Restaurants

Shaking Up Your Wine Game — Drop the California Cabernet Crutch for a Bordeaux Blend

A Chateau From 1824 Sets a Grand Grapes Stage

BY // 01.21.20

You want something to pair with the Beef Wellington you plan to serve at dinner, having begun the evening with Cava. Your five guests are accustomed to drinking California Cabernet, and while there is definitely nothing wrong with that at all, you want to mix it up a bit for them.

What they will drink is a Bordeaux blend — the 2016 Château Malescasse Haut-Médoc. It’s Merlot (53 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (38 percent) and Petit Verdot (9 percent). It will cost you $25 or so (I’ve seen it online for as little as $22 and as much as $27). Alcohol comes in at 13.5 percent, and the wood program includes 30 percent new oak.

Deep red/garnet in the glass, aromas of soil, graphite and faint blackberry. Cassis fruit (black currant) is the first thing I noticed upon tasting this wine.  It is drinking a touch “young”… the tannins from the Petit Verdot are more than obvious, and I am certain that several additional years in the bottle will result in a much more refined pour. Drink this now and you’ll be happy, and cellar it until 2025 and your patience will be rewarded.

A fine bottle for a fine meal: 2016 Château Malescasse

Château Malescasse is located in Lamarque, between Saint-Julian and Margaux, and the château itself was constructed in 1824 (it is open to the public, and current owner Philippe Austruy has restored it to its former splendor). The property’s 40 hectares of vines produce three wines — Château Malescasse, Le Moulin Rose de Malescasse, and La Closerie de Malescasse — and Bertrand Chemin oversees winemaking at the estate.

The Malescasse flagship wine paired well with our Beef Wellington, and stood up to the protein. It would also enhance lamb dishes and pastas with sausage. This is a no-brainer, a quality Bordeaux blend made with care that comes with a great price tag.

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