Bordeaux’s Millennium Vintage: Some Recommendation

These recommendations, by region, are futures contracts on 2000 vintage Bordeaux wines, at prices now prevailing in the Washington, DC area. They represent wines of good value that will afford pleasure over the years. Again, I would recommend some variation in bottle size, including half bottles and magnums. The buyer might also want to get several cases of a favorite region. The wines from the Margaux area seem to offer good bargains, and comparing them over time would be a pleasure. Here are the recommendations, with some personal notes. The prices noted are case prices for standard size bottles, taxes not included. St. Estephe: Chateau Meyney ($237). This is of course not a classified wine under the famed 1855 classification. Still, it is well located, on a plateau overlooking the Gironde River, and the wine offers consistent value. Pauillac: Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal ($232): Carruades de Lafite Rothschild ($375). This is the second wine of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, said to be exceptional this year. Carruades should therefore be a good value, and a quality approximation of the grand vin at one-tenth of the price. Buy some magnums if you can. St. Julien: Chateau Talbot ($399); Chateau Gloria ($235); Chateau Brananire-Ducru ($315); Chateau Beychevelle ($345); Clos du Marquis ($279). This is a good set of values. Clos du Marquis is the second wine of the highly regarded “super second” Chateau Leoville Las Cases. Chateau Gloria was created by Henri Martin, long a moving force behind the Bontemps du Medoc et des Graves, and a stickler for excellence in wine and its enjoyment. The other three are, of course, highly regarded wines of the traditional 1855 classification. Magnums of any of these three classified growths will yield great enjoyment in years to come. A case can be made that even though St. Julien lacks a First Growth, its overall quality per estate is the highest in the Medoc. Get some 2000 vintage St. Julien, and you may be inclined to agree. These prices will only rise in the future. Margaux: Here there is a richness of choices. Chateau Lascombes ($363); Chateau Siran ($215); Chateau Giscours ($349); Chateau Cantenac-Brown ($275); Chateau d’Issan ($330); Chateau Prieure Lichine ($323); Chateau Dauzac ($289). If your budget will stretch, the highly regarded second wine of Chateau Margaux, Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux ($479) is also available, again at a fraction of the price of the grand vin, said by some to be the wine of the vintage. Buy it in half bottles, and you’ll have a great treat, one that will be accessible soon. Moulis: Chateau Poujeaux ($225); Chateau Chasse-Spleen ($241). These are bargain prices for two wines that would surely be upgraded in a revised 1855 classification. Chateau Poujeaux was said to have been French President Pompidou’s favorite wine, offered often at the Elysee Palace. Haut-Medoc Chateau Sociando Mallet ($299); Chateau Potensac ($175). Graves: Domaine de Chevalier ($385); Chateau Latour Martillac ($205); Chateau Picque Caillou ($164). All three are good values. Domaine de Chevalier has long been one of the best made Bordeaux wines. My theory is that its price is depressed only because it doesn’t have the word “chateau” in the title! Chsteau Latour Martillac is a nice wine with an interesting American association. It was once owned by the philosophher Montesquieu, whose theory of the separation of powers became the basis for our Constitution. Buy some magnums, and when Congress and the White House fail to agree on some spending program, raise a glass to the Baron! Pomerol: Clos Rene ($241); Domaine de l’Eglise ($310). St. Emilion: Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne ($199); Chateau Moulin St. Georges ($325); Chateau Berliquet ($399); Chateau La Tour Figeac ($299). In a way, I’m sorry to see that the price of Chateau Berliquet is trending upwards. That must mean the secret of its excllence is getting around! Berliquet is located on the St. Emilion plateau, and is a close neighbor of the classic and very pricey Chateau Ausone. However, purists say that the patterns of wind and rainfall aren’t quite the same there. That may be true, but the wine is excellent, and the price differential in my view was never justified. I remember having a half bottle of Chateau Moulin St. Georges, which is owned by the owner of Chateau Ausone, at luncheon at a restaurant in St. Emilion, and being struck by its high quality. Here it is, available at a good price. Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne and Chateau Latour Figeac are both located on the St. Emilion plain, near Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Figeac, neighboring Pomerol. They are wines of consistent and high quality, and still a nice value at these prices. They will be sure to be increased before long, so better buy them while they remain available. Take a look at Bill’s biography! Copyright © 2001, Paris New Media, LLC
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