A RP 95 point Bordeaux: ’05 Chateau Fleur Cardinale $59.95
Let’s face it, consistently picking a knock-out Bordeaux is more of a challenge than picking a killer California cab. Bordeaux is nearly eight times the size of Napa Valley, so naturally, there is a wider range of styles produced there. Add in the significant variation from vintage to vintage and picking a winner can be a challenge. Knowing this, my usual plan is to try it first on someone else’s nickel. I violated my own rule for a weekend trip to Scottsdale, bought a single bottle of 2005 Chateau Fleur Cardinale and am running back for more.
My average price per bottle is creeping higher (we can argue about the long term impact of that later) but I still think about it before spending $59.95 on a bottle of wine. When I do, I expect a return on the investment. This Saint-Emilion Gran Cru is a hit at that price, start to finish. It opens with a classic complex Bordeaux nose but that is just the beginning. Subtle vanilla and blackberry notes lead to a pronounced yet pleasing dry finish and finish and finish….
Wine Spectator slates this one for post 2016 consumption. There is no doubt it will continue to improve with time. Somebody better put it under lock or there’s no way mine will last that long.
Robert Parker 95 points
“A stunning sleeper of the vintage, quality at this property has soared under the relatively new owners, Dominique and Florence Decosters. The 2005, a blend of 70% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, was fashioned from yields of 33 hectoliters per hectare. This concentrated wine possesses a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, black currant liqueur, lead pencil shavings, cedar, and Asian spices. In the mouth, it displays a chocolaty richness, a beautiful texture, an expansive, multilayered mouthfeel, and a 45-second finish. A fabulous effort, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and should last for over two decades.”
Of note, this wine also received 93 points from Wine Spectator and 92+ from IWC.