Here is a delicious Bordeaux drinker from Nicolas Thienpont, the owner of Beausejour Duffau in St. Emilion. This is another of our top picks from a massive selection of Bordeaux's we tasted last week, a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is located in Franc Cotes de Bordeaux, situated on a limestone plateau that flows up into some surrounding hillsides. Frost hit in 2017, and this vineyard experienced losses close to 50%. The vineyard management is slowly gravitating toward biological practices, making efforts every year to improve quality. Yields are managed by leaf thinning, debudding, and green harvesting, and the grapes are vinified whole in concrete vats with aging in 225 and 500-liter barrels, a third of which are new. This is a dense wine with some lovely and fresh limestone minerality coming to play. There is also some serious structure here and complexity of fruit here, making for delicious drinking, and while this does have a bit of a rustic spirit, some air or a nice piece of meat will smooth this right out. 2017 Château La Prade excellent Bordeaux buy that even picky drinkers can appreciate, and we have some of the only bottles available in the world!
Antonio Galloni 89 points! "The 2017 La Prade is rich and powerful, just as it was from barrel. A rush of blackberry jam, gravel, spice, leather and smoke gives the 2017 its somber, virile personality. Potent in both its fruit and tannic structure, the 2017 could use a year or two in bottle to come together, but I imagine it will always remain a bit rustic. There is no shortage of intensity, that much is clear. Yields are down 50% - 7 hectares in production, 4.5 were not frosted, but this is rustic. Tasted three times."
Neil Martin 89 points! "The 2017 La Prade has a straightforward bouquet of blackberry, melted tar and light tobacco aromas that gradually unfold and reveal commendable definition. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, rounded tannins, plenty of juicy black fruit laced with tar and black pepper, with a harmonious finish. Nicolas Thienpont has crafted a fine Francs Côtes de Bordeaux here."