Bordeaux has a very stringent pecking order. Most of it makes sense, but every now and then you find an anomaly. Chateau Puybarbe is one of them. They are located in the Cotes de Bourg appellation, which probably doesn't resound with most wine drinkers unless we tell you who's next door. Their next door neighbor is Margaux, an area that unquestionably produces many of the finest wines in Bordeaux. What that means is that the soil is similar, the climate identical and the wines are comparable in all ways except price. That suits us just fine.
The chateau is at the highest elevation of the Cotes de Bourg and nearly the highest in all of Bordeaux. These conditions are ideal as the sun is brighter and the air cooler. Couple those conditions with a completely organic vineyard and you have a recipe for great wine. The property consists of 100 acres planted mostly to Merlot. It was purchased by a Finnish couple, Riku and Anna Vaananen in 2015 and received their organic certification in 2017. Other than that, things haven't changed in over 100 years.
Our selection belies the appellation. It is sturdier and more complex than most of the Cotes de Bourg, due to its mountainous position. That is what accounts for the very deep color and the intensity of the aromas and flavors. Wild cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate are the order of the day here, with flecks of earth and spice. The finish is mesmerizing and beckons a grilled rib eye with caramelized onions or pork Milanese.