Silverdale, WA (Purchased on 1/10/14)
A little over a week ago, three somewhat similar looking Bordeaux showed up at my local GO. They were all from the 2012 vintage, all had the same gold capsules, all had similarly colored labels with similar print and after opening, all had the same corks with a grape cluster and leaf printed on them as well as the number 58330. They all had the same generic information on the back label, all were “Bottled and Cellared by Philippe Borlais” and all were imported by AW Direct. Sorry…but I had to wonder if they were all the same wine in different labels with different prices. So I decided to try them side-by-side. I’m here to tell you that they’re all very different from one another…which is a good thing by my standards. Here’s my report…
First is the 2012 Chateau Naudin 12.5% alc. $4.99: Pours a clear pale garnet, but also shows some brick tone, which seems odd for such a young wine. Has a peppery and slightly alcoholly nose. Shows considerable fresh ground black pepper on the palate and the tannins are chewy and heavy…a bit out of balance with the fruit and acid components and on first sip it seemed slightly thin and watery. Tastes more like a Rhone red than a Bordeaux. Somewhat clunky and plodding due to the lengthy tannins.
Next is the 2012 Chateau La Carbonniere 13% alc. $6.99 Clear medium garnet; nose of light cassis, leather and cocoa. In the mouth it’s lush and smooth, but with decent tannins and balanced acidity; the flavors show more cocoa and leather with lots of grapey fruit, tobacco and a bit of smokiness. Fairly big tannins in the finish. Not a bad Bordeaux for seven bucks.
And last is the 2012 Chateau Marceau Launay 13% alc. $7.99 Mostly clear medium garnet, but having some brick coloring as well. Nose shows some dark cherry (Merlot, Right Bank?), earth and tobacco. Fair amount of sweet oak, leather and tannin in the mouth with some green peppercorn. The tannins really grab you in the finish.
They’re all very drinkable…not outstanding, but tasty…especially considering that I’ve had some real questionable Bordeaux from GO of late. And they all went quite well with our rigatoni pasta with homemade pesto and smoked mozzerella sausage. My favorite was the La Carbonniere with the Marceau Launay close behind and the Naudin last in line. If you see these wines in your GO, give them a try and determine your favorite. It would be a great time to have a few folks over for dinner. That way you’re not drinking three bottles at once all by yourselves (wouldn’t that be horrible?)! And you can have your own tasting.