2010 Chateau Les Trois Croix, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
Bordeaux is located in the southwest of France; it is home to some of the most internationally recognized chateaus and grapes. It is the standard bearer for many in gauging the quality of red wines. The red wines of Bordeaux are blended from appellation-specific combinations of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Its offerings are abundant and diverse.
The appellations of Bordeaux are separated by the Gironde River: on the “left bank”, the prestigious Medoc and Graves, with St.-Emilion and Pomerol on the “right bank”. Fronsac is also located in the right bank region, northwest of the two more prominent appellations. This lesser known appellation is slowly increasing in importance as the market for ripe, bold, fruit-forward red wines grows (it also helps that the wines of Fronsac are typically less than half the price of those from Pomerol and St.-Emilion).
The vineyards of Chateau Les Trois Croix were established in the early 18th century. In 1995, the Léon Family acquired the property and has made great progress in establishing the Chateau as a contender in the growing international wine market. This is in part attributable to the prestige of owner Patrick Léon who was the winemaker for Mouton Rothschild and the Rothschild’s representative in the creation of Opus One in Napa Valley with the Mondavi family.
The 2010 vintage was considered exceptional in Bordeaux. For Fronsac, this meant ample fruit and firm round tannins balanced with fresh acidity. The 2010 Chateau Les Trois Croix is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Initial aromas of dark cherry cola, roasted nuts and licorice developed into blackberry, spice and some more traditional Bordeaux characteristics of tar and leather, with surprisingly lively acidity. The tannins are quite intense and tight still – this wine can benefit from several more years of age, or a few hours of decanting if drinking now.
Bordeaux reds are classically paired with roasted or grilled red meat – lamb, steak, game… but this wine will also do well with hearty vegetarian fare particularly dishes focused on earthy root vegetables or dark leafy greens (but no vinegary salads, please). Despite a belief that tannic red wines are not meant for fatty fish dishes, I must say that this wine was a good companion for a delicious preparation of local Montauk Bluefish – proof that rules are made to be broken.
Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.
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