2004 Chateau D'As, Graves Bordeaux, France $14.99
Most of the time when I have a Bordeaux that costs under $15 I don't expect much and am rarely surprised in a good way. As the saying goes you get what you pay for (with Bordeaux). But that is not always the case with some other wines out there. I used to try, and try, and try with red Bordeaux wines in the $8-$15 range and rarely found anything to blog about. Many wines out there, Shiraz, Malbec, Cote du Rhone, Tempranillo, and Garnacha to name a few, have been able to make high quality, tasty and complex wines that are great hints in an average vintage or excellent examples in a good vintage of what the big boy wines deliver consistently. Heck, even some new world Cabernet in the $15 range outshines most Bordeaux in the some price range, though less often then the aforementioned wines above. Finally, after giving up for a few months, at long last I found a great example of what a real Bordeaux in the $20-40 range should taste like for under $15.
Introducing: 2004 Chateaux D'As, Graves, Bordeaux
For over four hours it changed; its different layers of complexity unfurling in the glass. In fact it was still coming on strong while on our last glass. I had never heard of Chateau D'As and was skeptical, but the wine salesperson I took the recommendation from usually comes up with some great wines. In the past I have liked many of the wines from the Graves that I have tried. D'As was wonderfully charming and easy to drink at 12.5% alcohol.
Color: Classic claret red core and edges
Nose 1: Roasted coffee beans, chocolate and toasty oak, delicious!
Palate 1: Black currant, some plum, gravelly rocks (classic Grave trademark and thus the name for the region Grave), fine grained tannins and higher than expected acidity round out the finish
Nose 2: Some green pepper, smoky and a bit meaty, less berry
Palate 2: Spicy and savory plum, less currants and more undertones of the minerality. The tannin and acidity were still noticeable but in check as the flavors on the finish superseded them.
Many of these flavors and aromas overlapped in-between the phases noted above, adding to the complexity and enjoyment of the experience.