Winemaker Benoit Touquette has one of the most fascinating histories of almost any winemaker we've met, especially from Bordeaux. First off, he was born in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France at the southern tip of Burgundy. His dream was to become a fighter pilot or engineer. Wine making wasn't even an option. While trying to pay for his graduate degree, he took a job with a mobile bottling line in Bordeaux. That was all it took. Once he entered the world of passionate people living their dreams, there was no turning back.
He went on to earn two degrees in oenology and took off for where? Napa Valley! He crafted wines there for 12 years, many earning perfect 100-point scores in the press before returning home to Bordeaux to craft wines from the place in which it all started. As if his accomplishments weren't enough, he hired Michel Rolland as his consultant to make wines of incredible depth and complexity that would rock the world. Rolland is the most famous and recognizable winemaker in the world.
The only thing which tops this story is the wine. An arbalest is a crossbow and refers to the aim of Touquette-to make wines considered the best in the world. His magnificent blend of 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot only strengthens his vision. At first, you are seduced by the incredible integration of red fruits, vanilla, spice, and tannins. The flavors follow seamlessly, releasing billows of complex flavors and finishing breathlessly. A filet topped with black truffles would do nicely.