Chateau d’Arcole, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($34.95) Buy Now: $29 special
My palate exercised by a cellar-worthy 2010 Sociando-Mallet, I relaxed with the first sip of 2009 Château d’Arcole. The former Bordeaux, a deep Cabernet, was still quite young; the latter, a soft Merlot, drank smoothly till all was gone. Both years were outstanding, but sometimes life calls for a fleshy, rounded St. Emilion, full of plum and spice, like Château d’Arcole.
The name comes from a Napoleonic battle, the grapes (70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon) from the château’s 300-year-old vineyard, which has never been bombarded by synthetic chemicals. The wine, certified organic, receives the dignified attention of Château d’Arcole’s Grand Cru status: Rotating stainless fermentation vats, gravity pumping, no filtration, not too much new oak. Such gentle treatment makes for a wine more delicate than aggressive, whose tannins meld with the bouquet of ripe fruit and toastiness, as if made for roasted fowl or a fine cut of pork. This wine is balanced enough to handle a few more years in bottle, but it is drinking so well now… – Daniel