This beautiful bottle of Bordeaux comes from Saint-Émilion, a French region known for its Merlot-based blends. The focus on Merlot means that Saint-Émilion wines are softer and generally are ready to drink at an earlier age.
I was excited when I purchased a duo of this Chateau Béard La Chapelle for $27 each. After all, I was getting a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru for a steal.
My enthusiasm was curbed somewhat when I investigated the classification system. In Saint-Émilion there are several tiers of wine, starting at the top with Premier Grands Cru Classés, Grands Cru Classés and then Grand Cru. So, I wasn’t at the top of the ladder like I had hoped, but there were several other designations below.
This wine was highly rated and has earned bushels of awards, so I was anticipating the uncorking. In the glass, the color is deep with purple highlights. The nose was dark cherry and spice.
On the palate this started out tannic, then rounded into a softer, full-bodied wine. Flavor notes of mint and dark chocolate abound. My spouse, the Green Dragon, sensed a flavor of toffee brickle.
This wine had a successful lift-off, but there was no ignition of stage two. It is a good wine that lacked the spark to make it truly special. It is good, but not great. I’ll allow my second bottle to age for another year or more and try it with a pork or lightly spiced beef entrée.
Rating: 3 of 5 Value: 3 of 5