France: Wine, French Wine Regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, & More Profiled

2016 Château Le Rey Les Rocheuses, France, Bordeaux, Cotes de Castillon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This was a new winery for me.  Apparently, it had been in the Le Rey family since the 1600's but was sold in 2016.  Nice first vintage.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis and plenty of fresh oak.  On the palate, this is a big wine.  Big tannins, big fruit and big oak.  It drinks nicely now, but should/could get much better as everything comes together.  That might take five or ten years, but is worth watching.  Plenty of sweet cassis fruit.  It would be nice to have a bit more acidity.  Probably better to wait on this than to drink now but it is tasty.  

2016 Château du Tertre, France, Bordeaux, Margaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty with black cherries, cedar and a slight herbal note.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Light tannins.  Nice black cherry fruit with some underlying oak.  Nice acidity.  Nice finish.  This should continue to improve for a few more years and drink well for ten more after that.  It  is a solid wine right now but it will be interesting to see where it goes.  This will drink better with food.  Roasted meats would be a good choice.  

2017 Château Monbousquet, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Pleased to see the heavy use of oak is much less than it used to be.  There is still some present but not as much as I remember.  This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with plums.  Also some cherries and a bit of char.  On the palate, this is easy drinking.  Black cherry fruit with some cherries.  A note of black olives/oak underneath.  Medium bodied.  Nice finish.  This needs a few years to sort itself out and should drink well for ten more.  It drinks well on its own but would go better with roas

2016 La Dame de Montrose, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This is a second wine of Chateau Montrose.  Tasted blind, with a tasting group, this was disappointing.  It finished in last place for me and close to that for the group.  It is a fine wine, but more was expected once the label was revealed.  Purple in color, shimmering bright and opaque.  The nose has cherries, black cherries and spice.  On the palate, light tannins and sour cherries.  Easy drinking.  It is a blend of 52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Cabernet Franc.  Right now, the Merlot dominates.  Of course, with some, the Cabs could wake up and get the party started.  Based

2016 Château Grand Mayne, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

Another wine that has been consistently over performing expectations for a while now.  In a group blind tasting, this finished first, and although I did not have it that high, it is a great wine that will age well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, mint and slight bell pepper (just a hint).  Medium bodied with medium weight tannins.  This has ripe/sweet fruit on the palate.  Cherries and black cherries.  A more moderate finish.  This continued to improve in the glass all evening.  It is drinking well on its own but would be better with some

2017 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Although this is highly rated and not inexpensive, this continues to be one of the most under rated wines from Bordeaux for my tastes.  It is classic left bank and affordable and will age quite well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  On the nose, this is dusty with cigar box, cassis and cherries.  Full bodied.  A nice juicy/glycerin mouthfeel.  Very plush on the mid-palate and then a long finish.  Lots of cassis and black cherry fruit with underlying clean earthiness.  This should continue to improve for five to ten more years and srink for another ten to fifteen after

2016 Château Croix Mouton (Jean-Philippe Janoueix), France, Bordeaux Superieur, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

This was tasted completely blind and did quite well although it was one of the most inexpensive bottles on the table.  This label is perennially among the best values in Bordeaux.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice and classic.  Black cherries with cedar.  Clean.  On the palate, this has medium body.  Tart, black cherry fruit.  Light tannins.  Solid finish.  This is drinking well now and won't get better.  That said, it should provide great drinking for at least five to seven more years and likely more.  

2017 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Reviewc

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This was consumed against a 2016 La Carte de Haut Brion Blanc and the crowd seemed split.  Although these are very similar wines on paper, they were quite different in the glass and everyone seemed to have a clear favorite.  An 80/20 split of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.  This is a rounder, softer wine with a bigger profile.  It is light golden in color.  The nose has plenty of vanilla with some lemon creme and a slight floral quality.  On the palate, this is soft with tart red apples and some peach.  A bit of minerality.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now although I don't know that

2016 La Clarté de Haut-Brion Blanc, USA, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

What an outstanding wine.  This is the second wine of Haut Brion Blanc.  My first time trying this.  it is a blend of 76.3% Sémillon and 23.7% Sauvignon Blanc.  It has a silvery/pale yellow/gold color to it.  Very pretty nose with lemons, chervil and minerals.  On the palate, the lemons come thru along with some vanilla and minerality.  Very crisp with nice acidity.  Pin point focus.  Of course this is very young, but it is delicious.  On a warm summer evening, this goes down very easily.  This is expensive and as good as this is now, it should improve.  I would cellar for three to five yea

2019 Château Minuty Côtes de Provence Prestige, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a Rose from southern France.  It is a blend of 60% Grenach, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Tibouren.  Perhaps more than most springs, I am looking forward to staying home and sipping on some Rose as the weather gets nice/warmer.  This is light salmon pink/orange in color.  Very pale but bright and clear.  It has a much bigger nose with nice strawberries, some hay and slight watermelon.  On the palate, it has an interesting texture.  A bit oily but also creamy.  The strawberries really come thru on the palate.  Refreshing and tasty.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This drinks great o

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