2007 Château Haut-Bages Libéral

Château Haut-Bages Liberal, ranked in group #5 in the 1855 classification and neighbor to more famous Château Latour (they inform us on the bottle…brand mooching, anyone?). This Paulliac wine blends 65 % Cabernet Sauvignon with a 35 % share of Merlot.

Light vintage. Cedar tree, black currants and fresh herbs. A 35 % contribution of Merlot gives it an indefinable autumn sensation. Medium bodied, slightly short but with nice tannins albeit a tad too non-rugged to really appeal to me. After all, it’s a Pauillac. It improves palpably with food as compared to when just sipping pre-dinner. Not a surprising feature for Bordeaux, of course. Subtle, but slightly lacking character.  The cellartracker community asserts the drinking window to be 2012-2022. I strongly doubt that. Given the weak texture, I’m not sure what will be left after another ten years. For 280 SEK, I’d put my money elsewhere. 85p.

2008 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf du Pape is a different animal. A blend of 65 % Grenache, 25 % Syrah and 10 % Mourvèdre normally does not account for a wine lacking in texture, and this one certainly doesn’t. I bought this when visiting the estate outside of CndP this summer. Great estate. I paid about €24 which amounts to about 220 SEK. Nice value. Blackberries, plum, cured meat and herbs. Powerful, full-bodied, long and well-textured. Usually, the Domaine makes three different cuveés of their CndP grapes. However, this year, due to difficult weather conditions, all the grapes went into the “basic” bottling. Thus, this one contains the noble grapes usually intended for their prestige cuvées. 90p.

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