Holy crap is this a gorgeous wine. Really fruit-fwd nose–a little too forward for me, hedges almost into California *red blend* supermarket fruit-forwardness–but it’s an initial thing, an almost immediately the dusty brilliance of France shines through and takes over. It’s definitely ripe. Gotta be 14-oh minimum, which bothers me a bit, but the smoky dank smudge of fall leaves rides well on all the rich cherry and dark blackberry. Black and beautiful, saline mineral slides through, slippery and decadent while not giving away the farm just yet.
I know, I know… I’m supposed to be doing samples (they’re kinda stacking up), but I just have so much of my own wine I want to try–and these 2018 Bordeauxs are so compelling on the shelf. Unless you’ve been in a cave somewhere, the 2018 vintage promises ridiculously drinkable wines far down into the satellite and cru bourgeois arena and even into superieur. This little Merlot proves that suspicion.
In the mouth, instant rich fruit brings the nose to fruition. Thick and round, the piles of berry are squished and staining, bleeding–again–an almost Napa-esque formulation to the wine. But not so fast. Tightly wound layers of green-briar and peppery acid downplay flabbiness, and the middle plays counter-point to any fantasies of obesity. Precise cinnamon-tinged tannins are smooth but powerful, toasted almond and green tea in a gob-stopping finish shrill and balanced.
Probably one of the easiest-drinking Bordeauxs at this age I have ever seen. Of course that bothers me. Because I’m an old stick in the mud. This thing is SOOOO yummy RIGHT NOW, and I promise enjoyment way down into the 99% of wine drinkers. Is it a 20-year wine? Maybe. Obviously cellars are full of ripe, beautiful wine that will age. Is it a RP darling? One could make that argument. But who is to argue with ripe fruit, rich body and impeccable balance. I guarantee a solid 10 year wine. There’s just so much fruit and structure. I say buy 2 cases, and drink one a year. You won’t be able to do that, but good luck.
2018 CHATEAU PETIT GOUJON Merlot Lalande de Pomerol Bordeaux 14.3