2016 Chateau Marjosse
As of 2012, Cheval Blanc was one of only two estates in Saint Emilion to be classified as Grand Cru Classe “A” – in other words, setting the curve and getting the A grade above several hundred other wineries.
Now here’s the thing – one man makes both Cheval Blanc and Chateau Marjosse, the wine on offer today : Pierre Lurton. Now Pierre Lurton ain’t no senator’s son, he wasn’t a Bordelaise born with a silver spoon and a Chateau Grand Cru Classe A deed in his hand. His childhood was spent at Marjosse, a “simple” Bordeaux vineyard, where he learned a passion for the wines of Bordeaux and a desire to produce the greatest wines in the world.
Which, quite frankly, he does. Even the most hardened, non-romantic of wine buyers would have to admit that a man responsible year in and year out for producing bottles of wine that sell for $700 has got mad skillz to pay the bills. You can’t maintain that level of success—even in Bordeaux—if your wines aren’t worth the price.
So where does this giant among winemakers go when he needs a Tuesday night wine? Back to his roots, to the place that, as he says “was the cradle of my youth, the place where I developed a passion for the great wines of Bordeaux.” And that place is Marjosse. And the wine he makes is the best Tuesday nighter I’ve ever had:
Here is classic Bordeaux – ripe, yet refined. Full-bodied but with drive and energy across the palate. Fit for food, and certainly still with enough richness that the first glass is not out of the question as a cocktail. The wine delivers a rich blackberry compote on the nose with the first glass, echoed by minerality, hints of spearmint, a touch of black truffles and woodsmoke. The midpalate is voluptuous, with a clearly defined sense of structure, and a backbone to last at least a decade longer, but that yields drinking pleasure right now.
This is classy Bordeaux. Is it Pierre’s $700 Cheval Blanc? Heck no. But it doesn’t need to be. It is the welcome home after a hard day at work, whether you are making two of the world’s greatest wines or hammering out some email advertisements– we all can use a great bottle of wine, at a fair price, that gives us the charm and deliciousness of the very best.