Chateau Beaumont 2015
Sandwiched between two classification systems lies the gorgeous, everyday red Bordeaux value that is Chateau Beaumont. Beaumont isn’t a famous chateau with bespoke titles, but it may be the best red Bordeaux I know this side of a C-note. Only the French could make something so complicated of drinking this well. Here’s the story:
On the Left Bank of Bordeaux (which is on your left if you’re taking a boat out of the harbor of Bordeaux and up the Gironde Estuary to the Atlantic Ocean), there are four famous villages. At the farthest south is Margaux, then Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estephe in the north. These are known as Commune Appellations, the highest quality appellations of Bordeaux. If you get to know Bordeaux well, you can taste the terroir of the places in their wines. Yet these aren’t the only villages making Cabernet-dominated blends on the Left Bank – Commune Appellations only cover about 20% of the Left Bank’s total vineyard area. Most of the rest get lumped into the category of Haut-Médoc, which is the most prominent of the region’s District Appellations. Not as well known, but if you’re willing to search, you’ll be well rewarded.
On this side of Bordeaux, there’s another classification system that sits on top of the geographic one described above. That is the 1855 classification system, a system that has never been changed and rates only 60 (give or take) of the 14,000 wine producers in Bordeaux. As you might guess, Chateau Beaumont is not in that classification. Instead, it falls into the next level down – the Cru Bourgeois classification of Bordeaux.
What is Waterford doing with a wine that’s the “lower classification” from the “backyard” of Bordeaux?
Drinking mighty fine. Because sometimes (all the time?), it’s about what’s in the glass, and not what’s on the label or price tag on the bottle. And with Beaumont, you’re getting gorgeousness in your glass:
The wine opens with classic Bordeaux Cabernet aromas of black currant, spice, graphite and pencil shavings. The aromatic lift of Cabernet is joined by Merlot’s dark blackberry mid-palate, rounding out the wine, making it supple and full from beginning to end. You could drink this one as a cocktail and be darn happy. But certainly, since it’s Bordeaux, an early spring rack of lamb with favas, morels and tarragon butter would weave seamlessly into this vignette. The blend contains a splash of Petite Verdot, which adds drive and energy to the wine.. From the fantastic 2015 vintage, this wine’s going to go the distance while showing delightful drinkability now.
You don’t need big titles or high prices to drink well in Bordeaux – just a little thirst for adventure can yield enormous value. So it is with Chateau Beaumont!