Wine of the Week

Christian Moueix makes a few wines for the rest of us

Wine of the Week

Have you ever had a bottle of the French Bordeaux wine Château Pétrus? Most of us will never get close to it, since the wine generally runs about $2,000 a bottle on release. I was graced with about a tablespoon one time. Otherwise, I'll just have to leave Pétrus in the dream category.

But winery owner Christian Moueix has taken pity on us mortals and has come out with three wines aimed at the less-than-$20-a-bottle buyers. Each has the name of its growing location – Pomerol, Médoc, or St. Emilion – written vertically on the black label in a rich gold print, with Moueix's signature and the vintage. Leaving off the name of the grape is in perfect keeping with French tradition. They worship location above all else, followed by the maker. The grapes used in the wine are of only minor importance. For the record, the Pomerol and St. Emilion are blends based on Merlot, while the Médoc is based on Caber­net. Both the Médoc and St. Emilion are well-structured wines that will go well with vegetarian fare or light meats. The Médoc is the better of the two, with plenty of tannic structure and acidity to allow it to match up well with food.

The real find is the Pomerol. Pétrus is also a Pomerol, and given Moueix's 60-plus years tramping around the area, he knows where to find the best grapes. The current vintage, 2005, is one of the great vintages in Bor­deaux in the last quarter-century, and I would assume Moueix wouldn't put his very valuable signature on the bottle if he didn't feel like he had something to offer. He does. This is an outstanding Pomerol at the price, or even at double the price.

Well worth asking for, Moueix's wines are available at fine wine shops all over town.

*Oops! The following correction ran in the January 25, 2008 issue: As Food Editor Virginia Wood says, off with my head. There was a miscommunication between myself and Kobrand, the importers of the wonderful Christian Moueix wines I wrote about last week. They should be available widely, but they won't be in Austin until late April. Sad as I am about the delay, they are worth waiting for. I'm sorry for the mistake.

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Christian Moueix, Château Pétrus, Pomerol, Médoc, St. Emilion

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