Bordeaux is rightfully viewed as one of the most important wine regions in the world, but it can sometimes be a victim of its own success. If the vintage isn't spectacular, the lack of international hype can make it difficult for even the reasonably priced wines to sell well. In researching information for this write-up, I found an on-line review stating '2014 is the 4th vintage in a row that is not a candidate for vintage of the century.' How DARE they! As if something supposed to happen once every 100 years should occur multiple times per decade or the region is officially in a rut. Bordeaux is an extremely large growing area, and there is charm and quality to be found every vintage for the 'drinker', even if the 'collector' isn't happy with the blue chip estates. Properties like Haut-La-Pereyre may not sit within the boundaries of the famous appellations, but their estate grown wine sees the same attention to detail that more known houses do for twice the price, making them one of the consistently great 'petits Chateaux' you can find for the money.
The 2014 vintage was marked by a late, longer than usual ripening period for the grapes, which actually is helpful for Cabernet Sauvignon, so wines like this that have a fairly healthy chunk in the blend (45%) fared quite well. Loads of graphite and dark fruits emerge from the glass, developing some cocoa and slightly sweeter red fruit notes as it opens up. On the palate the fruit is still dark and primary but the texture is surprisingly ready to go without much in the way of hard tannins usually found in younger Bordeaux. This is also one of those wines that will 'put on weight' as it stays open, where the mouthfeel seemingly changes and gets fuller from one hour to the next. It's hard to quantify (and not everyone even believes it actually happens) but after 2-3 hours the palate definitely catches up with the early aromatics and brings the wine into great balance. A terrific value for the more old school Bordeaux fans that could do some evolving over a few years but doesn't need it as much as the more hyped vintages.
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