Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chateau Bel Air (Domaine Henri Martin) Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois, 1990

This is a mere Cru Bourgeois, purchased for $8 to $10, but at 20 years of age, it is still drinking beautifully. It's a bright ruby color with minimal, if any, signs of advancing age. The bouquet has developed nicely, dominated by blackberries, black currants and cherries. Everything is up front, but there is enough subtlety to make you pay close attention. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. While there is plenty of the subtle cherry-tinged elegance of Merlot, I find none of the bell pepper that often comes through in lower end Bordeaux or New World Merlot. Flavors are clean, bright and well focused from front to back, and the finish is long and ripe. 1990 was an excellent vintage in Bordeaux, even for lesser wines such as this Chateau Bel Air.

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