2001 Chateau du Reignac, Reignac Grand Vin, Bordeaux Supérieur, France.
The 2001 Reignac is still drinking beautifully, quite remarkable for a 20 year old wine that isn’t from one of the serious growths, especially a Merlot based Bordeaux Supérieur, sp it was a very pleasant surprise, even though I have always been a fan of this vintage. It’s #merlotme month and while I am too busy to pay attention to every hashtag wine event, I thought I’d open this Reignac to celebrate, and celebrate the USMNT Soccer win against Costa Rica in the World Cup Qualifying match, and I’m glad I did, it is very much alive and pretty in detail with a near perfect dark purple/garnet color with just a hint of browning around the edges and just the right amount of tertiary nuances and light sous bois in the background, plus the bouquet was elegantly floral and with just a faint earthiness. The palate is full and supple, highlighting the 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon make up in this vintage with layers of blackberry, cassis, fig paste, cherry and plum fruits along with classic accents including cedary wood, loamy earth, graphite, leafy notes and truffle. This wine was wound up and felt dusty dry at first, but quickly opened up and improved in the mouth with sense of opulence and roundness, it held on well for a few hours making for a very confident performance and a delicious experience.

The Chateau du Reignac, in the Entre Deux Mers zone, was founded in the 17th Century and is set near the town of St. Loubes on a gravelly plateau with rolling small hills with clay based soils not far from the famed Gironde River, it has long been a source for value packed red Bordeaux, reaching new heights during the late 1990s and continuing to the present, undertake leadership of the Vatelot family. Yves and Stéphanie Vatelot’s Grand Vin Reignac is one of the many wines that famous winemaker Michel Rolland has helped on and his influence is clearly felt on the wines here, especially in vintages like this one as well as the highly regarded 2005 with ripe fruit being a priority and exceptionally clarity. In this case, Rolland has brought more fruit density to this wine, allowing it to compete against much more expensive Chateaux. A lot of care goes into the winemaking here with careful sorting in the vineyard, followed by, as the winery notes, some 30% of the grapes are vinified in new oak barrels after a lengthy cold maceration in a stainless-steel with the other 70% vinified in both oak and stainless-steel vats after their cold maceration period with manual daily pigeage (cap punching) and the wine is run off while still warm for malolactic fermentation on the lees in barrels. The Reignac sees, as per Rolland, 100% new French oak aging with most vintages getting an elevage of close to 22 months, with the wine, interestingly also being racked a few times and stirred on the lees to add depth and texture. This wine punched above its weight and still has some life yet to go, it is especially good with meat dishes and hard cheeses.
($40 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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