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A “satellite appellation” to the noble Pomerol AOC, Lalande de Pomerol produces reds that, at their best, mimic Pomerol’s robust, earthy flavors at a fraction of the price. While there is more variation in terroir within the two appellations than between them, Lalande tends to have more gravel and sand compared to Pomerol’s heavier clay soils. Château Belles-Graves is named after the abundant gravel in its vineyards, which is notorious for holding the sun’s heat into the night. This helps the grapes (Merlot with a bit of Cabernet Franc) ripen early, giving generous wines dominated by ripe black fruit with very supple, approachable tannins. This does not preclude them from aging: this Lalande can easily be held for ten or twenty years, developing a deep complexity and aromas of black truffle and leather. Fine Bordeaux need not cost a fortune, nor does it need decades of bottle age to be delicious.
|Blend:||88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc|
|Vineyard:||40 years avg, 16.9|
|Aging:||Wine is raised in French oak barrels, 25% of which is new, for twelve to fifteen months|
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
Inspiring Thirst, page 174