2010 Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac
2010 Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac

2010 Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac

Bordeaux, France 2010 (750mL)
Regular price$55.00

2010 Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac

 If you could pluck one of the very top, “unicorn” domaines in Burgundy and plop it down on the Right Bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux then you might have something similar to Château Moulin Pey-Labrie. Like many of those acclaimed addresses in Burgundy, Pey-Labrie makes a tiny amount of wine, just 2500 cases. That’s less than some “culty” Napa wineries, and much, much less than many of their Bordelaise neighbors. I am quite certain that you won’t find any luxury party vans or limousines parked outside this old-school Château, but what you will find inside is authentic, meticulously crafted wines that are monuments to the terroir and tradition of this region. Oh, and somehow they manage to find space to hold library wines too! Yup, that’s how we have a blockbuster 2010, aged for years in the cold cellar where it was born, transferred to the importers warehouse here in California, and then placed in front of you for less than $60. Now that’s an offer you really shouldn’t refuse.

Though apt, the Burgundy comparison actually doesn’t quite do justice to the recent history of Moulin Pey-Labrie. That’s because the current owner/operators didn’t inherit the property, and in fact they don’t come from winemaking families or backgrounds at all. Bénédicte and Grégoire Hubau actually come from Northern France, where they were working as an IT specialist and an engineer until they decided to leave their desk jobs behind and pursue their passion for wine. In 1988 they found just their ideal spot on the plateau of Fronsac, in an area of  the Right Bank in Bordeaux where land then (and even somewhat now) was still affordable. 

The Château was quaint but still in good operating condition, and they kept the team that was already there on board in order to learn from them since they had zero real world experience in farming grapes and making wines. Despite this, they knew from the get go that they wanted to do things as naturally and with as little intervention as possible. They have been practicing organic farming all along, and they also have developed a process they call “subsoiling” which aerates the earth and allows microorganisms to develop freely, which in turn helps nourish the vines. In the cellar they consider themselves enlightened observers, allowing the work in the vineyard and their terroir to shine through.

The limestone/clay soils of Canon-Fronsac are perfectly suited to elegant, age-worthy Merlot, which makes up 95% of the blend along with a touch of (now rare) Malbec. Every vintage at Moulin Pey-Labrie is sturdy, and built for the cellar, but 2010 is an exceptionally great year with tremendous aging potential. That said, this wine is already starting to hit a peak drinking window that I expect will last at least another five to ten years. A deep garnet red, with hints of violet and a touch of bricking at the rim, I would serve it at cellar temperature, in nice, big Bordeaux stems. After a good 30-60 minutes in the decanter a bevy of classic aromas awaits: purple plums, spiced cherries, wild blackberries, cigar box, leather, dried sage and mint, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a mineral, saline, iodine inflected finish. Serve with a rare piece of beef, or with any dish incorporating mushrooms and red wine. This is a tour de force bottling, and offers an incredible spectrum of complexity, power, and elegance–especially considering the outrageously reasonable price!

2010 Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac

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