2008 Chateau Biac, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux, France
Score : 91/100
This 2008 Chateau Biac wine is composed at 73% of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 27 % Merlot both harvested rather late from 8th to 21 October after a damp growing season and a cool dry 2008 summer.
It was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels.
The wine is of a dark red color, with no signs of evolution as far as the color is concerned (no orange or yellow hue). But no purple hue either.
The nose is rather exuberant. It feels quite warm and the first impression is dominated by the oaky aromas of vanilla, caramel and a touch of smoke. After sniffing for a few seconds, the depth of the aromas kicks in and the aromatic complexity is revealed. The aroma spectrum is wide and composite.
One smells sweet spices combined with a leathery tone, horse saddle on the positive side of it. The fruits are a bit hidden and shy behind the oaky, spicy and leathery notes, but dark cherry and blueberry seems to be there, asking for an acknowledgement 😉
On the palate, the wine first feels big, chewy and slightly warm. The first-two-seconds impression gives the feeling we’re having a big dense wine here. But I actually loosen up gently and progressively as the mouthfeel develops. The tannic structure is not as sustained as you’d first expect. Not as concentrated and linear as super-top Bordeaux estates, but this lighter middle palate makes the wine actually easier to enjoy.
The tannins feel silty. Let me explain….
It’s not as granular as Bordeaux wines from sandy gravelly soils like in Graves. And it’s not as fine and refined as with the greatest terroirs of Medoc. Here you feel the grains of tannins, not as granular as the Graves, but not as fine as on clay. Silty then is what comes to mind.
Like on the nose, plenty of rather exuberant flavors. The sweet spices, like the 5 spices mix, accompany the whole tasting coating every other note. The fruits are more extrovert on the palate, with a distinct blueberry note, followed loyally by the typical Merlot dark cherry, and the Cab Sauvignon’s cassis (blackcurrant) flavors.
A delicious wine that lets itself be enjoyed quite easily.
It’s powerful and aromatic: fruity, oaky, and fruity without overcomplicating it. All the qualities of great Bordeaux wines as there, in a modern and ripe style: concentration, refinement, and very good quality of fruit and oak.
The Merlot brings richness, dark cherry flavors, and probably the wine’s warmth too. While the Cabernet Sauvignon comes with his tightness and delicacy. Perhaps they’re arguing with each other a little too loudly here as one feels the dichotomy in this wine. But this actually makes the tasting scene fun and captivating. A little dispute over who’s the boss is entertaining when you’re not involved directly.
When to drink?
Enjoyable to drink now, the richness of the Merlot giving the wine plenty of ready-to-enjoy flavors, while the oaky tones are of good quality and will satisfy now if you like them.
But the wine will age and develop further complexity and should reach its peak 5 to 10 years from now if you’re after deeper bouquet with further forest floor and leathery tones.
Pair with subtle meat dishes like carpaccio. The meaty umami feels from raw or medium-rare meats (e.g. game or beef) is what this wine requires, more than too strong flavors from roasted or stewed meat dishes.