Friday Sips

Cellar Door Exclusive Bordeaux Wines
2 Sensational Saint-Emilion area Selections

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Situated on the lower half of the slope below the historic village of Saint-Emilion, Château Gaillard possesses 20 hectares of vines. Neighboring Chateau Canon-Gaffeliere and dragged from obscurity by owner/winemaker Catherine Nouvel-Papon's determination to estate-bottle the vineyards' total production, she brought Château Gaillard's commitment to excellence to the next level. In rather quick fashion, this small Château found its way on Bordeaux lovers' wine-maps with the 1996 vintage. Commencing in 2008, Chateau Gaillard became a rarity within Bordeaux; Catherine began converting her vineyards to practice biologique/organic farming. These days the wines are even more impressive and extremely undervalued given their high quality and propensity to age.

If you have not heard by now, the gods were fantastically kind 2016 for Bordeaux. Given all the fine vintages that we have sold from Catherine, this one may be her best work to date. As always, Catherine’s St-Emilion Grand Cru is powerful and full-bodied. Vintage 2016 adds extra layers as well as extra smoothness and dimension. Clear and precise strokes of blackberry, plum, chocolate and nutmeg aromas along with aspects of red raspberry, mint and salinity from the high (30%) percentage of Cabernet Franc. Expansive and showing ample movement and depth from the 50+ year-old vines, this will make you do a double take next time you reach for a 75-dollar Washington blend. Oh yeah, the finish: luxury and length abound with plenty of underlying grip. Extremely ageworthy, one may enjoy some now and enjoy some later. Drink through 2031+.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Cotes-de-Castillon is a large Bordeaux appellation but Catherine was in on the ground floor by acquiring a 10-acre plot for this wine in 1989. The special part to this vineyard is that these vines sit across a one-lane street from Saint-Emilion. Two other wines are produced at Peyrou but this Grand Vin is solely from the oldest Merlot vines, which are 80+ year old.

Slightly less poised and lux than the previously mentioned Saint-Emilion but a damn fine example of Right Bank Bordeaux terroir at its pinnacle and with the class of something more expensive. Scents of blueberry, cherry, some cedarbox as well as an earth and mineral streak along with hints of coffee and nutmeg from the use of well-placed oak. Stylish and ripe with sophisticated flavors that still have some firmness. A finesseful wine that stretches across the palate, this will develop and drink beautifully through 2028.