A Back-Vintage Bordeaux Bonanza from Château Poujeaux
For lovers of aged red wines, Bordeaux is a region of bargains. Sure, Pétrus and Lafite are wildly expensive, but move past the biggest names and you’ll start finding really good wines with 10+ years of bottle age for under $100. Sometimes much less!
If that sounds like your cup of tea, then Château Poujeaux is a name to know. Tucked in the tiny Left Bank appellation of Moulis-en-Médoc, Poujeaux makes supple but classically-styled wines that are as good or better than many cru classés. Give a bottle of Poujeaux the proper aging, and it will develop that beautiful mature Bordeaux perfume: leather, tobacco, soft cheese, and sweet dark red fruits.
Today you don’t have to worry about the proper aging part; we have two fully mature vintages, which recently came direct to us from France. 1996 was a highly-rated year for the Medoc, one that produced more linear, freshly styled wines than other good vintages from that time period, like 1990 or 2000. It’s certainly in its prime now, but you could hold onto it a little longer if you wanted.
1997 was considered a weak vintage, but Bordeaux from “off” vintages are some of our favorite wines — from anywhere — to drink. In any case, Poujeaux really overperformed. It’s a real beauty, almost Burgundian in style. While lighter than the ‘96, it’s also brighter, and still has plenty of silky fruit.
On caveat, however: older wines like these really benefit from slow oxygenation. Our recommendation is to pull the cork and let the wine breathe in the bottle for about 3 or 4 hours before you plan on drinking it. The wine will become richer, silkier, and more youthful! Additionally, you can decant just before serving if you want, just to ‘rack off’ the sediment.
Château Poujeaux, Moulis-en-Médoc, 1997 $59.99
Château Poujeaux, Moulis-en-Médoc, 1996 $69.99
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