Bordeaux Standard 2004 Haut Médoc

Haut Médoc, Bordeaux, France
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot; 12.5% ABV
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 17 Mar

2004_BdxStandard_HautMedocI was immediately repulsed by this shiny red and gold label, but, well, it was an older Haut Médoc, so I picked it up.  The back label in part reads: Served best in a Bordeaux glass which is tall with a wide bowl and is designed to release the aroma of the wine while directing it to the back of the mouth.  I figured that any producer who was being that particular about stemware might care about the quality of the wine as well.

There seemed to be not much to this wine until it had aired in a decanter for about 90 minutes.  Then some complexities of red fruits (red currant, cherry) and earth emerged in a pleasant but restrained way.  As it continued to air over the next two hours, the wine darkened to become dominated by flavors of plum, purple grape, a little raisin and a hint of pencil lead.  It’s a bit light-bodied for a Bordeaux, and didn’t really stand up to the (non-spicy) curried lamb and rice I made for dinner, and at times the flavors were slightly candy-like.  However, it’s definitely Bordeaux in a way that a lot of GO Bordeaux is not, so it’s decent stuff if you like that kind of thing.

At the Richmond store, there was also a Bordeaux Standard 2006 St. Émilion.  Has anyone tried either of these?


9 thoughts on “Bordeaux Standard 2004 Haut Médoc

  1. delmartian1

    A blast from the past…dropped by the San Marcos (San Diego County) store last evening and 5 of these were on the shelves. Don’t know if the wine is returning or if that store’s sales are just slow but grabbed them all. Opened one and it’s still as good as ever with that just slightly musty aftertaste that I really enjoy in an aged Bordeaux.

  2. Expat

    Yes, the label is gawd-awful and almost kept me from buying it, but based on the review and these comments I gave this a shot. I popped and poured, which isn’t fair, but even out of the gate it wasn’t bad despite some tartness. Cut to the chase – with air time it developed into a solid, dry, French, Old World wine. Nothing spectacular but it really grew on me. I love the dryness with earth dominating and fruit coming in at the end. I don’t even want to try to articulate specific components because I’ll feel foolish and phony. I’d rather define the style and quality level. It was classic French style – dry and restrained. Quality was respectable – I didn’t feel like we were drinking some cheap, mass production wine. I appreciated the gentle 12.5% alcohol and it went great with oak grilled, grass fed NY steaks. If you like old world wines and don’t demand Grand Cru quality but don’t want dreck, this is a solid wine at a terrific price. Just give it a little time in the glass or decanter to loosen up.

  3. PW

    Opened this tonight. Decanted it for about 70min. I was surprised at how much sediment was in it. We’d just had a really scrumptious Stags Leap last night so probably it really wasn’t fair to open this one tonight. But I didn’t expect much and was pleasantly surprised. I think I can safely say it was the best “Bordeaux” that I’ve had from GO. I know that’s not saying a lot since I don’t think a really great one has ever come through here (I know it’s different in CA but so far, not here) but still it was decent. I didn’t get the candy flavors that BW picked up. It was a bit like cherry and rhubarb (I know, not an accepted taste but that’s really what it reminded me of) and not in an unpleasant way. It wasn’t silky at all and I’d expected that for a 10 year old wine. In fact, that was noticeably absent. Decent dryness. Over all for the price, it was a decent purchase. I wouldn’t buy it again though. It’s only stood out for me in that it tasted better than the other GO Bordeaux I’ve tried.

    1. PW

      Actually we were just talking and the light body on this wine and the bit of tartness…it reminds us a lot more of a Burgundy/Pinot Noir…seems fragile like that too. That’s why bordeaux was in quotes…it doesn’t seem like one but it’s still pretty good. (and I really wish we could edit our posts LOL)

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi PW. Thanks for trying this wine and posting your thoughts. IMO, that “fragile” character is often a lot of what people like about Bordeaux, that it has flavors of a Cabernet or Merlot, but can be quite delicate and nuanced like a Pinot Noir. Rhubarb is a fine flavor to list in descriptions. I’m glad to hear you and Joel didn’t find the candy-like flavors I did; it’s probably something to which I’m particularly sensitive.

        1. PW

          Interesting. Tbh, I don’t think I’ve ever had a very good Bordeaux then. None of them have been subtle or nuanced. This was the closest. I just figured that in general I must not really like the style. Now you make me want to explore it further.

      1. JoelA

        yes. good, especially for the price and for GO, whose Bordeaux usually come from some undetermined part of the region. A Haut-Medoc is rare. But as you said it needs to be open a little while (or overnight)


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