Bistro Wine: 2012 Red Bordeaux. $25

Bordeaux is best known for its serious wines — famous cuvées that fetch thousands of dollars and require decades to reach their potential. But it’s a large region, with lots of affordable, well-made wines from excellent terroir.

Today’s wine is a perfect example: an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot from the Left Bank appellation of Graves. It’s rich, bold, and full of character; it’s also matured perfectly since we imported it several years ago.

This doesn’t make Haut-Brion promises, but it well overperforms $5/glass.

Winemaker: Eric Fonta; the Fonta family has owned Chateau Léhoul since 1798

Appellation: Graves; just south of the city of Bordeaux, known for its gravel-filled soils

Wine: It rarely makes economic sense for us to age a $25 wine for 8 years — (a happy accident led us to forget about this for a while) — but this makes us want to do it more often. This is gorgeous today: dark plum, woods, pan drippings in the nose. The mouth is clean, inky and serious, with dried blackberry fruits and notes of bay leaf and menthol.

Paring: Steak, as brown as you can make it.


Léhoul Graves 2012
bottle price: $25

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