|San Francisco – July 5th. We hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day! The weather here in the Bay Area was beautiful, and we witnessed plenty of evidence that many folks were busy tending to their respective grills. If you’re among the lucky ones enjoying an extra-long holiday weekend (we’re not, but someone has to keep the shop open!), then we invite you to stop on by for a visit as we are open today, July 5th until 6pm. We’ll be open tomorrow, July 6th from 10am until 5pm. We will be closed, as usual, on Sunday. We recently reported about the creation of a value Bordeaux section here alongside the more famous Cru Classé Bordeaux wines. Again, the concept: We sat down with a visiting Bordeaux negociant and selected 24 wines that seemed interesting from their catalog. The negoce shipped us one bottle each, and over a month long stretch, TWH gang tasted and retasted all of the wines. Of the 24 that we received, we chose 6. Today, we’ll focus on one of the 4 reds chosen, the 2009 Château La Fleur Boireau from Montagne St. Emilion.
A little online research doesn’t reveal very much on the wine, only a few reviews from other wine merchants who at one time stocked the 2009 La Fleur Boireau. As of today, on WineSearcher.com, we are the only merchant in the country with this wine. After reading the reviews from some of the other merchants, we agree with the consensus that this wine is a great value. It was interesting to note that some of those other merchants who were proclaiming this wine “a steal” were selling it for a much higher price! Being the importer helps, big time.
|When our staff embarks on a tasting exercise evaluating potential candidates to import and stock, we taste them over the course of the day noting any changes as the wines are exposed to oxygen. The unwritten rule is that nothing is discussed until everyone has tasted the samples and then we begin to share our opinions. These discussions usually lead us all back to the tasting table to re-taste the wines after we hear each other’s opinions. We liked the 2009 Château La Fleur Boireau for a few reasons, price being one of them. The wine possesses the charm and structure of the 2009 vintage. The aromas are of dark berry cassis-like fruit, chalky mineral, spice, and a leathery component that I like to call “that Bordeaux funk.” It’s an interesting juxtaposition of “old school” meets modern times. On the palate, the wine is lush and velvety, medium to full bodied, with a good balance of expressive fruit and rustic Old World charm. The finish is fairly long, with the dark brambly fruit propped up by lively acidity and velvety tannins.Château La Fleur Boireau is located in the appellation of Montagne St. Emilion on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The vineyard lies in the western part of the appellation just adjacent to Lalande de Pomerol. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc and the wine is made in cement vats. The fruit comes from vines 30+ years old, grown on a clay/calcareous slope. Checking my own tasting notes, I admired the briary, expressive fruit, chalky mineral, and the hint of rusticity. Stylistically, I have an appreciation for “Old-School” Bordeaux. It was quite evident that over the course of the day, that leathery, “Bordeaux funkiness” blew off. All in all, we liked the complexity, style, structure, and best of all, price of the 2009 Château La Fleur Boireau.
So yes, it took us a month to taste all of those samples, and we have repeated the exercise with a similar line-up of wines from a different negociant. So our value Bordeaux section is set to expand later this summer. We’re always looking for great new wines to put on our shelves, and sometimes we have to taste through many suboptimal wines to find the good ones. Or as Anya said, “We taste a lot of bad wine so you don’t have to.” – Peter Zavialoff