I find that I drink the same style wines for a couple months at a time before venturing off to greener pastures. There was a year where I practically drank nothing but Pinot Noir. For the latter half of 2017 my grape of choice was Sangiovese. Understanding that I am a creature of habit, I embrace whatever it is until it’s time to move on. That being said, the one region I keep returning to when I need a reset is Bordeaux. Bordeaux wines are where I feel most comfortable. I personally prefer more Cab Franc over more Cab Sauv but I haven’t found a Bordeaux yet that I did not enjoy.
I was browsing my local wine store when I came across this wine. It is the 2005 vintage, one of the oldest vintages of any wine in the store. With a $20 price point, I gave it a shot. The wine decanted for 45 minutes before my first glass.
The nose is light. Subtle hints of sour plum and spice. The first thing I notice when tasting is the tannin structure. There has been some fallout over the years, leaving the wine with a complex, velvety texture. The front end is all plumb with some black currant that leads into a nice pepper on the tongue and ending with a beautiful tanned leather finish.
This wine is the standard for Bordeaux. Great flavor, great nose, and complex structure that you can only get with older wines. It is enjoyable without making you feel heavy like some from the area can do and does not have that musky taste you can sometimes get from Bordeaux terroir.
I can recommend tracking down this wine for the experience in and of itself. Just be sure to decant and/or filter. There is a bit of fallout in the bottom fifth of the bottle. I give this a well deserved 9/10.
Recently, I found myself buying wine that I am familiar with. I think I have just been in the mood for things I know and trust to be good. Wines such as Peju Merlot and Nick Goldschmidt’s Embankment Cabernet have been a staple in my collection for many years and I found myself defaulting to them. So I was walking through my local wine store the other day and decided to branch out and do something new, something fun, when this bottle of Chateau Moulin de L’Espérance jumped off the shelf at me. It is similar enough in name to a Bordeaux that I very much enjoyed and reviewed here and I knew this was the next bottle for review.
The bottle itself is nicely designed with the picturesque windmill scene that the Moulin wines are known for on the front and a pleasant, simple font that doesn’t scream “California” at you. I went for an easy meal with this wine and paired it with a black pepper cast iron chicken breast with vegetables. I let it decant for 45 minutes before drinking.
The color is a beautiful, deep ruby-black and it has well defined legs. The nose is rich with plum and currant with some vanilla bringing up the end. The first taste is well rounded: more plum and stewed berries hit you first, followed by vanilla and toasty oak. It’s not too oaky though. Sometimes wine makers will over oak wine and it is, in many cases, in an attempt to hide a flaw in the wine. This is not the case here. Just enough oak to finish the drink and drops right into a black pepper finish.
On a normal occasion I would pair this with grilled vegetables and a hardy red meat but the black pepper chicken tonight was a great pairing as well. Just enough pepper in both to play off their own flavors without overpowering each other.
Overall, this is a great wine for a great price. I expected nothing but a nice, drinkable wine and it delivered. If you can find this in an older vintage, it would be even better with age. For $15.00 USD, I’m giving this 8.5/10.
Let me prefece by saying that this is one of my favorite Bordeaux. The 2009 I had was a little past its prime when I had it a couple of years ago. The 2011 is my favorite but at this point I doubt there is any left in the country. Finally, the 2015.
The 2015 is the one this review is covering. This bottle retails for around $15 and won a gold metal at the concours de bordeaux vins d’aquitaine 2016.
The Mallet is a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I paired it with grilled chicken, black beans, and spinach. The initial bouquet is big and oaky. A nice spice comes in afterwards and smooths out into a hint of blackberry.
The first drink is true to form. The Cabernet flavor really comes out at first but the texture is closer to the Merlot. The big Cab grape flavor quickly gives way to an almost bitter wildberry flavor and ends with a spicy note with enough tannin to keep it on your tongue for a few seconds afterward without feeling like it is trying to take your throat into your stomach with it. The wine ends with a pleasant oakyness that leaves you wanting another glass.
The Chateau Moulinde Mallet is the wine I turn to when I am in the mood for something to open up and enjoy. From its big bouquet to its mellow tannic finish, this is a wine that will always be my go to. After the bottle is gone, I have yet to find myself unsatisfied. A solid 9.1/10 in my book.
When opening the bottle of Chateau Les Tuileries, I was not sure what to expect. Wines in the $12 price range can be hit or miss.
The first thing I noticed was that it had legs to stretch. It was a solid three seconds before it came back to rest when I swirled my glass. The aroma was pleasing. Not sugary but still sweet like you would expect from a white wine you could drink on its own. The taste was light and smooth with nothing full about it; which was surprising with how long it took the legs to fall. It went down soft and finished with a hint of citrus or maybe apple. It was kind of hard to tell because of just how light it was.
After my first glass, I was left wanting more of the Bordeaux and more out of the Bordeaux. I decided to chill the bottle for my second glass and just like the first, it was simple and smooth. I sat for several minutes drinking and trying to come up with the right word for what I was tasting. Somewhere between watery and refreshing.
The Chateau Les Tuileries Bordeaux is a good wine. I could drink it while sitting around the house reading or with a pork roast that came out of the slow cooker. While refreshing and smooth, it has few notes and little to offer in way of flavor. It has earned a place in my collection but not something I will default to. A solid 6/10.