I’m by no means an expert on Bordeaux. In order to be considered an expert, it seems that one needs to be able to recite far more facts and figures about Bordeaux and its wines than is required for any other wine region. I’m going to let the experts be the experts and rely on my taste buds to tell me where the value is. That is exactly why and how we have Chateau Pilet in our stores.
It’s no secret that Bordeaux is actually a marginal growing region (although global warming may change that) which means that when the vintage is great to awesome the wines are out of this world all the way up and down the price line. On the other hand, as stratospheric as the quality may be in the best of years, the exact opposite happens in average to below-average years. There are a couple of tricks I used to tell the great from the awful. One is the level of press and hyperbole the Bordelaise use and the second is tasting through scads of entry-level wines.
When the rhetoric and praise for a vintage gets to a fevered pitch and is spiced with phrases like ‘better than expected’ and ‘incredible value’ I figure that the vintage was not so good and this has played out over my years of tasting.
To determine if Bordeaux wines are the wise wine buy, one must taste through the entry-level as only in great years do the entry-level wines truly impress. When I say entry level I mean wines under $20. Both 2009 and 2010 were fantastic vintages and the 2010 vintage is showcased by the breathtaking quality of the $18 Chateau Pilet.
Mostly Merlot this wine shows the remarkable elegance and complexity that has seduced generations of Bordeaux lovers. Ripe generous fruit, lush violet and floral highlights, spice, and even a hint of eucalyptus greet your nose and palate. The body of the wine is like velvet and flows over your tongue to a juicy elegant finish.
Let it breathe for about 30 minutes and pair it with roasted or grilled red meats, stews, chicken or turkey pot pie, and charcuterie.
Chateau Pilet is a one-time buy, which means it was only on offer once and thus when there is no more stock it will become the stuff of the wine of legend and a hallmark for the wise wine drinker.
Here is a link to a review of the 2010 Bordeaux Vintage: https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-ONWINEB-1890