We just received two containers of old and rare wines from Bordeaux-wines for all palates and pocketbooks. From the fabulous wines of Château Talbot (1945-1953) to lesser known wines from Château Rochebelle (1985, 1989, 1990, 1995) there are many cases of delicious mature wines to enjoy in the immediate future. Prices for 2005 Bordeaux too high for you? Then look at the superb values we have from Château Siran (1966-1986), Château Poujeaux 1975, Château Haut Bages Liberal 1986, Château Chasse Spleen (1975-1990) and Château Grand Mayne (1986-1990) all of these wines direct from the château and in perfect condition. Enjoy! —Clyde Beffa Jr
It’s time to cover up the BBQ, put the outdoor furniture in the shed and move the party inside. Cooler temperatures, darkness at 5 p.m., costumes and football now prevail, and it’s the opening of red wine season. As all the great chefs move inside and turn up the intensity of their culinary adventures, you can bet the same thing is happening in the cellar, with the selections of fine reds being made to complement the special times and meals. As the relatives arrive, I’m popping corks! If you need any help, here are a few suggestions: 1999 Bordeaux is flat out underrated, a lovely vintage to drink young, and we have three super wines to serve. 1999 Ch. d’Angludet ($36.99), from Margaux, is full of ripe red fruit with a soft/creamy middle texture and hints of cherry and mulberry. Conversely, the 2000 shows you the qualities in d’Angludet that resemble a more St-Julien/Pauillac style wine and should be cellared 5-15 more years. 1999 Ch. Haut Bailly ($44.99), from Pessac-Léognan, is one of the few 1999s featuring very good acidity to go along with a bright and zesty core of crimson and black fruit with hints of earth and minerality. Decant these ’99s 45 minutes to an hour and enjoy. Whatever you do, don’t be popping your top wines from the 2000 Bordeaux vintage. This fine vintage is full of focus and power, and to drink them young will be a big mistake with very few exceptions. 2000 Ch. Cantemerle ($32.99), the fifth growth from the Haut-Médoc, is just minutes south of Margaux where vines have been in the ground here since 1570. The 40% merlot planted in the vineyard at Cantemerle always guarantees a consistent wine of warmth, charm and elegance. The 2000 is a great expression of Cantemerle, and the beauty of this wine is also the outstanding balance, which means it will age very well, but the great taste will be very hard to stay away from. As good as the 2005 vintage may turn out to be, I believe 2003 may turn out to be my favorite vintage ever. The vintage has absolutely everything: ripeness, opulence, richness, balance and great taste. These wines just cannot be ignored now that they have arrived in America and are on the sales floor. From this point on, any red wine I buy for my collection will be 2003 red Bordeaux until they leave the marketplace. Many of the wines are flat out better than their 2005 counterparts and are lower priced as well. These include wines like La Couspaude, Haut Bailly, Langoa-Barton, Poujeaux, Sociando Mallet, Phelan-Segur, Clerc-Milon, Nenin, Haut-Bages-Liberal, Malartic Lagraveliere, Lynch Bages, Pichon Comtesse de la Lalande, and Cos d’Estournel. You could drink Léoville-Las-Cases everyday of your life and never guess if you were tasted blind that 2003 Clos du Marquis ($39.99) was not the first wine! One more thought to convey: If you have any inkling to go shopping for some older Bordeaux from your favorite estates, don’t dally, sprint into action. There are some great deals in our inventory now, and 1996 and 2000 Montrose ($84.99 and $149.00) are prime examples as is 1989 Cos d’Estournel ($169.00). These wines were bought in April, before the crazily priced 2005s were released, and they are priced extremely well. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions or advice on the wines of Bordeaux at ex 2723 or Ralph@klwines.com. Cheers and Go Giants and Niners! —Ralph Sands
The definition of eccentric is unconventional, especially in a whimsical way, and I can think of nothing better to describe the 2003 vintage. The wines are different yes, but endearing to all but the staunchest of Bordeaux devotees. In fact, I would say that 2003 is actually a great vintage for the uninitiated, the perfect place to start the love affair that so many of us have developed. The 2003 Château Léonie, Graves ($23.99) is the perfect wine for those fans of California wines looking for something different to whet their palate. Juicy raspberry ripeness dominates the nose while the supple, creamy texture accents ample red berry fruit found on the palate. This is an unabashed 2003 fruit bomb that will surely turn heads, and it is easy on the wallet. While nowhere near as jammy, the 2003 Château Prieuré-Lichine, Margaux ($32.99) will be an easy transition for those used to drinking big California Cabernets. Coffee and vanilla ooze out of the glass and straight into your olfactories. This wine is packed full of the black cherry fruit and coconut spice so often found in the big names of California wine fame. Another stylish red from the same commune is the 2003 du Tertre, Margaux ($29.99). Most Margaux’s are about texture recently, and this wine is no exception. This will coat your mouth with a glycerin-like creaminess and all the milk chocolate covered cherry fruit you could ever want. A perfect cocktail Bordeaux. The 2003 Château Meyney, St-Estèphe ($24.99) is a bit more traditional, showing wet stone and rare steak qualities throughout. Bolstered by black currant and tobacco, this has a more tannic grip that will give it some longevity in the cellar. Finally, there is the 2003 Reserve de la Comtesse, Pauillac ($31.99), the stunner of the vintage. Layered black cherry puree and black tea leaves fight for dominance. Hard edged now, this will be fantastic with some aeration or age. A wine that is a perfect combination of vintage and house style. —Bryan Brick
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