Wine Talk

Snooth User: DrPetrus

Help with Bordeaux

Posted by DrPetrus, Jan 31, 2011.


Quick question.... which area of Bordeaux produces the most full bodied, smokey, leathery reds?

I understand it is a very difficult question which can change depending on vintage etc but as a typical rule of thumb, which areas give a heavier and in particular smokier/oakier red?

Excuse my basic knowledge...I am but a mere amature!




Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Jan 31, 2011.

I like St. Estephe, but most Left Bank stuff should make you happy in general.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 31, 2011.

GDD is correct - left is right! [soory coould not resist the temptation for poor humour]

Margaux, St Estephe, St Julien, Paulliac make the full bodies Bordeaux styles.

You may find some Haut Medoc do the same but I am not experienced enough to recommend any

Reply by dmcker, Jan 31, 2011.

Plenty of big bodies on the Right Bank, too, also with oak in the the profile. Do you want softer, softer rounder bodies that come from more merlot, or that tannic austerity that can come from cabernet sauvignon? Cab franc over on the Right can also give smokiness and leather, in my experience.

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Feb 1, 2011.

Agreed, but I was speaking in generalities, as I think CS tends to create bigger wines than Merlot.

And, while this is not always the case, I tend to find Franc to be more fruity, floral a/o green  on the nose than smoky and leathery.

Reply by ChipDWood, Feb 1, 2011.

When I think of the words "smokey" and "leathery", I think merlot.  For that, the right bank (and particularly Pomerol) deliver "exactly" what you're looking for.

Trust me: Merlot can be powerful too, and the better ones while expensive not only pack a wollap, but deliver a silky, texture-rich experience unparalleled.

As a friend once said: "like shaking hands with a giant wearing mittens."

Don't be affraid to go Italian either, by the way.  Some of the Super Tuscans prove that Merlot belongs there as well, particularly the higher end stuff but even the more "fiscally" attainable wines, like Ornellaia's second label "Le Serre Nuove" (mind the improperly attributed "winemakers Notes btw).

Like a baby Massetto ;).

Reply by DrPetrus, Feb 1, 2011.

thanks guys! that is the second person in 24 hours that has suggested looking at the second wine of ornellaia! I will buy a few bottles tonight and try it... as for the bordeaux... i think i am looking for a softer tanin in my bordeaux.. what are the st emillion like? I hear there is more franc in them which leads to the leathery smoke? and also that CS isnt that supported there due to the terroir so merlot is used.. does this not give the softness and the smoke?

thanks again in advance for your reply!



Reply by JonDerry, Feb 1, 2011.

I couldn't help but think that you'd at least be interested in the right bank w/ a screen name of Dr. Petrus!

And I actually think there will be plenty of very good wines on the right bank that meet your criteria.  Some of the 08's are already in, and although they are very young, they are nice wines at a pretty good value.  If you don't mind spending more, try the 05' vintage.  These are wines that are medium + bodied, usually with a somewhat creamy/ velvety mouthfeel, with strong fruit (not necessarily very forward), earth, spice/smoke notes, and relatively fine but active tannins. 

Recommendations from St. Emilion ($55-$85):

Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere (50% Merlot, 45% Cab Franc, 5% CS)

Chateau Pavie-Macquin (85% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc)

Troplong Mondot (90% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc, 5% Cab)

If you have a lot of money to play with, say $500-$1,000.00 - well you might look into arguably the best St. Emilion there is, Cheval Blanc.  50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc - their estate covers almost equal parts St. Emilion and Pomerol, boasting some of the best terroir on the right bank, with a duality that can't be matched. 


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