Xavier Flouret la Victoire 2006
Available at Grand Wine & Liquor
Retail price: $19.99
Victoire . . . Within Reach
Most wine drinkers agree that Bordeaux is the preeminent French wine region (Burgundy enthusiasts, please forgive me). At the high end there are Château Lafite, Margaux and Cheval Blanc, which epitomize the region’s power and prestige. Yet their superstar status makes them seem completely out of reach. We ought not let the cachet of Bordeaux be offputting.
The good news is that Bordeaux is also France’s largest wine-producing region and offers intriguing wines at all price levels. For example, Xavier Flouret la Victoire 2006, a Premières Côtes de Blaye from Château Haut-Meneau, offers immediate appeal with an easy and elegant style. The wine has a deep, rich garnet color, and the nose telegraphs a host of well-delineated aromas, including dried cherries, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon. The effect is pure, clean and marvelous. Bordeaux’s longstanding blending tradition enhances and protects its wines by allowing individual producers the freedom to adjust their blends according to their own particular vines and microclimate. La Victoire, at 60 percent merlot and 40 percent cabernet, finds the right balance between the supple merlot and the more structured cabernet. The result is a beautifully proportioned, medium-bodied Bordeaux with smooth tannins. Credit should always be given to the winemaker (Jacques-Henri Bravard) for showing restraint and knowing when to back off and let the vineyard and grape characteristics take center stage.
With all its elegance and rich mouthfeel, La Victoire gives the impression of an expensive wine; however, at $20 a bottle, it puts victory within reach.
La Victoire 2006 requires no cellaring and should be served with cheese, especially sheep’s milk or Alpine cheeses, and lamb or venison flavored with rosemary.