Eight-Year-Old Pauillac: Regal, Classic Red Bordeaux under $40.

Pauillacs are built to last, but not all require decades.

Perched on the banks of the Gironde River, in the heart of Bordeaux’s Left Bank, the town of Pauillac (poh-yahk) produces some of Bordeaux’s most famous red wines: Lafite, Latour, Mouton-Rothschild, just to name a few. Its gravel rich soils produce prototypical Bordeaux: intense, ageworthy, regal, and impossibly complex.

Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Pauillac produces intense, powerful, sturdily built wines with no shortage of tannic backbone. They can be unfriendly in their youth, but are built to reward patience. The top names will age for decades, but the same cellarable structure means its lesser wines are enjoyable on a shorter trajectory.

A case in point: today’s eight year old Pauillac from Chateau Haut-Pauillac.

Haut-Pauillac is farmed by the Peyronie family, who also own Chateau Fondabet — it’s a tiny property(2 hectares) is planted 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 2.5% each of Petit Verdot and Malbec. This wine sees 18 months of elevage with 15-20% new oak. The soils are classic Pauillac gravel, and show through beautifully in the glass.

The 2014 vintage produced Bordeaux of the old-school Claret style, before the recent summer heatwaves became the norm. As such this is not a bold wine, but one with finesse and savory delicacy. There’s plenty of inky fruit, and the plums have melted into violets, dried roses, and a bit of smoked meat. The mouth is subtle and polished, without the exuberance of a young wine or one from a hot vintage.

This is nearly mature, perfectly aged Bordeaux at an impressive price – we’d drink it over the next two years, but if it tastes this good we doubt any in our cellar will last that long.


Chateau Haut-Pauillac Pauillac 2014
bottle price: $39

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