29 June 2006

TN: Original Oratoire

[Oratoire]Château de Beaulieu 1999 Côtes du Marmandais “Cuvée de l’Oratoire” (Southwest) – Probably as mature as one would want it; the fruit, decaying but reddish and a little juicy, is still present, while the tannin is in an accelerated drying stage. I suspect it will be parched and difficult before the tertiary elements are fully developed. There’s plenty of well-baked clay here, but the ultimate impression of the wine is fairly rustic despite an overall smoothness to the texture. (6/06)

25% each of merlot, cabernet franc & cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah and 10% malbec, from old vines, spending twelve months in oak (60% new). The Côtes du Marmandais are one of the many Bordeaux-like appellations around France’s most famous viticultural region (though obviously the syrah provides some differentiation), most of which remain almost completely undiscovered and thus an excellent source of often-striking values. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.chateaudebeaulieu.net/.

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