With all the hype surrounding the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux I have taken to looking for smaller, less expensive properties. Thus far the strategy has paid off, producing a spate of low-to-mid-priced wines that have the unmistakable flavor profile of classic Bordeaux from a great vintage.

The Sainte Gemme is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot coming from vines that are on average 20 years old. The vineyard is approximately 10 hectares (24.3 acres) and is on soil composed of a mix of gravel, clay and limestone, which likely accounts for the minerality on the nose. The estate is what I would call mid-sized, producing approximately 80,000 bottles per year.

At an average per bottle price of $19.99 the wine represents a very good value in a superb vintage for Bordeaux.

My tasting note:

Minerally nose with menthol, eucalyptus and black cherry hints. Medium-to-full-bodied with moderate acidity and firm, dry tannin – good balance. Dark fruit core with gamey, dried cocoa notes – herbaceous. Moderate length with a classic Bordeaux finish. Drinking well and should improve for another 3 to 5 years.