Cru Bourgeois from the Médoc, Bordeaux, France
50% Cabernet (presumably Sauvignon), 50% Merlot; 13.5% ABV
$12 at the Richmond, CA, store on 17 Feb
This wine had intrigued me for a few reasons — it was designated from a specific region of Bordeaux, the Médoc, not just from Bordeaux; it was imported by Max Beverage, whose previous Bordeaux I’ve tasted have been quite good; and two customers, including a Frenchman, had recommended it — but I had been deterred by the high (by GO standards) price until yesterday.
I thought it was pretty good after being decanted for about an hour, showing elegant purplish dark red cherry fruit with subtle complexity of plum, in a structure that was tight but not punishing. It continued to improve the next couple hours, darkening and becoming only slightly more accessible. Around three hours after opening, some of the darker purple fruit did seem to soften up a little, but along with the structure breaking some, not just relaxing. So far, I liked it, but I wasn’t impressed it was worth $12 at the GO. I wanted to soften it up a bit more, so instead of storing the rest in a completely filled small bottle as usual, I just put the cork back in the top.
Expat reviewed, and very much liked, the 2011 Ch. de Bensse here. (His taste tends toward the very dry, earthy, and tannic.) Wine Advocate rates 2011 Left Bank (which includes Médoc) as 88, and 2012 as 87, not much different.
On the second and third days, the wine was about the same as on the first two days, never really opening up very much. I suspect I would prefer this with a few more years of age, but some may enjoy it now with a bit of air.