One of the greatest vintages is the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux, France. But it's hard to find a good price for these wines, and Lalande-Couturier Bordeaux is the second wine from this region I have chosen to review.
This is a very young, but promising bottle of wine from Jean-Luc Thunevin, who is known for his superstar label Chateau Valandraud. But he also makes a smattering of tasty and inexpensive wines from the great wine regions of France.
I usually taste his wines in the spring, when he presents some 200 different esoteric wines that are all interesting in one way or another.
Lalande-Couturier represents what a good generic Bordeaux wine should be about. It is a good buy from what is normally the priciest of all vintages.
In the glass, Lalande-Couturier is a deeply opaque ruby-red color with a dense core, going out into a firm light red to pinkish rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose, there are freshly crushed red berry fruits with a minty fresh component, hints of gaminess, concentrated cassis fruit juice, balsa wood and underlying notes of cherries jubilee and smokiness.
On the palate, there is good extract of red fruits dominated by red cherries, Mirabelle plum skins, spice components, then some good fruit-driven mineral notes and vague traces of wood. Altogether, it is a very pure fruit-driven wine. The midpalate has a richness from the vintage character of the wine with yet more red fruits and earthy minerals, going into a solid finish that lingers with great balance between the fruit and the tannins.
This is a fine, full-bodied effort made from classically proportioned grape varietals that should drink well for at least another five years. Try it with a slow-roasted leg of lamb rubbed in salt, garlic and herbs de Provence.
Wine: Lalande-Couturier Bordeaux
Grape: Merlot (60 percent), cabernet sauvignon (30 percent), cabernet franc (10 percent)
Region: Bordeaux, France
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.