There’s something magical about the interaction of bourbon oak and Bordeaux that somehow makes both better. This wine is certainly plump and ripe, but there’s wonderful polish here too. The texture is silkier, the flavors deeper, the finish longer, the wine more complex. Delicious and unique. The result is a wine that waltzes between lightness and power. Hailing from the vineyards of Castillon, adjacent to Saint Emilion, this is a ton of Bordeaux for the money.
The Merlot contributes notes of cassis, ripe plum, and supple texture while the Cab Franc adds notes of tobacco, darker fruit, and spice. And the 8 months of aging in those Pappy barrels adds attractive notes of molasses, brown spice, and carmelized sugar. When you put it all together, you get a wine that drinks more like a Pomerol or Saint Emilion but doesn’t cost $50+.
It is worth mentioning that the original bourbon barrel-aged wine was pioneered in 2000 by Dan Philips of the Grateful Palate and Julian Van Winkle. The two met at a dinner at Blackberry Farm, hit it off, and decided to try something new and different. The rest, as they say, is history. Many others have copied them, but I think so many of the copycats are using artificial flavoring agents in their wines. That is not the case here. The “bourbon element” of the wine adds subtle complexity and nuance as opposed to being the dominant aroma and flavor.