 35 years. The fruit was picked at optimal ripeness levels, all by hand. For the 2009 Château La Fleur Grands Landes, 80% Merlot was used, as well as 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Approximately 20% of the fermented juice is aged in barrel, which imparts a subtle complexity and texture to the wine. When our staff tasted it, we liked a lot about it. It has great aromatics; spicy, dark purple fruit, hints of herbs, forest floor, and tobacco. It enters the palate in a silky, elegant fashion. That’s the word that best sums up this wine: elegant. Its is complex, yet seamless; everything in perfect harmony. The finish is very much like the rest of the package, a harmonious expression of fruit, spice, and tannin, all buoyed by fresh, lively acidity. It’s the most Burgundian of our 4 new value Bordeaux imports.
As reported, we greatly appreciate your response to this concept, and its subsequent offerings. It seems a great many of you appreciate good quality Bordeaux, and are willing to try wines from off-the-radar chateaux; just like our staff! There will be more wines like these coming soon, when they do, we’ll be sure to tell you all about them. In the mean time, if you like elegant, silky red Bordeaux that won’t break the bank, you should try the 2009 Château La Fleur Grands Landes! – PZ