Bordeaux Uncorked: Chateau Barde-Haut Saint Emilion Grand Cru

"Wine is fury and passion and sweetness and sex all bottled to glorious delight."- Dawn Garcia

Wine can be all those things described so eloquently by Ms. Garcia, and thanks to the 2010 Chateau Barde-Haut Grand Cru it has delivered the goods. I was invited for a what can only be described as a ringside seat to this wines fantastic finesse and power, simmering under its somewhat subdued label. The glorious and delightful part of the equation entered the ring, via the relative pauper's price of admission, seeing I only paid $40 for this beauty. 

Why a "pauper's price" because I know, based on this wine’s tasting profile, a wine similar to this with a more well regarded label could easily sell for so much more than the asking price I paid, but hey who's complaining? Surely it's not I. Did I have any idea that the wine in this bottle would be this good? I should have, 2010 was a rockstar year in Bordeaux. If I'm honest, the answer is a flat-out "no"! But I like to think of myself as someone who is "experienced" when it comes to choosing wines blindly, seeing this isn't my first rodeo and all.

First, I surmised from the front and back label oh "Grand Cru" huh? Bonus, a definite plus. Second, the vintage was 2010, helping to put this wine into the I want to purchase column. And last, reading the back label, I saw the word "gravity" in regards to their newly built crush-pad operations. It was at this point I knew it was a slam-dunk. 

Once I got this wine home, rested it in my cellar for a few hours and uncorked it later in the evening, it was everything I expected and more. My only regret is I didn't purchase more of them, but even at $40 each, as Mrs. Cuvee may have raised more than just an eyebrow if I had scored more than just the one bottle "C'est la vie."

Now onto the tasting note portion of the review. Not much going on in the nose, but roughly dried florals, cedar, and dried dark fruits. But once this wine made contact with my palate, holy-shite batman game over. Power, finesse, and a real sexy appeal took me by surprise, dazzling me from the first pour to the very last drop. A harmonious wine with Merlot leading the way and Cabernet Franc bringing the sexy. 

The body of the wine was muscular but richly robust. As you can see from the label, this wine weighs in at a whopping 14.7%, I say "whopping' because not many wines from Bordeaux veer into that abv range. I'd expect to see this from a 2009 or even the much vaunted 2003, but that said in no way did this wine come off as "hot" or flabby. 

In fact, it was quite the contrary, it was lean in all the right places and plush where the yum-factor meets the tasty road. This wine is meticulously sculpted, excellent concentration to the dark plum, licorice, rich earth, tobacco, vibrant minerality and still firm tannins to merit some cellaring, but apparently enough bright acidity and juicy briar temptations to make it approachable in the short term [now]. 

It is a huge wine, cellar potential is good, but drinking now potential is even more tempting. Either way, this wine represents a real win/win for the average vino-sapiens at large. Especially for anyone who wants a fantastic taste of what Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru to be precise, has to offer those seeking to adventure outside the comfy confines of domestic conformity. If you read that tremendously detailed back label, which by the way for anyone taking note, is how it should be done and see for yourself why this relatively blind purchase rocked my wine world. This producer is a QPR champion in my estimation, putting within reach of wine pauper's like me, suave sophistication and finesse. 

Even though the pictures of the bottle are in dramatic black and white, there's nothing black and white about the wine in that bottle. It will "wow" you with each sip and, even the final slurp, but one thing you will experience is sadness when you emptied the bottle thoroughly, also laying it on its side to get out that last drop. 

Okay for my score I gave this wine a well deserved 94 points, the price makes it a QPR star, in my opinion, one that merits my familiar catchphrase, "you can pay more, but rarely do you get more." And if you needed some other points of view on this same wine, feel free to grab them here. This is also a great place to buy this wine if you indeed feel moved to do so, but I would not hesitate too long they're going fast. Okay folks, until next time remember life is short, continue to sip long and prosper cheers!


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