BOSTON, MA — It’s been warmer, as February draws to a close, yet I still crave red wine, and often the structure and posture of the wines of Bordeaux.
Even in summer, when temperatures, long days and humidity run high, something about the pencil box affectation that delivers in the red wines of Bordeaux, brings a sense of nostalgia.
The warmer it gets, and the closer nostalgia beckons, I long for the classic, postured wine representation from France.
But let’s get back on track. It’s just cusping on March, mild as it’s been, and surely we’ll see a bit more snow?
Regardless, the red wines of Bordeaux, are for me a go-to when I want to posit myself in the lineage of the youth of my past.
As Hemingway wrote in 1950, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”.
So too was I, a young woman, many years ago, discovering wine and more in Paris for the first time.
The Cotes de Castillon sub region in Bordeaux is lesser known than Pomerol and St. Emillion, but it’s right next door. This is the Right Bank, in Bordeaux, where Merlot takes center stage.
There are three main red grape varieties which dominate in Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The river Gironde comes in from the Atlantic, meets the river Dordogne, and divides the wine region into the Left Bank, where Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes, and the Right Bank, where Merlot shines.
Cabernet Franc plays back up to both, on both banks. Bordeaux, like Burgundy, is easily a conundrum for affordable, taste of place finds. In the Côtes de Castillon, a little detective work pays off.
Chateau d’Aiguilhe is one such find.
Stephan Von Neipperg, winemaker and owner at, among other properties, Cannon le Gaffeliere in St. Emillion, and himself a Count, benefits from the helping hands of winemaking consultant Stephane Derenoncourt, who is considered the new Michel Rolland (esteemed, longtime Bordeaux winemaking consultant).
The Seigneurs is the second wine (which equates affordable, from a solid house) from Chateau d’Aiguilhe, and is every bit classic, Right Bank Bordeaux.
Mostly Merlot, this is supple, velvet, chocolate territory, with equal parts ruby red fruits. It’s also a bit savory, and structured thanks to a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. Comfort food in a wine if ever there was.
2011 Seigneurs d’Aiguilhe Côtes de Castillon Bordeaux @ $19.00, available at select retail.