Couple little dingers from 2016… ’16 was the great year you were supposed to drink before the equally great 2015’s, right? I think I have that right. Anyway… a simple AOC Medoc and a satellite of St. Emilion–both around 30 bucks and offering great value.
The Medoc is a chubby affair, lacking bright fruit and smelling of old tires and warm brown sugar. There’s a thick, viscous aspect to the nose–it kinda feels like Paso Robles, actually. Vapid and boring on the palate: rather devoid of fruit, a ghastly semblance of ripe cherry does its best to plump up the searing acid and alcoholic heat. Really nothing more going on in it. I have a few more of these… It will be interesting if they settle down into anything worthwhile. At present: a D-minus.
The Montagne is a pleasant glass: rich brambly cherry combined with a little Chinese 5-spice and petrichor in the nose. Light Merlot plumpness on the tongue, with all the gears of Cab-Franc churning up the interest. Mild while nicely balanced tannin-wise, pretty floral enhances the bone-dry aspect of acid and mineral. This is a much lighter–and thinly-stuffed–wine, but the charisma is there to polish out beautifully for another half-decade. B+
2016 CHATEAU CAILLOUX de BY Cab/ME 50/50 Medoc AOC Bordeaux France 14.2
2016 CHATEAU BERTIN ME/CF 70/30 Montagne St-Emilion Bordeaux France 14.0