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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Not Giving Up on Bordeaux: Pauillac

We have something special for you. Pauillac at a reasonable price.

Pauillac is the kind of region I could give up on. Though I would love to regularly drink and offer great Pauillac, the wines are simply too expensive. It is a shame, because I know that many of you love Cabernet Sauvignon, and if you don't know what a good Pauillac is like, you are missing out on a distinctive and delicious expression of this storied grape.

When it comes to Cabernet Sauvigon, Pauillac is the holy land. Three of the five first growths are in Pauillac, and many of the world's most sought after Cab-based wines come from Pauillac or the adjacent communes of St. Julien and St. Estephe. The Cab-based wines of these towns can certainly get very ripe and thick, but my favorite examples are often those that are fresh and lively, showing an elegant side of Cab that is rarely seen in California or other sunny climes. The issue with Pauillac, St. Julien, and St. Estephe is prices. Even if you buy years before the wines are released, you will still be looking at high prices, and hyped vintages get hit with a premium. Being able to offer this 2016 (universally regarded as one of the greatest vintages ever) for less than $50 feels like a coup, as bottles of Pauillac from middling vintages will often be $100+...

I had never heard of Domaine de Saint-Guirons, but I have had many a great wine from Grand Puy Lacoste. The same team makes both wines, so I was not surprised when the 2016 Saint-Guirons opened up beautifully in the glass, unfolding into a classic expression of Pauillac. Decant for a couple hours, and serve in a large glass, and you will be well rewarded.

Domaine de Saint-Guirons Pauillac 2016 - $45

classic stuff, only medium-bodied but honestly I love that about some Cab-based Bordeaux, power and intensity without heft... somewhat reserved on the nose, but with air there emerge beautiful aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, pencil shavings, hints of leather, graham cracker and dark cherry... fresh and lively on the palate, tannins are fine and getting close to being resolved, tart dark fruit gushes through the finish, which is where this wine really comes alive, with pure fruit notes lingering nicely with classic Pauillac earthiness, fabulous stuff and worth following another 5 to 10 years.

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