2014 Château Le Puy “Emilien – Expression Originale du Terroir”, Franc Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France (Alcohol 13% – Residual sugar 2g/L) LCBO Vintages $29.95 (750ml bottle)
I’ve often thought that we should all be drinking more red Bordeaux, but today in certain circles the once-hallowed region is now seen as being so dreadfully unfashionable and passé (not to mention bloody expensive) that in many an establishment you’ll be lucky to see anything served by the bottle, let alone by the glass.
I feel that this is such a great pity as we are getting to a point where there are many young Sommeliers who simply haven’t been given the opportunity to taste the great wines of this much-historied of French wine producing regions, or even some of the more modest examples which are undeniably “fine” in their own right. Gone are the days when almost any restaurant worth its salt had a decent “Claret” one could order by the glass. Halcyon days, I tell you… I’m getting all misty-eyed as I write.
Which brings me to this excellent biodynamically produced bottling from Château Le Puy, that captures so much of what I search for in solid, well-priced Bordeaux. Given its provenance on the right bank, the wine is dominated by Merlot, but don’t expect this wine to hit you with clumsy, plummy fruit, steroidally jacked-up on loads of new oak cooperage. In fact, quite the opposite is the case.
The wine is bursting with energy, from the pure black fruit bouquet through to the rather lively acid profile that is reminiscent of tart raspberries and red currants. Combine this angular (but balanced) acidity and the silky (but teasingly astringent) tannins with a little lick of some almost granular graphite, and you have a wonderfully well-structured wine that I absolutely adore texturally. The wine is delightfully elegant and fresh, the brisk acidity lifting the wine entirely.
Given our extended summer and the heat that has been bringing, I highly recommend that you chill this a little before serving. I’d also suggest that given the wine’s structure you pair this with food… right now I’m thinking bavette et frites.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)
Château Le Puy are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates.
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And those wines are fascinating.