Cheeky Rouge

I feel most of us normal people are asking ourselves one of two things when we open a young Bordeaux: Is it yummy or is it ageable? I am not excluding the possibility of it being both–obviously the holy grail–but at a $20 AOC level, I think the facts need to fall into one of the differing categories. Clearly, many factors play: the vintage, how much Cab is in it, provenance, production, a parent label, etc. etc. This wine is somewhat neither. First of all, 2018 brings with it a certain set of expectations, and at only 50% ME, I can easily grant some structural leeway in the *yummy* direction, but when the latter portion of the question kicks in, it also comes up lacking. Perhaps it’s all a visceral thing, but wine is not subjective–only palates are.

Ruby ruby right out to a thin clear rim, edge-bubbles which do not go away in the decanter. Green and acerbic in the nose, the fruit dulled down into greasy vegetal where earth is peach-pit and flaccid. Minute glimpses of complexity abound, but minute they are–an almost *barrel-sample* set of nuances lacking definition or distinction.

In the mouth, a thin set of vague plusses vie against glaring cons. The biggest problem here is a lack of elegance; a lack of fruit; a lack of spice, savory splendor and composure. Cru Beaujolias rigidity and ridiculously thin Bordelais instincts rule the day. The entry a shrieking acidic wonder; middle chalky and dry, glaringly fruitless and burning with un-resolved–watery–definition; finish all shallow ire and un-mannered fruitless acid. It’s not particularly unpleasant, but I think 20-dollar Bordeauxs should be pleasant–especially from 2018. So is it ageable? The stuffing would vote against that. But it’s your call. I know a lot of people buy fruitless wines thinking they will get better.

2018 MARY TAYLOR ‘Jean-marc Barthez’ ME/Cab/CF 50/25/25 Entre-Doux-Mers 14.0

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