Reynald Delille’s Bandol rouge is a different animal than most, more finesse than raw power. The domaine’s vineyards obviously play a part—situated on limestone bedrock and cooled by Mediterranean breezes—as does a strict organic regimen. The wine really starts to shine after a few years in bottle, when the earthy, savory, mineral elements begin to peek through the youthful fruit. We’re seeing that with the 2015 vintage, a special library release direct from the domaine’s cellars.
Do not fear grand cru Muscat. It bears no resemblance to the cheap Muscats that may have blurred the intemperate nights of your youth. From the steep limestone vineyards above the village of Ribeauvillé, this Muscat is wildly aromatic and decadently fruity, but also sumptuously full, structured, and dry. The wines of Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé are known for being closed in their youth, with bracing acidity that takes time to resolve. With a few years in the bottle, and from the excellent 2015 vintage, this is just hitting its stride.
In the eighteenth century, the wines from Canon Fronsac were regarded as among the best in Bordeaux and celebrated at the court of Versailles. The region’s clay and limestone soils, located just a few miles west of Saint-Émilion, were considered ideally suited for Merlot. Today, Canon Fronsac is overshadowed by its more famous neighbors in the Médoc, which is just fine with me. Values abound, and vignerons like Bénédicte and Grégoire Hubau make wine for the table, not the auction block. Their Château Moulin Pey-Labrie—Merlot with a splash of Malbec—has a nose brimming with pure red fruit and cassis, with whiffs of earth and mint, and a grippy finish. This library release offers tremendous value and immediate drinkability.
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