Splendor in the Glass

Arturo Ciompi's blog on wine

A Game You Can Play

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon December 12, 2012

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Current Bordeaux prices have practically eliminated me from that market–it’s as simple as that.

Except…

Looking online the other day, I saw an offer for 2000 Prieur de Meyney at $19. So I think:

  • 2000–a truly great year for ripe, structured left-bank reds.
  • St. Estephe produces the hardest, most structured wines in any vintage
  • What’s the chance that Meyney’s 2nd label will be a winner to drink in 2013?

Second wines are not necessarily made from inferior grapes. Those in the know, know that certain barrels might not fit the “profile” of what the winemaker want Meyney to represent year after year. And even if some younger vines are in the 2nd label mix, there’s a really good chance that they, along with “misfit” barrels, made pretty good product in a stellar year. Looking at what else I can buy for that kind of money–a Chateau No-Name on the right bank, or the left hand corner of Margaux–I’ll take my intuitive chances with grapes from a fine, meritorious, PROVEN estate.

The game paid off.  The result is a wonderfully harmonious wine, a wine that blossoms over the course of three hours with a seductively pure blackcurrant nose and a finish that is silky smooth, warm and LONG.

So as you size up the 2009’s and 2010’s, think really hard about putting your gelt on a second label, rather than a second-tier property.

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