Wine: Chateau du Pin Bordeaux
Grape: Merlot (60 percent), cabernet sauvignon (40 percent)
Region: Bordeaux, France
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquor
In the glass: Chateau du Pin is a deeply opaque blackish-red color with a dense core going out into a saturated pinkish-red rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: This wine comes out of the glass firing on all cylinders with a plethora of crushed black fruits, attractive notes of black cherries, blueberries, loganberries, minty freshness, oak references, mocha and milk chocolate. It’s an attractive nose that continues to present pleasant black fruits for as long as your nose is in the glass.
On the palate: There is even more wonderful black fruit character coming through with layers of sexy juicy black currants, huckleberries, crushed elderberry fruit and underlying oak references, coffee and lacy minerals. The midpalate is fine and balanced with lots of structure, that mint note and the tannins are kept in check through the finish, which is again rich in black fruits and even a hint of spiciness. A superb, lingering after-mouth with pure black currant juice lasts for well over 30 seconds. I really like this one.
Odds and ends: One of the greatest vintages of all time is the already legendary 2009 vintage in Bordeaux. When the 2009s from Bordeaux were released, they were historically, on average, the most expensive wines ever released from any region in the world. So, finding a great value such as this Chateau du Pin is rare, but highly rewarding once identified. Interestingly, one of the most expensive wines in Bordeaux is called Le Pin, often referred to as Chateau Le Pin (“pin” means pine, as in pine tree). It sells for more than $1,500 a bottle on average, but for the 2009 it is more than $3,000 per bottle. This wine is not related to its superpricey near-namesake.
While a classic blend of the two most widely planted grape varieties in Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, it is more than a mere table wine. Pretty much everything produced in this region in 2009 holds up to serious scrutiny, such is the success of this great vintage. You can easily have this delicious, overachieving wine with grilled lamb chops and a baked potato. Drink it now through 2018.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.