Smooth, Inky Red Bordeaux: 5-Year-Old Saint-Estèphe under $35

We don’t import much Bordeaux. Burgundy’s scale and culture have always fit us better: smaller estates, a less formal atmosphere, etc. But it’s no secret that Bordeaux makes some extraordinary wines, and we’re glad to have some in our portfolio.

One of the most exciting discoveries in recent years has been the Fleuron de Liot — a Saint-Estèphe from a tiny Burgundy-scale 1.5 acre plot on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. It’s equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and just keeps getting better.

This wine has overperformed its price tag since it arrived a few years ago. But now five years on from harvest, the 2014 has blossomed into a stunner. It’s inky and intense — the unusually high percentage of Merlot gives it a velvety texture, which melts beautifully into the masculine Cabernet tannins.

We opened a bottle over the weekend with steak frites, and the match was perfect harmony. The nose shows dried licorice, berries, iodine, maillard, and dried black currants. The mouthfeel is dense and sophisticated, with a long, clean, supple finish.

This isn’t the most ageworthy or expensive Bordeaux in our cellar; but at the price, it’s an overperforming steal today. Carafe it for a half hour.


Fleuron de Liot St-Estèphe 2014
bottle price: $34

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