On the other side of the pond, blended wines are the norm. Back when we Americans regularly slaked our thirst with locally brewed ales, the French, Italians and Spanish were imbibing rich, well-developed blends of cultivated grapes grown to complement each other in finely crafted wines. Today’s vino babble focuses on one such wine from Bordeaux’s Medoc.
One of the wines that I had the pleasure of drinking this past weekend was the 2000 Chateau La Bessane from the Margaux A.O.C. in the southern Medoc. Side note – Wine Spectator gave the 2000 Left-Bank Bordeaux vintage 99/100 points, “Postmodern classic, Benchmark Bordeaux”. This particular wine was awarded 90 points.
The wines from Margaux have been described as being “like an iron fist in a velvet glove”. This wine is no exception. It is a very unique composite of 60% petit verdot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. Petit verdot (petit because of the small berry size) is a very late-ripening grape, and wines made from it take years to reach maturity/drinkability. The 2000 vintage in Margaux was a very long one, allowing for the petit verdot’s full development. This 2000 drank beautifully, and would have been great with a big, juicy Ribeye. The 2000 Chateau La Bessane Margaux is fully developed, and still richly tannic. Lush and silky with deep, dark red fruits finishing with spicy oak. This wine is available for under $20 a bottle at Wines.com.