Discovering Chateau Les Petits Moines 2009

We have a number of new wines arriving at Bordeaux-Undiscovered and here is a sneak preview of one that I particularly enjoyed!  (Full details will be on the website later in the week and I’ll keep you posted.)

Chateau Les Petits Moines lies in the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux appellation which is situated on the right bank of the River Gironde some 30 miles downstream from Bordeaux. The 47 acres of vineyards at Les Petits Moines are in the small commune of Saint Vivien de Blaye and are owned by Frederic Heraud.

Viticulture in the Côtes de Blaye dates back to Roman times when the Roman General Messala established a Roman fort at Blaye to protect Bordeaux in the year 25 BC. Blaye’s original Gallo Roman name “Blavia” comes from Belli Via which translates asRoad of the War and in ancient times Blaye was a port of the Santones – a tribe of ancient Gaul.

However it was during the reign of Louis XIV, with the construction of the fortified citadel by Vauban, that Blaye became what it is today. The citadel of Blaye is, in fact, a town that is about a mile long, with a small population, and was designed to protect the port of Bordeaux in 1689.

Vauban was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and in breaking through them. He advised Louis XIV on how to consolidate France’s borders, to make them more defensible.

Blaye is also defended by the Fort Paté on an island in the river and the Fort Médoc on its left bank, both built in the 17th century. The citadel of Blaye, its city walls, the Fort Paté and the Fort Médoc were listed in 2008 as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the “Fortifications of Vauban” group.

The red wines from the Côtes de Blaye are well worth seeking out and are often powerful, aromatic wines that develop notes of spice as they age. Chateau Les Petits Moines is no exception – the 2009 was awarded a gold medal in the Bordeaux Challenge International du Vin in May 2011.

This is an impressive wine that offers superb value for money considering its quality. The blend of grapes is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc.

The 2009 is a deep dense garnet red wine, well balanced, silky and very well structured with layers of blackcurrant, rich red fruits and oak followed by hints of cloves, rosemary and spice.

Chateau Les Petits Moines will pair very well with rump steak, rack of lamb, roast duck and pigeon as well as sharper flavoured cheeses and salami. Try it with spicy chicken dishes, braised liver and bacon or beef wellington.

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