Despite hailstorms and unsettled weather early in the growing season, the 2018 vintage in Bordeaux is being hailed as potentially legendary and it has turned out a bevy of sumptuous Bordeaux wines at all levels, including a delightful 2018 Château Barreyre Nicolas Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur. A bold but balanced wine that wears its 14.5% alcohol level lightly, the 2018 Nicolas Barreyre (80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) displays an enticing set of aromatics, offering up savory scents of blackberry, cassis, and cacao mingled with hints of cedar. In the mouth, the wine graces the palate with berry fruit, cedar, and forest floor flavors, which are carried on a bed of ripe tannins with plenty of verve and vigor to remind all that there isn’t anything petit about this petit château’s wine. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording the 2018 Château Barreyre Nicolas Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur at least 10-15 minutes of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (58°-62° F). Anticipated maturity: 2021-2024. Enjoy!
The juicy, rambunctious Château Barreyre Nicolas Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur provides the ideal companion to many simple, well prepared gastronomic pleasures. One doesn’t have to be Cordon Bleu trained or spend hours in the kitchen preparing an elaborate meal to enjoy this wine. The ultimate glory of honest red Bordeaux is how it graces the table and elevates both simple and sophisticated meals to another level. Loin lamb chops, prime rib of beef, a marbled ribeye steak, whole roasted chickens with a savory sage stuffing, and tender veal chops grilled slowly to perfection and topped with a mushroom or fruit reduction sauce are some of our favorite pairings with Château Barreyre’s wines. Yet, midweek meatloaf, simple stews, and almost any meat and potato meal will provide good companionship to this wine. Creamy, flavorful cow’s milk cheeses pair beautifully, too. Most importantly, the 2018 Nicolas Barreyre will be equally comfortable at an elegant dinner party as it will on the kitchen table with the simplest of fare. So, fill the glasses and enjoy!
Château Barreyre is evidence of just how fine many of Bordeaux’s smaller, lesser known estates called petits châteaux can be. It is, also, ample testimony the consummate skill of winemaker Claude Gaudin. A twenty-two acre property with a view of the Gironde and the nearby port of Macau, Château Barreyre actually lies within the Médoc. It is in fact quite close to Margaux. Yet, on account of its proximity to the river, Château Barreyre is only entitled to the appellation Bordeaux Supérieur – a boon to savvy consumers looking for bona fide Bordeaux at an affordable price. Château Barreyre is an historic property with an authentic 18th century château. The château was constructed in 1774 by Nicolas Barreyre, but the cultivation of the vine on the property dates back even further. The Barreyre family is a prominent Bordelais family of bourgeois origin, which may explain why the estate weathered the French Revolution and the château remained within the family.
The viticultural excellence at Château Barreyre continues to be guided by winemaker Claude Gaudin. Under Gaudin’s watchful eye, Château Barreyre has enjoyed tremendous success, with the 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2018 vintages yielding excellent wine. The vineyard practices a very close plantation of its vines and extracts extremely low yields. In fact, its yield per hectare is considerably less than that of many of Bordeaux’s classified growths, which cost three times the price. These factors contribute greatly to the quality of wine produced at the château. On average, the cépage or blend is typically Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a dollop of Petit Verdot, which is similar to that of several nearby Margaux properties, and it’s a cépage that allows the wine to age beautifully for up to a decade. From Château Barreyre’s vineyards Claude Gaudin fashions two very fine Bordeaux Supérieur offerings: Château Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur and Château Barreyre Nicolas Barreyre Bordeaux Supérieur, the latter named for the original founder of the château, and this month’s feature.
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