Bordeaux wines from France's Medoc commune of St.-Estephe have a well-earned reputation for being racy and rugged -- a style that derives from the area's heavy soil near the mouth of the Gironde River. Chateau Meyney wines are no exception. I've found them over the years to be dependable, rich, and expressive, not to mention good values, overall.
You can purchase a bottle of Chateau Meyney 2005 in Utah, currently priced at $37.79. However, you'd want to put that wine away for quite a few years before drinking it. For Chateau Meyney that is ready to drink now, the online auction route is an option.
I recently opened a bottle of 1990 Chateau Meyney that I had bought here and put away for nearly two decades. I'm pretty sure that when I purchased it -- probably at the old Ivy Place Wine Store -- it sold for around $14-$15. Online, I recently saw bottles of the 1990 vintage for auction priced a little under $40. At that price, I'd buy as much as I could drink in the next year or so.
Cooking up some fresh-made burgers and frites at home, I was struck by the urge to haul out the 1990 Meyney. I'm glad I did. There might be a little aging potential still left in this wine, but I think all-in-all it has reached its peak and is heading a little downhill. There's not much upside to keeping this vintage around any longer, unless it was stored in pristine cellar conditions.
I let the bottle sit upright for the better part of a day (to let any sediment settle to the bottom), and then decanted the wine about a half hour before drinking. As it turned out, there wasn't much sediment to worry about.
Poured into a big Bordeaux glass, there were aromas of raspberry, tobacco, cassis, cherry and cedar, predominantly -- frankly, more fruit than I'd expected from this wine, which I'd feared was a tad over the hill. So far, so good.
Most of the fruit on the palate, however, is secondary, although there is some primary fruit left, with fairly brusque tannins still, which was a bit surprising. The tannins will far outlive the fruit, apparently, in this vintage. The finish was medium-to-long and quite enjoyable.
In a nutshell, this is not a perfect wine, but one that is intriguing. Like I said, if you can find some for $40 or under, it's a great way to taste an aged St.-Estephe Bordeaux that is near its peak for the price of a decent American Chardonnay.