Must-Try Wine of the Week: Chateau Clos Des Prince 2009 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France

Looking for an affordable, approachable, and altogether delicious Bordeaux? I may have found your talisman. Considering the higher prices for most 2010 and 2011 Bordeaux, the 2009 vintage offers some of the better bargains from the region, and this one is no exception. With a label named “Prince,” I really scooped my partner in crime, Rusty Gaffney (aka, the Prince of Pinot), on this one.

Located right next door to the highly regarded Chateau Monbousquet, this small estate owned by the Prince family produces a lovely example of Saint Émilion’s merlot-based red Bordeaux. The 3 hectare Clos des Prince vineyard is planted in silica sand and iron sub-soils to both merlot and cabernet franc, with vines averaging 35 years.

This 2009 bottling is a blend of 80 percent merlot and 20 percent cabernet franc. The nose is filled with aromas of dark cherry, sweet current, and a toasty component that shows off the cabernet franc. The mouth feel is full and rich, owing in part to the judicious use of new oak. On the palate, flavors of nicely ripened cassis, dark floral notes, and toasted bread lead to the long somewhat chewy finish marked by fine-grained tannins and delicious aftertaste. This drinks amazingly well now, and will last a decade or more. It pairs perfectly with anything from roast beef to a sausage pizza. Available at Wine Exchange, and Total Wine, Tustin, for $27 to $35.

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