1999 Verdignan Rouge, Haut-Médoc
According to the Wine Spectator: "...berry and tobacco character. Light body. Fresh finish. Drink now." (Web only, 2002) Situated near Pauillac, these vineyards are planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Cab Franc. Verdignan, the estate, is notable by the beautiful architecture of its castle. Photo enthusiasts who stop here find many similarities with other architectural constructions médocain of the 18th century. On the stone lintel of the door's oldest vat of Verdignan there is ingraved a date: 1720! Ralph's notes: It may not be as exotic as Cos or as powerful as Montrose or even as classy as Calon, bu it is far less expensive than any of these and it's Bordeaux we can drink! Owner and winemaker Eric Miailhe also owns Coufran, and I was so impressed with both the houses for quality and value that I included them on my Taste the Greats of Bordeaux Tour in June 2008. The 1999, at only $10.99 drinks well now with some air.