Wise counsel is to stay away from sub $20 Bordeaux (mostly sub Euro 7 bottles in France, excluding Australian taxes). Most of it is fairly grim, green, acidic and, even if you find a good one, bottle variation seems a troubling issue. I sometimes wonder why it is imported at all. It does neither Bordeaux, nor the Australian wine drinker many favours. A few years ago, after an initial exciting bottle and overcome by that particular compulsion that follows the tasting of an unexpectedly good and well priced wine, I predictably immediately forgot the variability lesson and purchased half a dozen of the Chateau L’Escart 2004 for the princely sum of approximately $90.
Many of the bottles subsequently, and unfortunately, proved to be either below average, or just average. For one of the average bottles, I wrote this: this bottle had an aroma of cigar box and bright red fruits. On the palate, there are some tannins and while there is not a lot of length or depth, it is quite pleasant. But it’s nothing amazing. 80 points
My most recently consumed bottle however proved frustratingly good, and a return to what initially excited me so much. Blackcurrants, medium tannins (with the edges polished and rounded with some age), nice structure and length and excellent value. And certainly at least 87 points. A wine for gamblers perhaps.
Price: around $15
Tasted: most recently February 2012