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.