Blowing the dust off a good find

Bill Dowd photo

Sometimes a wine gets lost in the cellar, under coats of dust and indifference. Sometimes they're well past their drinkability when re-discovered. Sometimes they're a pleasant surprise.

The creators of this red Bordeaux, a 60-40% blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, said at the time of its release "It has excellent balance  and flavor which makes it enjoyable when young." What they didn't say -- or perhaps couldn't reliably predict -- was that it is enjoyable at the ripe old age of 13.

The northern Médoc region of France is recognized as an excellent terroir, with its fine gravel soil that allows strong root growth. As part of the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) of Bordeaux, its bold wines are noted for their longevity.

I found this cru bourgeois on a long-neglected shelf in my cellar while looking for something with some body to sip with Constant Companion on a chilly evening this week. We both were pleased with the rich, ruby color and the bold, fruity nose. On the palate, notes of blackberry and plum joined together to lead the way to a long, dry finish.

If you can find a bottle of this '97, seize the wine. Suggested retail price: About $25.

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