2015 Freylon Cuvee Leah Bordeaux Superieur
If there is one thing in wine-life that I love, it’s value. Sure, my wine budget is pretty darn big. As Thomas Jefferson famously noted of wine—and I wholeheartedly agree— “it is essential in life.” Yet even I can’t spring for First Growth Bordeaux every time I have a Prime Rib Roast. Yet I want that First Growth every time, even if my wallet cries “No, no!”
And that brings us to this wine – Chateau Petit Freylon Grande Cuvee Leah. It satisfies my wallet as well as my palate, in a deep and sensuous way:
Sit back and relax as you open this bottle because after pouring in to a proper sized (meaning large) Bordeaux glass, a cascade of black cherry, currants, crème de cassis, cedar, violets and Damson plum emerges from the glass. The wine is 75% Cabernet, which gives it a powerhouse palate of robust tannins, velvety layers of plump fruit, and the classic, nearly Graves-like sensation of cherry tobacco and stones. The finish revolves around the interplay of fruit and tannins, leading me to understand that at four years old, the blockbuster 2015 vintage is ready for business. But not to rush – this one’s going to go at least 15 more years in your cellar.
Bordeaux maintains on of the most rigid (you might say stodgy) classification systems in the world of wine. And while you may or may not like that classification system, it does tend to do a couple of things. Those at the top, tend to stay at the top – at least in prices. And those at the bottom, well, they struggle to rise.
But Bordeaux is also a big place, one of the largest growing areas for vine in all of France. And as such, it has opportunity for newcomers – new talent, new ideas, and new investment. And that’s what’s going on here.
Chateau Petit Freylon lies in the tiny village of Saint-Genis-du-Bois and while it had been producing wine for generations, it wasn’t until 2011 when it found its place with a new family that reinvested in the vineyards, winery, and brought on a new wine making team. Outside but near Pessac-Legonan / Graves, Chateau Petit Freylon set out to make outstanding wine of their terroir, bringing Cabernet to the forefront with an expression that, to this palate, competes with the top growths in those areas.
Indeed, when I first tasted it, I assumed it was at Top Growth prices – $75 to $150 a bottle. I was utterly stunned when the actual cost was revealed. But you don’t need to be stunned because the proof is waiting in the bottle, ready to jump into your glass and cellar.