Monday, September 3, 2012

Chateau Hyot 2010 Casteillon Cotes de Bordeaux, French Red Wines? Who? Me?

Okay, everyone knows I'm "afraid" of French Red Wines, the cost most of all, but there's the complexity of the French wine label, the proper aging, the number of producers, and the innumerable life-long experts, and for that I'll defer to David Boyer's Class of 1855. He should be able to satiate those wanting more info than a New Hampshire Hicksville notcher can or will give. However, since I've been reviewing a number of Red Wines, it behooves me to at least taste a few French Red Wines, even though there's not going to be any 1989 first growth Bordeaux wines reviewed, no $1,500 examples to shock and awe my readers. I will guess that there are a number of New Hampshire wine lovers who find French wines as daunting as I do, and if you're up for scratching the surface of this deep and dark cellar with me, I'll review a few of them found in New Hampshire.

Chateau Hyot 2010 Casteillon Cotes de Bordeaux, $16.99-$19.99, 89 points, has a typical Bordeaux color, but with the clarity of ruby, and a broad clear rim.
The reticent aroma is sweet cherry, gentle clove, and just a trace of lavender.
From the very first taste, I loved this wine: tart, spicy, acidic, and ragingly tannic. This is no fruit-bomb, but boysenberry and blackberry won't allow this wine to go without flavor. The finish is fair and spicy.
A very good introduction to French Red Wine, a wine I dare-say will evolve for sometime to come.
Varietals are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Copyright 2012 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger


  1. Hi Dennis,
    Glad to see you embracing the French,
    À votre santé!

  2. Sandra, though I've been following you for some years now, explaining some intricate aspects of many French wines with subtle and interesting reviews, and I've expressed to you in the past my trepidation regarding French wines; I don't remember you ever reviewing a French wine I've seen in NH (There are so many). Also, I'm not pretending in any way to be an expert, but just putting my little toe in the cold waters of the Gironde and Rhône rivers.
    Thanks for your excellent blog and for commenting.
    Et pour votre santé aussi!

  3. Dude,
    Pick up a copy of Hugh Johnsons pocket guide to wine. I've found him to be straight forward, not like the full of themselves writers from a points oriented magazine that a lot of people like to quote. Hugh gives honest, concise, descriptions of wine regions around the world. You will find some great wisdom there regarding French wine, and an entire section devoted to Bordeaux. He also relies on contacts he's made over the years to keep him up to date on happenings going on in the world of wine.

    Not a bad assessment of the Hyot, I sampled a bottle over the course of 3 days. It got better and better.... there was a sale last fall on French wines through the NH liquor system, after checking this bottle out I was able to pick up a case of the '10 for $14.99 less a case discount of 15% which means I only paid $12.74 per bottle.

    You should also sign up for the email newsletter the State sends out, you'll find printable coupons that can result in even bigger savings. Here's your tip from me for this month, Geyser peak makes a nice cab from Alexander Valley, it's reg price is $17.99, sale price is $14.99, with the printable coupon the price is now $10.99 per bottle.
    That's a crazy deal in anyones book! Decant the bottle for an hour and tell me what you think....
    You can email me at or post it here and I'll check back in. Oh, the '09's are available most everywhere and they're better than the '10 vintage


    1. Ed, thx for commenting and for your suggestions! When it comes to "judging" a wine, there is only one way to KNOW, and that's to taste (Something I encourage my readers to do), however I do allow some choice wine reviewers to steer me into tasting wines I would not otherwise taste, i.e. Jaboulet Côtes du Rhône Parallele 45 Rosé being one of the latest, and that without disappointment.
      Ed, I'm thinking that I met you; didn't you buy a case of Château De Croix Beaucaillou Saint-Julien 2009 Bordeaux at the store 33? If this or that was you, I very much enjoyed listening to you.