Every wine lover knows about the deep, elegant, and long ageing wines of Bordeaux. It is the original, and some would say finest, interpretation of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based blends. The greatest cru’s have been the inspiration for many vintners the world over. What is less well known are the supple and inviting red wines of the Côte de Bourg, a small village colonized in the times of the Roman Empire, located just across the river Gironde from the Medoc village of Margaux. The earliest vines were planted here by the Romans many hundreds of years before the first vines were laid down across the river in what today makes up the famed vineyards of the classified growths. The 2009 Château Laurensanne at only $12.49 represents the heart of the Côtes de Bourg. A blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of bright red fruit and a slight earthiness draw you in to the soft fruit-forward palate which is laden with those same cherry, strawberry, and cassis fruit notes.
Francois Mitjavile, producer of St. Emilion’s famed Château Tertre Roteboeuf, upon seeing the beauty of the land and quality of the soils promptly purchased a 23 acre parcel of land in the Côtes de Bourg which he would come to call Roc De Cambes. The vineyards lay on top of clay and limestone soils which feed the well aged vines, an average of 45 years old, which in turn produce the ripe and highly concentrated berries which eventually end up in the deft hands of Mr. Mitjavile and his staff. Treating the Roc De Cambes vineyard as well as winemaking with the same care used at Tertre Roteboeuf, Mr. Mitjavile is able to coax the very best of what Côtes de Bourg can be. These wines are a blend of predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with just a touch of Malbec. The grapes are allowed ample hang time and picked only when ripe, even if that means waiting several weeks longer than the majority of the Côtes. We currently have the 2009 Roc de Cambes for $64.99 – while exuberant and full of life now, it will benefit with a few years ageing. However if you’re looking for the mature side of the Côtes de Bourg we have the more rustic and well evolved 2006 Roc de Cambes for $49.99.
Bill A., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant