There are so many wine-producing châteaux in Bordeaux that if you wanted to try one from each at a rate of one per day, you could go for nearly 20 years. While Bordeaux’s famous 1855 classification of first through fifth growths account for the bulk of the region’s celebrity status, the vast majority of Bordeaux wine is made by far less famous producers. Paradoxically, some virtually priceless vineyards in the area were not even in existence in 1855.
The grandest exception to the 1855 list is the AOC of Pomerol. Established only in 1936, it is home to some of the world’s most expensive and highly coveted wines: Chateau Petrus, Chateau Le Pin, and Château Lafleur. On average, bottles of Château Le Pin sell for about $4,000.
It is a very happy coincidence that a 40 dollar wine that I tried recently comes from grapes grown just a few rows away for the vines of Chateau Le Pin. (Micro terroir is a thing, but just a few rows?)
Château La Croix St. Georges has been in the Janoueix family since 1932 and one of its youngest members, Jean Philippe has been managing the property and producing some outstanding wines since 1999. He is conscious that his property at the center of the Pomerol plateau has some very celebrated neighbors, and he credits the high gravel quality of the soil for the exceptional fruit.
Like the ratio of the grapes grown on the property, the 2014 La Croix St. Georges is 95 percent Merlot and percent Cabernet Franc.
The initial aromas of the wine are classic red fruits and cherry with a bit of vanilla and cigar box notes from the unique oak barrels used on the vineyard. Given the higher Merlot content, the wine is more fruit forward with flavors of red cherry, raspberry, and some black currant. The tannins are medium with a soft (flint) minerality in the finish. The 2014 has a little purple in the color indicating young age, but we found that the tannins settle quickly.
We paired the wine with roasted beef tenderloin and classic fondant potatoes. The consensus was that it was a beautiful wine.
The 2014 Château La Croix St. Georges has ratings between 89 and 90 and runs for about 45 dollars.
The 2015 vintage, due in July and is rated an average of 91 points with a 92 rating by Robert Parker.
By Richard Arebalo
OTL Food and Wine Editor