We start off this month with three wines from the remarkable portfolio of Bordeaux properties owned and operated by Stephan Neipperg. 2000 Château d’Aiguilhe, Cotes d’Castillon ($38.99) The owner of the luxury cuvee La Mondotte has spared no expense in producing one of the finest wines from the Cotes d’Castillon. This beauty starts out with aromas of char, ripe plums, smoke and vanilla oak. The middle is packed with rich boysenberry and blackberry fruit which completely smothers the tannin lying underneath. There is even a hint of tar on the long, deep finish. This is flashy but serious wine. 2003 Canon-La-Gaffeliere, St-Emilion ($52.99) This ultra-rich wine is surprisingly approachable. A creamy, plush attack of dark, ripe fruits turns soft and velvety in the sweet, silky middle, which displays no hard edges whatsoever. The ripe tannins are hardly noticeable. 2003 Clos de L’Ortatoire, St-Emilion ($35.99) This is always the most elegant of Stephan Neipperg’s properties and one of my favorites. Beautiful perfume here with aromas of crushed flowers and soft spice. Both red and black fruits are present in the smooth, seamless body of this classy and proportioned wine. With air the long, complex finish picks up added nuances and seems to go on and on. This is fantastic Juice! 2001 Larrivet Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan ($29.99) This restored property adjacent to Haut-Bailly has been on a roll for the last decade. This is lively with lots of ripe, dark cherry fruit and complex hints of tobacco, smoke and spicy herds. The crisp, seamless middle is packed with sweet currants and leads to an elegant finish of earth and mineral. Above all, the excellent acidity lends a sense of freshness and purity to this fantastic bargain. 2000 Grand Enclos du Cerons Blanc (375ml $12.99) Ceron is an area just to the north of Sauternes and Barsac. Not overly rich or sweet, this 100% semillon is aged in oak for 18 months to add to the lively, tropical botrytised fruit. This bargain is zesty and complex with citrus, honey and orange flavors that match well with cheese or fruit-based desserts. —Steve Bearden
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
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
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