Perched on a rocky plateau overlooking the town of Paulliac, Château Pedesclaux shares position with such graces as Mouton-Rothschild, Lafite-Rothschild, Lynch-Bages and Pontet-Canet. Pedesclaux hasn’t always been at the top of its capacities. The château received 5th growth classification in 1855. After World War II it was purchased by the Jucla family. Renovations of the estate began in 1996 when the two youngest Juclas took over the management, and improvements are tangible. It’s planted with traditional Médoc grapes averaging 35 years (50% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot, 5% cabernet franc), and then matured for 18 months in 33% new oak. The 2002 Ch. Pedesclaux ($24.99) is opaque and deep in color with aromas of ripe dark fruit, and spices on the nose. The palate opens slowly introducing you to tender fruit with a touch of earthiness that evolves to light notes of coffee and tobacco. This is a great wine that will age well over the next 5-8 years. Three other noteworthy values under $20 are from the great 2003 vintage. 2003 Ch. Perron ($18.99), Lalande-de-Pomerol, is primarily merlot and has a dandy black berry and gravelly nose. Bright cherry hints with bits of cassis and plum are the main characters on the palate. 2003 Ch. Serilhan ($19.99), Saint-Estèphe, has undertones of earth and leather on the nose and palate. This wine provides the opportunity to explore dense black fruit and spice. It’s ready to drink now! A rarity in St-Estèphe. From a small appellation, Listrac-Médoc, 2003 Ch. Saransot-Dupre ($17.99) is a merlot-based wine. This beauty is aged in 30% new oak barrels creating hints of spice, and cassis exploding on the nose. This wine offers supple tannins that makes it approachable today. Enjoy now and over the next couple of years. —Alexandre Brisoux
2004 Château St. Jean des Graves, Blanc ($10.99) 90% sauvignon blanc makes this wine steely and clean. There is no oak to obscure the flavors of grapefruit, citrus and fresh melon, which are bright and racy. This is zippy, lively white Bordeaux at its best! Great with shellfish or goat cheese. 2004 Château Roquefort, Bordeaux Blanc ($9.99) This 85% sauvignon blanc wine is a bit rounder (due to 15% semillon) and more herbaceous than the St. Jean but still has plenty of lively acidity. Here we have a somewhat richer more nuanced blend that could stand up to stronger cheeses or even fish in a sauce but still retains a juicy by-the-glass appeal. Easy to drink and easy to buy! 2000 Château La Cardonne, Médoc ($14.99) From Bordeaux’s greatest vintage ever comes a great bargain. This starts with lusty aromas of toast, coffee and herb that leap out of the glass. The palate is clean, fresh and firm showing lots of dark fruit and a touch of spice on the substantial finish. This is food friendly, affordable and got 89 points from the Wine Spectator. 2003 Les Gravettes, Côtes de Bourg ($12.99) The satellite region of Côtes de Bourg is home to many tasty, bargain-priced wines, and this lush beauty is a perfect example. Ripe berries gush from this merlot-based gem with juicy cherries rounded out by a chocolaty finish showing very mild tannin. This is a traditionally made wine done in a more modern style for early drink ability. —Steve Bearden
The wine world as it exists today in 2006 is just bursting with a phenomenal amount of great quality wines, from every corner of the world and in every style imaginable. For the wine lover it is a dream-like marketplace. The commune of Margaux in Bordeaux is where two of France’s six great rivers meet, the Garrone and the Dordogne to form the Gironde. The glacial deposits over thousands of years, has always created great diversity in the style and quality of wines produced here. Not so very long ago, the perception of style and quality was real easy; there was good and there was bad. A typical work day was to taste at Ch. Margaux, Palmer, maybe Rauzan-Segla and then head north to St-Julien. There were so many underachievers with famous names that it was shame; but even in those days we would stop and taste the wines of Ch. d’Angludet. Now it is a whole different story, and Margaux is a perfect reflection of our wine world today. A vast selection of fine wine made throughout the entire commune, in different styles and price ranges. Wonderful re-emergence of estates like Ch. Lascombes, Giscours, du Tertre and Cantenac Brown that feature new the world style of abundantly forward ripe fruit and oak, Ch. Malescot St. Exupéry with its bold and rich feel, the same can be said for Ch. d’Issan. Brane-Cantenac is once again the epitome of elegance and purity, owning up to its reputation and 2nd growth status, very similar to Ch. Kirwan and the outstanding smallest classified growth, Ch. Ferriere. Top to bottom this large commune finally has got it all. Clyde and I have always loved the quiet estate and classically styled wine produced at Ch. d’Angludet in Margaux. We sold many vintages in the early years of K&L, 1978, ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83 and ’85, and we continue today with this consistent performer with a fine track record and aging potential. In fact I’ve bought many, and they are great with age. We taste every year at the chateau with the co-owner James Sichel, the son of the late Peter Sichel who was a great ambassador of Bordeaux wine. The wines of d’Angludet are firm and focused. They feature flavors of deep blackberry/black cherry fruit with a solid core of tannin and lots of mineral tones. Ch. d’Angludet is a K&L favorite and also a favorite of the great Master of Wine, Michael Broadbent from the UK. This trio of vintages we’ve just received are perfect examples of each vintage. The 1999 d’Angludet ($34.99) shows the supple roundness for early drink ability with an hour decant-ing. The 2001 d’Angludet ($34.99) is lively, bright and fresh as well as perfectly balanced and it will drink very well for numerous years. The 2000 d’Angludet ($39.99) shows you the brooding power of this vintage. Broad, dark and deep, this wine is the one for extended aging in the cellar. I’m sure you will enjoy all of them as they are well made wines for the purist. Warm New Year’s wishes to everyone, and please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or advice on the wines of Bordeaux at ex # 2723 or Ralph@klwines.com. Toujours Bordeaux! —Ralph Sands
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