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FRANCE - BORDEAUX
Author: M.A. de la Mata
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REDS DESSERT

BORDEAUX WHITE



1992 Ch de Roquetaillade, Graves Blanc (6/94).
This is one beautiful wine, delicate and floral with a pleasant finish. Made from 32-year old Semillon vines, fermented and aged in 225 litter limousin oak barrels for 6 months. Excellent with seafood and lightly seasoned chicken and fowl.

1992 Ch de Roquetaillade Graves Blanc, Bordeaux ($??)(6/96).
A delicious Semillon wine from Bordeaux. The alcohol, although imperceptible will sneak up on you quickly. Long finish with floral notes.

1993 Chai de Bordes Blanc, Bordeaux.
Flavorful and affordable are the first two thoughts that come to mind when remembering this white wine. It is nice and soft with very good weight and roundness in the palate. Its flavors are of figs and ripe grapes with hints of cinnamon and floral feel. It is a good match for calamary, veal, pastas and chicken, as well as seafoods and salads with a touch of lemon instead of vinegar.

1993 Verdillac White &, Bordeaux.
The white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with a bit of residual sugar in the finish, good fruit and well balanced acidity. Try this wine with pasta, bean soup, lightly cooked pork.

1993 Ch Le Sartre, Graves, Bordeaux ($12.75).
One-dimensional and beginning to fade. Not recommended.

1993 Ch Carbonieux, Grand Cru, Graves ($??)(8/97).
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, unknown wood aging period, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml. Not much aromas, with a citrus palate on the sharp and steely side, one-dimensional, very short finish. NR.

1994 Ch Carbonieux Grand Cru, Graves ($30.00)(8/97).
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, unknown wood aging period, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml. Very nice fruity and herbal aromas, with a denser palate and hints of cotton candy, and azaleas, long finish. Try it with steamed clams, shrimp, filet of sole. HR.

1994 Ch Hostens Picant, Saint-Foy, Bordeaux ($9.75).
A nice and light white made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Very fruity, and drinkable, simple but nicely priced. Recommended.

1994 Chai de Bordes Blanc, Quancard, Bordeaux, $9.99**.
88% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Semillon, no wood aging. This is the quintessential Bordeaux Blanc that you find in many of that areas small restaurants. Deeply fragrant and equally flavorful in the palate, with a nice rounded finish from the Semillon grape that very nicely compliments the herbality of the Sauvignon Blanc texture . Great by itself, or with lighter dishes.

1995 Ch du Juge Blanc, Cadillac, Bordeaux ($7.99).
Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, no wood aging. Spicy and herbal aromas with fruit and mineral notes. Refreshing acidity, balanced with good fruit and mineral flavors. Pleasant finish. Great with seafood, oysters, lobster.

1995 Sacre Bleu Blanc, Mommessin, Bordeaux ($10.99).
70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, no wood, blue bottles! This is an off-dry and very drinkable white Bordeaux, with nice cotton candy aromas and herbal/spice flavors. Interesting and ready to enjoy. Seafood, chicken.

1995 Chai de Bordes Blanc, Bordeaux, ($10.99).
80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon, no wood aging. This wine is by far the best ever under this label. It is beautiful from nose to finish with deeply herbal and fruity nose, and a clean, crisp and balanced fruitful feel in the palate. The finish is medium-long with fleshy fruity flavors. Sushi, sashimi, oysters, shrimp, pastas, salads.

1996 Pavillon Blanc de Ch Margaux, Margaux ($??).
100% Sauvignon Blanc, 6 months in oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Enticing aromas, complex, layered lemon grass, mint, eucalyptus. It offers a textbook continuation of the aromas with expansive richness and enhanced terroir, while finishing in a round creamy note. Easily one of the finest white wines tasted so far in 1997. VHR.


BORDEAUX RED



1959 Ch. Palmer.
As Paul lit the candle and slowly cranked the swivel on the decanting device, I could not help but to feel humbled by the fact that this wine was as old as I am. It was a great experience. the wine displayed amber edges from its age and an elegant and refined feel in the palate. It was quite powerful and pungent with earthy and ripe black fruit aromas followed by layers upon layers of flavors and a finish that sticks with you for nearly half an hour, in spite of my head cold.

1970 Ch. Ducru Beaucaillou, St. Julien (8/94).
This wine was remarkable, still young and ready to last another 10 years. It was velvety smooth and powerful, exciting every single taste bud in the palate. This wine could age well over 7 more years.

1970 Ducru Beaucaillou, St. Julien ($$??)(10/96).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, with 20 months aging in French oak. This wine was elegant and elegant. Clean and well defined red ripe fruit and earthy aromas with a wholesome palate feel without being heavy. Intense long finish with complex nuances of spice, and beefy fruit. It will age well for another 8 -10 years. Highly recommended. Lamb, beef, osso bucco.

1975 Ch Lynch Bages, Pauillac ($150.00).
A very hard to find wine with a shaky rating. This is "the most improved wine in history", according to Bo-Pee. I found it to be a full-bodied wine thru and thru. The aromas are misleading since the first conclusion is that the wine is over the hill. However, in the palate it gives you quite a bit of weight and density. You can almost chew on this wine. Tannins are velvety soft and the acidity is just right. The fruit is fully accessible, although one more year of cellaring would not hurt it one bit. Is it worth it? Shit Yeah! We paired this wine with paella. A bold match with a good outcome, thanks to the Saffron and pimentos in the dish.

1975 Ch Leoville Las Cases, St. Julien ($200.00) (7/97).
67% Cab Sauv, 17% Merlot, 13% Cab Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 18 months in oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Bright cherry aromatics with plum and licorice. Very elegant, indeed, with gentle and complex seamless flavors evolving from one to the next in harmony and beauty. Tannin are soft with mild and balanced acidity (perhaps one the wines exhibiting the best balance I have ever sensed).
O.

1982 Cantenac Brown, Margaux ($ ??)(8/96).
Excellent. Velvety soft tannin, with cassis, nutty cherry and a touch of cinnamon. Ready to drink. Should not be held for more than 1 year. Grilled pork.

1982 Calon Segur, St. Estephe, France ($$??).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot. 18 month in French oak. This wine was young and awesome! Spicy nose of caraway, fennel and cherry. The palate exhibited complex anise, blueberry, plum, tobacco and cedary flavors with nice softening tannin and elegant balance. The finish was long and complex with a prevailing perfumed and spicy feel. Highly recommended. Roast, pork loin.

1983 Ch Beau-Sejour Becot.
Many 1983 Bordeaux that I have tasted seemed near their peak, but this wine was not anywhere close to maturity. It was still tight, a bit closed-in, with well balanced acidity and tannin. It could be cellared for another 5 years before uncorking.

1983 Ch Brane-Cantenac (3/93).
This wine, perhaps signifying the vintage's maladies, was not as profound or exciting as when tasted last a couple of years ago. It exhibited brown-orange edges and a tired nose and palate. It was still a good wine, yet showing signs of rapid aging. Drink 'em if you got 'em.

1983 Ch Brane-Cantenac (5/94).
Intensely earthy aromas, similar to walking into an abandoned "Port-Olet" on the side of the road. Inky and dense, browning edges, fully open. The flavors were intensely earthy, opulent, coffee, ripe black fruit, licorice, spice. Although still dense and dark, the acidity was very low and tannins quite soft.

1983 Ch Haut Brion, Graves, France ($150.00).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, 24 months in French Oak. This was a delicious wine, ready to drink, yet with enough stamina to last another 5 years. It offered ripe and earthy aromas, pungent and elegant. In the palate it had smooth tones of cassis, ripe berries and spice with the distinctive Bordeaux flavors of truffles and roses. This is perhaps one of the best wines that I have tasted this year. Highly Recommended.

1986 Ch de Pez.
This wine requires a few more years before becoming fully open. Still tannic and closed-in. Initially, little aroma emanated from the glass. However, 45 minutes in the glass accompanied by the occasional and ritual swirling and sniffing, worked wonders. Hold it for 2-4 more years, and try again.

1986 Ch. Talbot.
This is a superb Bordeaux wine with bright cherry, plum and tar flavors. Tannins are still high, although smooth and well balanced with its powerful acidity. It should age quite well. Wait another 5-7 years.

1987 Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien ($???).
Delicious, ready to drink provided a period of at least 15 minutes is given to the wine to "open up" a bit. A very nice treat from Mr. T. Burnett that is engraved in my vinous memory. Well balanced, with silky smooth tannin and concentrated plum, fig and tobacco flavors. Very long finish with cassis and nutmeg nuances. Peaking now and good for possibly another 5 years. Lamb.

1988 Ch Reverdi Cru Bourgeois, Listrac-Medoc ($22.99).
50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 24 months in Limousin oak barrels. Elegant aromas of coffee-nut and raspberry, with beautiful palate feel and flavors of nutmeg, vanilla and strawberry. Long elegant and ephemeral finish. Ready to drink. Enjoy over the next 6 years. Filet mignon.

1989 Ch Lynch Bages, Pauillac ($??).
70% Cab Sauv, 15% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 18 monts in oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol, 750 ml bt. I enjoyed the hell out this wine. Although young, earthy and smoky aromas are evident and expanding with time after opening the bottle. The aromas follow in the palate with potent concentration, density and thoroughness. Fine tannin and balanced acidity. Deep currant andt soil flavors, with a very long finish and recurring nuances of cassis, toffee, very complex. VHR. Age for anothe 10 years

1989 Les Ormes de Pez, St. Estephe ($??).
55% Cab Sauv, 35% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, 167 months in oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol, 750 ml bt. Aromas not as evident as one mya expect. The wine has a little ways to go as far as development. However, earthy and rich blueberry aromas started to become evident after 30 minutes, yet a prevailing "wet rock/wet soil" quality was prevalent. The palate was mid to heavy with complexity and layered flavors ranging from tobacco to ripe plum, yet not very coherent, something that in no doubt will resolve with 5 more years of cellaring. VHR.

1989 Tour St. Joseph Cru Bourgeois, Haut Medoc ($NA)**.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 45 year-old vines, 24 months in French oak. I revisited this wine a few days ago to see its progress. It is still nice and tight with a typical Bordeaux character of cedar, plum and tobacco aromas and palate-wise. It may actually improve over the next couple of years. It is another nice little Bordeaux finding that offers a lot of wine for your money. Beef. Recommended.

1989 Ch Potensac, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux ($31.00).
I had to drink my last bottle from my previous shipment, although 4-6 years too early. If you decide to open a bottle of this, the best Potensac ever made, please let it breathe for 1.5 hours before drinking. Decanting may help open it up. It was tight and packed with tannin and roses flavors, as a good Bordeaux should be. The finish was long and pleasant with flavors of raspberry making its way up from the back of your palate. Best with powerful meat dishes and hearty stews.

1989 Ch Cossieu-Coutelin, St. Estephe (4/94).
This wine is fine and elegant. It will age well for the next 5-7 years. Currently it is a bit closed-in nose-wise, but in the palate it is delicious. It displays fine velvety tannins with balanced acidity and flavors. It is concentrated with tobacco, coffee, roses and cherry flavors, a classic St. Estephe. It has depth and complexity that will undoubtfully expand into a profound experience with more bottle aging.

1989 Ch Cossieu-Coutelin, St. Estephe ($23.00)(5/96).
This is a text book St. Estephe, full and chewy with tobacco, cassis, dense blackberry and hints of cedar/cigar box flavors. An approachable Bordeaux, with medium tannin and acidity, a benefit of many 1989 Bordeaux reds. I would pair this wine with generous portions of…yes folks!…you guessed it…MEAT! If you are a vegetarian, you may chew on the cork and perhaps you may get the same feeling…minus the animal fat, of course.

1989 Ch Maucaillou, Moulis, Bordeaux (6/94).
Moulis en Medoc is the wine region to get in your repertoir of medium range wines from Bordeaux. This wine is young, yet approachable. It could be cellared for another 5 years, if you can wait that long. Well made Moulis wines are ALWAYS, exhuberant and full. Maucaillou offered a nice Cabernet nose with roses, blackberries and oak. In the palate it was chewy and flavorfull, with velvety tannin and nice acidity.

1989 Ch Maucaillou, Moulis ($??)(7/97).
58% Cab Sauv, 35% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 24 months in oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Spearmint aromatics with hints of cassis, and ripe red fruit. Palate-wise a bit on the lighter side with undefined focus, yet engulfing palate with rich cassis and spicy speramint. Medium long finish. May need another 5 years before it ripens, although quite low acidity and fine tannin may suggest against its further aging. R.

1989 Ch Maucaillou, Moulis, Bordeaux ($30.99)(7/96).
From one my favorite sub-region in Bordeaux comes this dense and massive red. Gobs of fruit in the aroma and palate, with interesting nuances of cedary and plumy tobacco. The overall fullness of Moulis wines is well represent in this Maucaillou. Wait 7 years. Beef.

1989 Ch Tour St. Joseph, Haut-Medoc.
This delicious wine is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The grapes are from 40+ year old vines. The wine is aged in 50% new oak for 20 months. It has medium-low acidity and velvety tannins, lots of up-front fruit and a variety of flavors that make the finish a memorable one. A great wine for red meats, game, stews or just by itself.

1989 Ch Montrose, St. Estephe ($??).
65% Cab. Sauv., 25% Merlot, 10% Cab. Franc., 24 months of oak. Earthy with currants spice and tobacco aromas. The palate is full of everything, yet not defined. Richly textured with deep currant and blueberry flavors that thickly coat your entire palate and every single taste bud. The finish is very long, balanced, with plum and tobacco as prevailing impressions. Wait 6 more years.

1989 Ch Haut Batailley, Pauillac ($??).
65% Cabernet Sauv., 25% Merlot, 10% Cab. Franc, 21 months of oak aging. Tight and closed-in aromas. However, it is starting to show elegance and class with its almost floral and quite earthy palate. This is indeed a compelling and profound wine that will bring enjoyment by the glass full to the happy owner of each bottle. Still high in acidity and tannin. Wait 10 more years.

1990 Paillet Quancard, Bordeaux.
This is a nicely fruity wine with soft tannins and lots of body. It is a great wine for these winter days, and nights too. I would recommend this red with meats and hearty meals. This wine was paired with what I now consider the best fillet mignon I have ever had in the U.S. (Margaux restaurant, Raleigh. Yeap! Magnolia Grill has been dethroned).
The wine was a great match for the black pepper and mushroom sauce.

1990 Ch La Croix du Casse, Pomerol, France (N/A).
This was an interesting wine that, as far as I know, is not available in the US. I was surprised by its texture, more along the lines of a sturdy St. Estephe rather than a Pomerol. However, in my "appreciation" of the wine, I failed to factor-in the youth of the wine. In essence, this wine is a very nicely made Bordeaux with elegance and potential longevity extending to 6 more years and possibly beyond.

1990 Ch Tour St. Joseph, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc ($19.99).
It has been approximately two years since I last tasted this wine. It is developing nicely with complex earthy and mineral flavors and a deep and long plum-tobacco finish. Currently, you can’t see the bottom of the glass, even when you have one inch of wine left in it. Cru Bourgeois forever! It is still tight as a drum, but in eight years, it is going to be orgasmic. I paired this baby with Greek-styled leg-o-lamb and roasted potatoes. "Takes big meat to drink big wine", Tarzan says…

1990 Ch Greysac, Pomerol ($NA).
Another great wine from a great Bordeaux vintage. This wine had clean and refined flavors, quite focused and well defined with excellent balance and palate feel. It was quite flavorful and pleasant, although young. One pretty wine with plenty of stuffing and aging potential. Thanks again Mr. Powell.

1990 Ch Julien Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc ($22.99)(7/95).
60% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 19 months in Nevars oak barrels. Earthy nose with cinnamon hints. Fleshy palate feel. Almost like biting into a cherry the size of an apple, with balanced acidity, velvety soft tannin, plum and roasted coffee flavors that culminate in a long finish. Drink over the next 10 years. Grilled beef, lamb, roasts.

1990 Ch Julien, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc, ($22.99)(6/97).
60% Merlot, 32% Cab. Sauv, 8% Petite Verdot, 19 months in French oak, 12.0% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Quite an earthy and ripe fruit aroma. It is showing well the signs of aging, with enough acidity to make last another 8 years. Rich palate with fruit, cassis, licorice and spice, moderated with nice oak hints and a long finish. Tannin is soft and well integrated with the wine. Lamb. Ready to drink. HR.

1991 Ch. Meney, Bordeaux, France.
Although 1991 was considered a poor vintage for Bordeaux, there are some jewels and this is one of them. It is rich, exuberant and ready to drink. The earthy nose leads to an expansive palate of coffee, ripe black fruit and chewy ripe plum. Recommended.

1991 Ch Vieux Cardinal Lafeurie, Lalande-de-Pomerol.
The wine is made with grapes from 25+ year-old vines. This is a Bordeaux blend, 65% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and aged in French Limousin Oak for 15 months. This wine is quite elegant, delicate and clean, besides being a bit young. This wine will go well with red fish, by that I mean grilled fish like tuna, salmon, sword fish, trout, etc.... The sweetness of these grilled fish with the clean raspberry and velvety tannins in the Vx.C.91 will likely break old red-for-meats, whites-for-fish standards. DARE!!!, if it does not work, hell...,give the damn dead fish to the cat, and you drink the wine.

1992 Ch Ruat Petit Pojeaux, Moulis, Bordeaux.
This wine is an exemplary wine from Moulis with berries, mocha, tannins are a bit rough due to its youth, but given 6 months it will be more approachable.

1992 Ch La Mission Haut Brion Pessac-Leogan.
I enjoyed this wine quite a bit. Still young and from an average vintage, it offers layered flavors that will in no doubt expand to a wholesome wine in three to four years. Tannin is still high in this wine, but wait a little and Voila!

1993 Ch D’Armailhac Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac ($33.00).
Very interesting flavors and aromas that become enticing the more you drink. Clean and limpid look and palate feel with a long lasting generous finish that breathes elegance from the back of your palate. It will improve over the next 5 to 8 years, although it is very enjoyable now. Best with pork, sausages, beef, and game dishes.

1993 Ch de Terrafort Quancard Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux Superieur AOC ($12.99).
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, ~45 years-old vines., 2 years in French Nevars oak. This wine says Bordeaux from the get go. I have imported the 1989, 1990 and now the 1993. All were and are exceptional values. It is complex and deep with spicy and earthy flavors that follow in a long finish. The finish turns fruity and creamy after a couple of minutes. Grilled meats.

1994 Ch David Cru Bourgeois, Medoc ($12.99).
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 20 Yr. Old vines, no wood. Young, deeply colored and tasty with earthy and cherry flavors intermingled very nicely. A textbook Bordeaux-styled finish. Beef, lamb.

1994 Ch Dauzac Grand Cru Classe, 5eme Cru, Margaux, ($38.99).
65% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot, 5% Petite Verdot, 18 months in French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. The aromatics were not discernible until three days after opening. It is closed-in, as young Cru Classes with stuffing behind it should. The palate is complex with roasted coffee, oak, cherry and plum. The finish is very long with balanced acidity and good tannin, which should soften in a few years. Set it aside for 8 years. VHR.

1994 Ch La Pointe, Pomerol, ($36.99).
82% Merlot, 14% Cab Franc, 4% Petite Verdot, 22 months in French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. This wine has very pretty aromas of roses and fresh red fruit. Elegant palate, with bursts of cherry and hints of oak. Very nicely done with good balance, approachable tannin, and a very lengthy and delicious finish. Try it with prime rib. It will develop nicely with a year of celaring, but can be enjoyed now. VHR.

1994 Ch Tour St. Joseph, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc ($17.99).
75% Cab Sauv, 25% Merlot, 35 year-old vines, 14 months French oak, Alc. By Vol. 12.5%, 750 ml bt. A bit closed-in aromas-wise indicating its youth. The palate is very nice with Cab fruit flavor, tobacco, a bit of roasted coffee and a hint of cassis. It has weight, wholesomeness, and depth. It will age quite well indeed. The finish is long with good tannin and balanced acidity. Try it with rib eye. We have had the previous 1989, 1990, and 1993 of this wine and have always found it to be a very good quality to price ratio (QPR).
HR.

1994 Ch Cossieu-Coutelin, Cru Bourgeois, St. Estephe ($22.99).
50% Cab Sauv, 40% Cab Franc, 10% Petite Verdot and Malbec, 18 months in French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Spicy nose with robust, almost "New-World" styled aromatic fruit. In the palate, again it offers a very interesting "I in-your-face" New-World styled fruit with spice, and decadent fruit, not much different than a Washington Cab. That is in fact a nice trait of many sturdy St. Estephe. Of course, you will have to give up some of the charm, but the kick is worth it. The tannin is velvety and the acidity is low. The finish is long and rich. Try it with heavier dishes, or by itself. VHR.

1994 Ch La Petite Croix, Lalande-de-Pomerol ($16.99).
80% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, 10% Petite Verdot and Malbec, 14 months in French oak, Alc. By Vol. 12%, 750 ml bt. Nice and elegantly aromatic, with berries and oak. It has a very nice palate feel with roundness, and very pleasant plum and spice flavors. The finish continues with plum, a bit of tobacco, and a bit of mocha. The finish is long, pleasant. The tannin is soft and well balanced with the acidity. Try it with Lamb. HR.

1994 Ch Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Cru Bourgeois, Pessac-Leogan ($23.99).
55% Cab Sauv, 40% Merlot, 5% Petite Verdot, 20 months in French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol, 750 ml bt. This is an open-knit wine with generous aromas that follow in the palate. Richly textured and engulfing the entirety of your palate with fruit and roasted coffee flavors. Low acidity and velvety-smooth tannin. Quite a nice long finish. This is a nice early drinker, drink over the next 8 years. Filet Mignon. VHR.

1994 Ch Clairefont, Prieur-Lichine, Margaux ($19.99).
44% Cab Sauv., 44% Merlot, 6% Cab Franc, 6% Petite Verdot, 16 month is French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Not very aromatic initially, yet after 30 minutes it opened up quite nicely revealing rich plum and tobacco aromas. The palate was densely packed with fruit and soft tannin, balanced acidity and good spicy notes. Very nice long finish with more of the same flavors. HR.

1994 Ch Potensac, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc ($18.99).
60% Cab Sauv., 25% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc., 20 months in French oak, 12.5% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Bright fruit aromas with clean raspberry and oaky notes. Plate-wise, it is bit young and tight (no pun here folks), but the fruit is fresh, bright and elegant with bouncy raspberry and plumy notes. It is a bit lighter than the 1989 release, yet approachable at an early stage, provided of course that you wait a day or so after opening. A good wine for the short term shelf. Age for 5 more years. HR.

1994 Ch Malescasse, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc ($19.99). 70% Cab. Sauv., 20% Merlot, 10% Cab. Franc, 16 months in French oak, 12.0% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. Clean aromas of spice and oak, with cranberry fruit. Nice balance in the palate with a lighter style and fine fruit. Medium acidity and smooth tannin, a nice early drinker. Try it with pork dishes. R.

1994 Ch de Terrafort-Quancard, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux Superieur ($12.99).
70% Merlot, 30% Cab Sauv, 40 year-old vines, 12 months French oak, 13.0% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt.
An abundantly fruity nose with plum and cherry. It has good weight in the palate, yet not too heavy, with nice spice. Soft tannin and balanced acidity with a medium long finish. Best with duck or veal. R.

1994 Ch du Juge Rouge, Cadillac ($7.99).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, 6 months oak. Red fruit aromas with cedary, cherry and roses flavors in the palate. Good tannin and balanced acidity. Beef.

1995 Bordeaux Rouge, Ch du Juge, Bordeaux ($9.99).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, unknown wood aging period. A very nice little Bordeaux that characterizes the fine quality of the 1995 vintage. It is a classic Bordeaux from nose to finish, with rose and plum aromas, flavors and finish. It offers fine tannin, with balanced acidity. The finish is medium in length and full of lively fruit. Best with roast and lighter meats. Recommended.


BORDEAUX DESSERT

1970 Ch Barjumeau-Chauvin (Sauternes).
This was perhaps the best desert wine I have ever had (courtesy of Aris Ragozeous).
It was perfectly balanced with aromas and flavors of caramel and ripe pear, custard and licorice. Basically, it tasted like the flan that it was paired with during our meal. The finish was delicate, lingering for several minutes, with the feel of cognac, sweet papaya and cashews. Truly orgasmic!

1983 Ch Caillou, Barsac.
This wine was light-bodied for a Barsac yet quite refined, well focused and perfectly balanced, which adds to the enjoyment of a dessert wine. I could tell hints of cinnamon, honey and butter, with nuances of orange rind.

1988 Chateau Rabaud Promise, Sauternes ($??).
Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend, botritys infested grapes, cold fermented. From one of the finest Sauternes vintages comes this deliciously rich and unctuous wine. It offered profound flavors of spicy honey and ripe apple, with the ever-present flavors of botritys. Very long finish, in the 5 to 6 minutes range. Perfectly balanced acidity and sugar content make this an excellent choice for desserts or main courses. I must add that his was the first time that I have had a Sauternes as accompaniment of an entree. That was a hell of a daring match with an spectacular outcome. It was matched with Sautéed Moulard Foi Gra on Maple Walnut Toast, with maple syrup, raspberry drizzle and roasted walnuts.

1990 Ch. Saint Amand, Sauternes.
This fine Sauternes wine is exactly that, a fine Sauternes. In France, this wine is known as a very elegant Sauternes, and as one of the best values to come out of that particular region. In the U.S., well...it has not been reviewed...However, for the savvy buyer (in the trade) that had a chance to try this wine the first time around, the words bargain and quality likely kept bouncing between their taste buds. It is a delicious and sweet wine, as the wines from Sauternes are. It possesses layers of ripe sweet fruit ranging from apple to ultra-ripe grapes with decadent hints of honey and ripe cantaloupe. This wine and creamy desserts, cheesecake, chocolate/pecan pie, etc. will bring quite an experience to your palate. It is expensive, but for a Sauternes, and of this quality, it is about half the price of what it should be.

1994 Ch du Juge Cadillac Blanc, Cadillac ($11.99).
Semillon, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, no wood aging. This is a poor man’s Sauternes. It is rich and viscous with tarry, spicy, honey and nutmeg flavors that last in the long delicious finish. Get a bottle of this for immediate enjoyment! For $30.00 less than a Sauternes. Cream based desserts, apple pie.

1995 Cadillac Blanc, Ch du Juge, Cadillac ($11.99).
Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon (unknown ratio), no wood aging, Botritys infested grapes. This wine once more, and under a new vintage release is bargain Sauternes impostor, otherwise know as a "poor man’s Sauternes". It does not offer the weight and viscosity of a Sauternes, BUT!! You can enjoy it now, as well as afford it. This Cadillac offers sweet flavors of honey and ripe apples, with a touch of cinnamon and a medium long pleasant finish with hints of botritys. Try it with cream brulee, pecan pie, apple pie. Recommended, Best Buy.

1995 Lacoste-Granval, Sauternes ($19.99/750 ml, $12.99/375 ml).
90% Sauv Blanc, 10% Semillon, botrytis, no wood aging, 12% Alc. By Vol., 750 ml bt. The aromas are clean and distinctive of Sauternes. This is a true Sauternes, in a lighter version, and quite affordable. It has aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of honey suckle and apple, with the spicy botrytis in the background. It gives the impression of a "ding" tone in a fine crystal glass. Very nice and bright finish with balanced acidity. Try it with flan, tiramisu. HR.