After driving some 450 miles to visit friends in NYC, I was given the opportunity to pick out a wine from their stash to follow up the local pinot noir I brought from home. Pleased to find a good selection of decent Bordeaux wines, I picked out what I thought would be a good pairing with the potato and cheese gratin, brussel sprouts and baked ham dinner.
Knowing that St. Émilion wines had a good percentage of merlot and cabernet franc and knowing obviously that grand cru is something better than not, I choose this Chateau Moine Blanc 2005. Oh yea, I’ve also been exposed to the hype of that vintage in France so I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with this choice. This one is a blend of 70% merlot and 30% cabernet franc.
Without letting it warm up from the cellar, we filled our glasses and didn’t miss a beat on our wine consumption. Aromas of blackberry, cherry and spice came through along with some moderate oak notes. If there was one thing we all agreed upon, it was that this wine had balance. The fruit, oak, tannin and acid were all on the same page.
I was afraid I’d chosen a bottle that might have been a little too pricy just to open without regard for temperature and lack of decanting but it turns out this bottle was only around $30. My basic knowledge of French classifications lead me to think anything grand cru would be a big ticket item, but this wasn’t Burgundy. Saint Émilion Grand Cru is the appellation, not a vineyard designation.
Regardless of its moderate price, I know this wine would impress many of the winos I know. This cab franc fanatic doesn’t mind merlot leading the way every now and then, especially when they come together to show balance and grace. Saint Émilion Grand Cru will find its way back in to my glass soon.