This is what I would call a “transparent” wine, in the sense that it seeks to hide nothing. Nor does it try too hard to be anything other than what it is: a refined yet substantial example of the regional Bordeaux style. Its notes of dried cherry and cedar, subtle green herb edge and firm yet restrained tannic background make it the perfect partner for duck confit, another regional favorite from the Gironde. This dish, though somewhat time consuming to make, yields a rustic, flavorful dinner centerpiece, and is best complemented by an unassuming yet complex and slightly savory wine like the Chateau Réal. Get the freshest duck you possibly can, and take the time to find—and follow—a good recipe for the most authentic experience. Who among us wouldn’t want to travel to Bordeaux by way of the kitchen (in February, no less)? Enjoy!
Does all Bordeaux wine have a pomposity about it? Is it always
impenetrably dark, thick and over-extracted? Clearly, I’m asking
rhetorical questions, but with modern winemaking techniques and a taste
for concentrated, inky wines taking hold, refinement and subtlety have
almost become the exception rather than the rule in the world’s most
famous wine region. So it’s quite refreshing when a wine like the 2008
Haut-Médoc from Chateau Réal comes along to dash my pessimism (don’t
forget, I’m Russian!). This is yet another gem from our Bordeaux Secrets
lineup, and the wine manages to offer great nuance and elegance without
sacrificing flavor and complexity.
Culled from a portfolio of small, family-owned chateaux and personally chosen by our buying team, the Bordeaux Secrets series is a selection of unique, quality-driven wines offering some of the best values in all of Bordeaux. These wines are exclusive to 67 Wine, and each has its own story and makes its own statement. The 2008 Chateau Réal is a blend of about 33 percent each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The high proportion of Cabernet Franc is apparent: The wine has a slightly savory, green note on the palate, and the aromatics are much more sprightly than that of most other wines from the Médoc. The elegant, unassuming style is a reflection of the 2008 vintage, as this bears none of the excessive heat of years like 2005 or 2009. There may be 3 to 5 years of development ahead for the 2008 Chateau Réal, but it is already a welcome fixture at any dinner table.