Friday, March 18, 2016

Chateau Bibian 2012

The beautiful spring weather we enjoyed earlier this week in Houston prompted my decision to open this sample bottle of Chateau Bibian Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2012 and fire up the grill for some steaks. My husband had arrived home somewhat early (for him) and he was assisting me in setting up for dinner. I poured us each a glass of wine while we waited for the grill to heat.

I was standing at my notebook starting to scribble down my initial positive impressions about the wine when I heard him say, "wow, what is this? This is good." I looked up in time to see him take another big gulp from his glass.

"It's Cru Bourgeois from the Haut-Medoc", I replied, all the while knowing this is relatively meaningless to him. We have a deal that I don't have to know too much about how my car operates and he doesn't have to retain too much wine knowledge.

He continued to look at me with a semi-blank expression so I expounded, "Bordeaux, left-bank, not the fancy places." That is just the kind of fine wine education I occasionally provide to my loved ones. "Ahh", he said," so, it's...?" To which I replied, "A typical Merlot-based Bordeaux blend." He nodded his head, he knew what that meant.

I'm running a variety of interesting fun facts through my mind that I'm considering sharing with him next about the winery's history (originally created in 1857), the vineyard location in Listrac, the 2012 vintage, the Cru Bourgeois label and what it means when my husband interrupted my thoughts. He had been watching my mental wheels turn, "Umm", he said, "you had me at Merlot." He smiled and walked out the door to cook our steaks.

I knew that was true, Merlot had been our first red wine love. It was the go-to, the no-thought choice of the late 80's and early 90's. Since that time, we've grown to love many others but we also never got "Sideways" with our first love.

The 2012 Chateau Bibian is a blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from chalky-clay and pyrenean gravel soils. While wines from the Listrac area have been described as "austere", this wine was more giving with fresh aromas of ripe dark cherries and blackberries with just a trace of vanilla, the wine was dry, medium-bodied with smooth ripe tannins and juicy flavors that matched the aromas; easy drinking and deliciously good. This wine is a highly recommended anytime red and reasonably priced at $21.