Château Campillot Médoc 2008

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Château Campillot is in the northern Médoc village of Saint-Germain d’Esteuil, north and west of Saint-Estèphe and Pauillac. The property is owned and operated by Jean-Dominique Videau who also runs the famed classified-growth Château Branaire-Ducru in Saint Julien. With more clay interspersed with the classic gravel soils of Saint-Estèphe here, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are grown in equal parts, along with tiny amounts of cabernet franc and petit verdot. The wine aged in French oak barrels, about 20% new, for 12 months.

Dark ruby in the core, paler garnet at the rim. The classic Bordeaux bouquet suggests red berries, black cherries, violets, cedar, and tobacco. The medium-weight, richly textured palate has berry, plum, herb, and tobacco flavors with fine tannins adding gentle grip. The tannic structure suggests this is reaching maturity and entering a great drinking period where it should remain for a half decade or longer. This would be terrific with cassoulet or a rich beef stew.

New York Times articleBy most reports the 2008 vintage was pretty good: classically styled, which, in Bordeaux parlance, means these were not of the ultra-ripe, extravagantly fruity persuasion but more medium-bodied, with the sort of acidity that can make the wines seem fresh and lively. Best of all, the 2008 wines were less expensive than those from many of the surrounding vintages, although (fair warning) we are talking about Bordeaux. Less-expensive Bordeaux is still very expensive wine.

We decided to focus on the wines of Médoc, the heart of classic cabernet sauvignon-based Bordeaux, which includes prestigious communes like Pauillac, St.-Julien, Margaux and St.-Éstèphe, along with lesser-known satellite regions.