Along with consultant Michel Rolland, Yves Vatelot, who has done such a sensational job at Reignac, as well as consulting at Margaux’s Chateau Lascombes, produces this luxury cuvee. Made from extremely low yields of 15 hectoliters per hectare, from a 7.5-acre vineyard with 39-year old vines, this 100% Merlot is the finest example of Balthus yet made."
Chateau de Reignac Balthus 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "Given traditional Burgundian-like treatments of malolactic in barrel and aging on its lees, the 2005 Balthus is an opaque purple-hued blockbuster offering up a sweet perfume of blueberry liqueur interwoven with notes of incense, camphor, spring flowers, and crushed rocks. Dense and full-bodied with stunning concentration, in a blind tasting it could easily beat out many classified growths. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
Wine Spectator - "A dense, full-bodied red, with lots of smoky oak coloring the black currant and notes of passion fruit, kumquat and violet. Long and flavorful, with a backbone of velvety tannins. A little brutish just now, but it's all there. Best after 2011. 500 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Ripe, pure aromas of black fruits, violet, espresso, mocha and licorice. Rich, chewy and superconcentrated, with noteworthy precision to the plump flavors of black cherry, cassis, violet and dark chocolate. This appears to have the sheer strength of mid-palate material to support its substantial ripe tannins. Finishes long and strong. Impressive juice. This is an all-merlot cuvee made by Yves Vatelot, owner of Reignac, and the best young vintage of this wine I have tasted to date. "
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Château de Reignac Winery
Château de Reignac sits atop the highest point in the parish of Saint Loubes, overlooking a 135-hectare clay and gravel rise that includes a single 80-hectare block of vines.
The original château was built by Seigneur Baude de Peyron in the 16th century. It was remodeled in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 1800s, a central courtyard was added that features his signature wrought iron railings and in 1868, a remarkable greenhouse was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
The present owners, Yves and Stephanie Vatelot, purchased Reignac in 1990 and have worked continuously ever since to restore the estate to its former glory while introducing numerous innovations. The world-renowned Michel Rolland is their consulting oenologist.
"Reignac is the standard bearer for what can be achieved by a passionate proprietor who cuts yields to a minimum, and does everything right in the cellar. Reignac is the leading candidate for the finest generic Bordeaux produced year in and year out. It can compete favorably with classified growths..."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate View all Château de Reignac Wines
About Other BordeauxView a map of Other Bordeaux wineries A few extra appellations:
Bourg & Blaye
These two appellations are just across the Gironde river from the Haut-Medoc – a bit northwest of St-Émilion and its satellites. Bourg is the smaller appellation, nestled under the much bigger Blaye. Both have AC status, Cotes de Bourg AC and Cotes de Blaye AC. One step up on the AOC chain is the Premieres Cotes de Blaye AC, producing excellent red wines. Both regions rely primarily on Merlot, blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and some Cabernet Franc. Whites are allowed here too – usually Sauvignon Blanc, creating dry and pleasant wine.
Listrac & Moulis
These two appellations are situated in the western part of the Medoc, in that they are further inland from their more prestigious neighbor communes like Margaux and Pauillac. In typically Medoc fashion, the wines are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to their location further inland, the soils are dense and retain water, leading to wines that can be more rustic than those wines from communes on the riverbanks. But seek out the good producers, as many bargains are to be had in the Cru Bourgeois of these regions.
Entre Deux Mers is not exactly what it means – between two seas - as technically it's between two rivers. The wines produced in this region, sandwiched between the Garonne & Dardogne rivers, are light and charming and often reasonably priced. The AC of Entre Deux Mers is only for white wines, reds from the region will be listed as Bordeaux AC. Like other Bordeaux whites, wines of the area are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. Light, crisp, citrus-y and floral, these wines are great summer drinkers.
Bordeaux & Bordeaux Superior
Bordeaux wines that do not fall under a specific appellation are labeled "Appellation Bordeaux" or "Appellation Bordeaux Superieur." The majority of wines made in Bordeaux fall into one of these categories. Wines from these two classifications are made with grapes that come from any appellation within Bordeaux – white or red. Most of the wines are white, and much of the red comes from Entre Deux Mers, where only white wines can bear the namesake appellation on their label. Bordeaux Superior has slightly stricter regulations than the Bordeaux AC.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review33.2 out of 5 stars
5 ratings, 4 with reviewscleopatra01 - Massillon, OH12/26/2015Mad Max - Virginia Beach, VA35/13/2014
Real peppery. Not my bag. Others may enjoy.WIll D - Biloxi, MS45/8/20142 hours of air needed at minimum but absolutely delish for the money.JeanneMW - Marina Del Rey, CA52/7/2014This is the best wine I have ever drinkwalktard - Tahoe City, CA31/22/2014Still has quite strong, grippy tannins.
- Earth & Spicy