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2015 Lalande-de-Pomerol

Château Belles-Graves

2015 Lalande-de-Pomerol Château Belles-Graves - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

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.

Anthony Lynch

$36.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Lalande-de-Pomerol
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Producer: Château Belles-Graves
Winemaker: Xavier Piton
Vineyard: 40 years avg, 16.9
Soil: Clay, Gravel
Aging: Wine is raised in French oak barrels, 25% of which is new, for twelve to fifteen months
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About Bordeaux

Often considered the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux and its wines have captured the minds, hearts, and wallets of wine drinkers for centuries. For many, the wines provide an inalienable benchmark against which all other wines are measured.

Bordeaux is divided into three winegrowing regions with the city that gives the region its name in the near geographical center. The “right bank,” or the area located east of the Dordogne River, produces wines that are predominantly Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The “left bank” is located to the west of the Garonne River and produces wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

The third region, Entre-Deux-Mers, lies between both rivers and produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Though technically in the left bank, it is worth noting the appellation of Sauternes, which produces arguably the world’s most famous sweet wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle as well.

Though many top Bordeaux wines are sold en primeur (in advance of their bottling) and often through a middleman known as a negoçiant, Kermit has always preferred to purchase directly from the winemaker. For more than three decades he has sought out small producers, who make classic Bordeaux wines and are willing to play outside the negoçiant system. This ethic has led to longstanding relationships, excellent prices, and perhaps most important—wines of great value and longevity.

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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

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