Dark transparent ruby with thin pink edges. Lightly staining. A funky eucalyptus splays cinnamon and nutmeg in all directions, exposing a foundation of concentrated dark fruit with a brown-bread and alcoholic tinge. Tapenade and new tire create a heady wall to rub through, but beautiful fruit is definitely visible. The nose is rich enough to practically be Paso, but late-breathing settles down into something more–let’s say–Alexander Valley. It’s a big blusterous thing, and let’s hope it doesn’t come off like this in the mouth. Decanted heavily.
Wow. On the palate it is a light, thin, breathless wonder. Literally night & day. Little glimpses of green-plum fruit and infantile cassis hit early, but don’t crescendo. The structure becomes evident as the middle waters out considerably before a teeny bit of thinned-down fruit re-appears in the not-ridiculously tannic finish awash instead with incredible minerality with just a hind of dark fruit in the background.
A classic donut wine. No middle. The only thing that would make it MORE of a donut wine would be blistering tannins–which it thankfully doesn’t have. Anyone who reads me knows I give about 80% of my score to the bouquet–and this wine has it in spades, but there’s no fruit. And fruit doesn’t grow in a wine. If it’s not there, it never will be. Sure, you can age a wine and develop all kinds of complex–and lovely–tertiary nuances but they are not fruit. I have CRAZY good luck with Lussac St Em and it is easily my favorite satellite. Wonder how much Merlot is in this. This could easily be straight Merlot–the most famous of donut wines–especially with a little age.
Like all Kermit Lynch wines: an incredible value and a fun drink. Definitely something I do NOT regret throwing in my basket, and another half-decade would be interesting on this wine. But the cynic in me says no.
2011 CHATEAU DE BELLEVUE Lussac St. Emilion Bordeaux France 13.0