Saturday, February 9, 2013

Château Picque Caillou Pessac Leognan 2010

Château Picque Caillou, Pessac Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux 2010

We just attended the 2010 Bordeaux release tasting of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux  tasting in Chicago a short while back.One lesson learned was that the 2010 vintage, here-to-fore overshadowed by the legendary 2009's, is a high achiever, one to be taken seriously and provides some good notable wines, even from some of the lesser labels. The 2010 Bordeaux vintage was monumental with dry conditions, cool temperatures, and sunny days. It produced wines displaying a ripeness, freshness, and concentration found only in the finest vintages. As expected in top vintage years, the most famous estates produced memorable wines, but so did some lesser estates as well. 

Pessac Leognan is in the Appellation of Grave, a vast region, spanning over 50 kilometres directly south of the town of Bordeaux. Its name originates from the gravelly soils deposited there in the last ice age, which impart much of the character associated with their mineral whites and sophisticated reds. Grave is the only Bordeaux region that produces quality reds, whites as well as sweet desert wines. The region encompasses several smaller communes including Pessac Leognan, Sauternes and Barsac.

Chateau Picque Caillou was built in 1780 in what was then the countryside outside of Bordeaux. It is situated near the Rocade just a few hundred metres from legendary First Growth Chateau Haut Brion. Isabelle and Paulin Calvet took over the management of the estate prior to purchasing it in 1997. Having brought in superstar winemaker Denis Dubourdieu, Picque Caillou is now producing award winning wines that are are a worthwhile discovery. With the addition of winemaker Paulin Calvet, a former employee of negociant J-P. Moueix who learned from both Christian Moueix and the now-retired winemaker of Chateau Petrus, Jean-Claude Berrouet, they are now one of the emerging rising stars producing some of the best deals in the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. 

The 2010 Chateau Picque Caillou, is what one might call a diamond in the rough, a nice wine for the value conscious wine enthusiast.

This Pique Caillou is medium bodied, delicate, nicely balanced and polished. yet packing a backbone of moderate tannins - it presents expressive blackberry, a layer of spice and cassis with touch of smoke and well integrated soft oak. The tones of of blackberry are accented with hints of dark plum and a touch of cracked pepper before giving way to the lingering tannin finish. It provides for sophisticated yet pleasurable easy drinking at a modest price. The rather soft delicate nature may be a result of the blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot.

RM 89 points.  

This represents a good value high QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) wine, hard to find from Bordeaux at this price point of $25.