You like big, red wines? If so, back up the truck! Read this from Wine Access, a retailer I enjoy dealing with (great selection; six bottles usually ship free): “The judges at Decanter’s 2020 World Wine Awards evaluated more than 8,500 red wines. Of the 452 Bordeaux among them, only five earned scores of 97 points or above… and only one of those chart-toppers made it to the US.

"That wine is the 2019 Château Bourdieu Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux . . . . We tasted this wine a year ago in the cool cellars at Château Bourdieu, and it stood out as one of the best under-$20 values we’ve ever seen from the region. We didn’t care that it was months away from bottling—with our sample still staining the glass, we claimed all we could. One swirl and sip, and you’ll see why the Bourdieu joined wines from Margaux and Pauillac in the top 2% of more than 8,500 Decanter World Wine Awards entrants. A little shy at the beginning, it opens up to fantastic black raspberry and warm plum, with accents of savory leather, tobacco leaf, allspice, cedar, and crushed violet. By the time the last spicy and herbal notes finish lingering on your palate, your head will be awash in the glory of Bordeaux, and the bargain price will be the last thing on your mind.

“Château Bourdieu dates back to the 15th century . . . . Raised from 25-year-old vines in the gravelly loam of Château Bourdieu’s stunning estate, the 2019 consists of 87% Merlot, rounded out with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It was aged in stainless steel and racked and manipulated minimally, all with the goal of preserving the fruit, which shines through beautifully from the opening aromas to the very last sip.”

The award judges described the wine as “Flamboyant and deep, with ample, lush and fresh forest fruits, bramble and cassis, with cascading sweet spice swiftly following. A super, brooding wine which will shine brighter with time.”

In a separate review, a Decanter reviewer had this to say: “Pristine definition of pure and driving damson, cherry and plum, with understated vanilla oak. Deep and long, the palate reveals a cascade of fleshy black fruits over ripe, fine-grained tannins and fruit-bonded acidity. Lovely stuff.” The reviewer awarded 95 points.

And get this: Antonio Galloni, who may be the world’s number-one wine critic, had this to say in Vinous Media: “The 2019 No. 1 is a soft, plush wine with no hard edges and plenty of appeal. Inky dark cherry, plum, crème de cassis, mocha, chocolate, sweet French oak and espresso all run through this sumptuous, racy Côtes de Blaye. The is a dramatic, exotic and virile, with tons of personality.” He awarded it 90-92 points (HUGE for Galloni). The wine should drink well through 2030. The price? Brace yourself: As low as $12+.

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