Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Two Moderately Priced Clarets

2016 Ch Bernadotte, Haut Medoc + 2018 Ch Roquebrune, Lalande de Pomerol
September 29, 2021

Two Red Bordeaux priced for everyday jumped out at us in our recent tastings.

 Both are delicious, both give a lot for not very much.


2016 Ch Bernadotte, Haut Medoc

What A Difference a Year Makes

Ch Bernadotte, a Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc, got some star quality when Ch Pichon Lalande purchased it in 1997. Along with that chateau, it went to Roederer in 2007 and was sold to an internet millionaire in 2007. He has been putting a lot of money into it. It shows in the wine.

The 2016 Bernadotte was very well structured but a little woody and lean when we first tasted it, but what a difference a year makes. It leapt out of the glass, broad, deep fruit with solid structure and the wood integrating with the wine in a delicate mocha sheen. It is just starting to approach the plateau of pleasure and now wants an hour or so in a decanter for its complex power to open. It will keep for several years longer if well cellared.

2016 Ch Bernadotte (Haut Medoc); Color: dark, red edge; Aroma: aromatic, clean, bright intense, a light mocha note; Mouth: fullish, dense firm fine acid tannic deep plum flavors and very long; Very Good - Excellent 24.99 Special case 251.88, (20.99) 


2018 Ch Roquebrune, Lalande de Pomerol

How Little Difference a Stream Makes

The 2018 Ch. Roquebrune was so good that I thought it was a Pomerol. It comes from just across a small stream from Pomerol’s Ch de Sales in the lower rent Lalande de Pomerol. Perhaps because it is from the voluptuous 2018 vintage, it flowed across the tongue with the extra dimension of heady and evocative sour cherry & plum fruit that has made Pomerol Merlots so sought after. What difference does a stream make? Little in the mouth; $15 - $20 on the price tag.


2018 Ch de Roquebrune (Lalande de Pomerol); Color: very dark black opaque; Aroma: ripe red cherry, heady ripe intense deep, sweet red currant fruit; Mouth: clean rather fine edge, juicy, fine tannins, savory & saline, mouth-filling and succulent without weight; Very, Very Very Good Plus 21.99; Special Case 227.88, (18.99)


Now & Later Claret Case

Six bottles of each, 239.88 (19.99)


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