Last week, a 2009 Bordeaux pissed us off. In desperation, only food could tame its barking tannins. But this week, we flip the script and flip the river bank. We have a Left Bank, Haut-Médoc: famed for Cabernet blends and alluvial soils.
Ready your glass and soul for a Bordeaux that pleases right out of the gate (hopefully):
Chateau Malescasse, Haut-Médoc, FR 2009 $17-$20
Once again, we time travel to the giving 2009 vintage. Malescasse sits on the Haut-Médoc’s highest hill. Although founded in 1825, Malescasse’s winery and vineyards have had a total makeover. Stainless tanks and technology should make for a pure, pleasing, modern red. They do all those things wine nerds nod our heads to in unknowing approval: slow, cold maceration (“mmmhmm”), three weeks of controlled fermentation (“mmm”), MLF 35% in new wood (*nod), 12 months barrel aging on fine lees (“of course”). The blend is nearly half and half Cabernet and Merlot, with dashes of the usual suspects: Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Does this make an easy-pleasy wine?
The APPEARANCE looks clear but sits on a deep core of black cherry red, rimmed by garnet.
Flakes of AROMAS glow with medium plus intense kirsch, dried blackberry skin, light raspberry, cedar, tobacco ash, flint, light soy, and a waft of vanilla.
The dry PALATE sings merrily along with medium acidity, meaty tannins, medium alcohol, a medium body that feels plump, muscular, yet smooth.
Rich FLAVORS lead with plump boysenberry jam, dried mint, plum, torquing into cedar, light caramel, wrapping with Highland Whiskey.
Malecasse ’09 is very good (4 of 5). Food need not necessarily apply. But brisket, mold dishes, slow-cooked meats with light spice, mushroom or truffle risotto, and young hard cheese will play nicely with this Bordeaux.