Wine: Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Superieur.
Grape: Cabernet Franc (50 percent), Merlot (30 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (20 percent)
Region: Bordeaux, France
Price: $9.99 per bottle.
In the Glass: This Chateau de Macard is a deep brooding purplish-red color with opaqueness throughout, going into a painted fuchsia-pink rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the Nose: There is tremendous concentration of crushed blackberry, creme de cassis, sweetish hints of black cherries, herbs de Provence, spice box with black pepper, tobacco and mineral components with hints of oak references from the 18 months in barrel this wine spends aging.
On the Palate: This medium-bodied wine appears wonderfully rich and supple with loads of black fruit compote, black currant sorbet, jammy almost raspberrylike flavors and great concentration and structure underlying. The midpalate is chewy and fat with more black fruit, and the finish lingers for quite some time on the palate with unobtrusive and soft tannins. A really great drinking wine from this superb — and just released — vintage from Bordeaux.
Odds and Ends: As long as there are great bottles of Bordeaux Petits Chateaux in the market from a stunning vintage such as 2009 and in this stupidly cheap price category under $10 per bottle, I am going to single them out and write about them. We may not have such an exceptional quality vintage for a long time to come, so it is totally worthwhile drinking them while you can. Chateau de Macard belongs in a category of Bordeaux properties called Superieur, which is one step up from the basic appellation wines and is a sort of classification in itself, as these properties meet certain standards set forth by the very strict rules in France. It is a semi-classic Bordeaux blend that best resembles some of the famous properties on the so-called Right Bank of Bordeaux, in particular Saint Emilion or Pomerol, where these particular grape varieties thrive. You can’t go wrong with this bottle of wine, and it is therefore highly recommended. Drink it with a few grilled, spice-rubbed lamb chops and enjoy it through 2014.
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.