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Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Beautifully pure, with salted butter, chamomile and quinine notes lacing up a core of creamed Jonagold apple and lanolin flavors. The long, creamy finish lets the chamomile edge play out elegantly. Drink now through 2018.
I tasted the Baumard 2009 Savennieres as an approximation to its final shape, since some of the lots that either had not – or had only partly – undergone malo-lactic fermentation might well evolve further in that direction before the wine is bottled in September. At this early stage, the overall impression is soft and not especially focused, but there is compensatory richness of quince and pear fruit, nut oil richness, alluring creaminess of texture, and lily-of-the-valley-the-valley and iris floral perfume that wafts all the way through a sustained, wet stone-underlain finish. A hint of fresh lime serves for some sense of refreshment despite the wine’s overall softness, and as with the 2008, I sense less bitterness and greater buoyancy than in vintages a few years past.
Range : 89-90+
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.