BASICS Bordeaux is made up mostly of large vineyards that grow and produce the wines. The label Mis en Bouteille au Château means “bottled at the chateau.” These glamorous reds are extremely refined and age gracefully. Bordeaux is governed by a set of regulations known as Appellation Contrôlée (AC). Almost all red Bordeaux is blended. Red wine grape varieties are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. White varieties are: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. 2005 seems to be the year everyone talks about as the best. Ranks: Cru Bourgeois, then Cru Bourgeois Superieur, then Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel.
PICKS I described this as “easy” and “perfect” the 2005 Chateau Lascombes Margaux ($80). A tie for second place: 2004 Les Fiefs de Lagrange Saint Julien, which was still a little young, ready next year, and 2003 medoc Chateau Looudenne Cru Bourgeois Superieur ($19). Others worth mentioning: 2004 Chateau Cantemerle Haut Medoc ($55), priced right and is a classic example; Chateau Haut-Beausejour, Sainte-Estephe Cru Bourgeois ($22), smack finish, from more limestone in soil; Chateau de Pez, Sainte-Estephe Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel ($28), very earthy, like a wet forest; 2002 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint Julien, full bodied, a masculine wine to drink while relaxing or before going to bed. See more Lever House Wine Club in the OUT AND ABOUT section.