Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Your $10 Recession Wine of the Week: Chateau Fantin Grand Vin de Bordeaux 2006

What? A Bordeaux for $10? And one you'd recommend?

That's right. Hard to believe, isn't it? And it's not one of those green, reedy, hyper acidic, no-fruit Bordeaux you usually find at this price point. I found it at Smith & Vine in Brooklyn, and, unsurprisingly, it comes from the great importer Polaner Selections. (And actually, it's $11.)

According to the Polaner website, Château Fantin has been in the Houbaer family since 1890. Jean-Michel Chatelier, the current owner, is the great grandson on the maternal side of the family. The vineyard is "on the steep slopes overlooking the Dordogne river, the vineyard of Château Fantin faces outh-south-east, towards the medieval town of Saint-Emilion. The slopes and soil composition mean that drainage is good and the soil not compact. A good, sunny exposure and the beneficial influence of the Dordogne river ensure that the vines grow and grapes ripen evenly."

Blah, blah, blah. So, it's good. An even mouthful with medium tannins, and light tobacco, red and black cherries, licorice and currents on the palate. Very drinkable. Easy and good. And 13% alcohol.

Polaner—always a good bet. Crazy about their wines. Not so much about their manners. Or organization skills. For the second year in a row they forgot to invite me to their spring tasting, which is one of my favorite tastings of the year. This has set my teeth a-grinding. "Open your mind and taste," says their website. Open up your mailing list and update it, says I.

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