The Guinjard family have been Bordeaux wine growers for five generations. Before 1970, most of that fruit went to other wineries. Over the past few decades, they have started making more and more wines under their own label, Chateau de Roquebrune in Lalande de Pommerol. The vineyard is quite small – fewer than 19 acres – with lean soils of sand and gravel. As nearly all wineries on the right bank of Bordeaux, they grow Merlot primarily, with a smaller percentage of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Several of my wine brethren predicted that 2009 would rank among the best of the decade for the right bank, especially Pommerol and St. Emilion. Instead, it has produced great wines but nothing theatrical. In fact, the 2010s are showing equally well. This bottle of 2009 is a great Bordeaux blend, especially when value-priced.
What I dig about this bottle is how it revels in hedonism: round blackberry and licorice unfold on the nose while fruit flavors cascade over the lips. On the palate, the licorice returns with red fruit and a hint of tobacco. Nicely layered flavors and good structure abound, especially for the price.