2016 Château Deyrem Valentin, Margaux AOP, Bordeaux, France (Alcohol 14%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO Vintages $60.95 (750ml bottle)
This particular Bordeaux estate dates back to 1730 and has been in the hands of the Blanc/Sorge family since 1928. Today Jean Sorge (5th generation) manages the property with his daughters Christelle (winemaking) and Sylvie (estate management), augmenting the family expertise with assistance from famed consultant Hubert de Boüard.
I’d like to tell you that I’m somewhat of an aficionado when it comes to the wines of Margaux, but this would be a fantasy of mine. I’ve tasted and drank many a Margaux over my three decades in the business, but today my opportunities to enjoy such wines are truly few and far between, especially since the pandemic. Saying that, Margaux has always had a very special place in my heart, and many of my favourite olfactory/gastronomic memories involve wines from this hallowed region of Bordeaux.
This blend of 50% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petit Verdot comes from the deep gravelly soil of the Château Deyrem Valentin vineyards, and it’s a fairly accessible ($61) example of everything I love about Margaux, especially with almost seven years of age on it.
The bouquet is classic ripe cassis with seductive violet florality, cedar, and a defined graphite/charcoal element. This will only become more complex with time, with the development of leather and cigar box aromatics only just beginning their evolution. This bottling drinks well now, especially after a decant, but will only improve with some time asleep in your cellar.
The layered, medium weight palate is such a delight. It’s all about dark berry fruits, but with black olive tapenade, woodsmoke, and tar. The tannins manage to be both assertive and yet gorgeously silky, making the wine the perfect foil for some roast lamb. There’s an impressive balance here, and it simply exudes both polish and sophistication. The extended finish is persistent and certainly leans towards the distinctive pencil lead side of the spectrum.
If only my budget extended to a wine as complete as this on an everyday basis. It’s an absolute delight and very highly recommended.
This wine was just released on July 8th, so there should be plenty of it still in the system.
(Five out of a possible five apples)