Confidences de Prieure-Lichine, a second label red Bordeaux, reminds us just how wonderful these wines can be
In the old days before the recession, the great Bordeaux estates nade two wines. The first was the expensive one, and the other, called a second label, was a more affordable version, made with lesser quality grapes.
These days, though, as wine continues its evolution as only something for the wealthy, even the second labels are pricey. Witness the Confidences de Prieure-Lichine ($33, purchased, 13%), made by Chateau Prieure-Lichine in Margaux on Bordeaux’s left bank. Chateau Prieure-Lichine is a fourth growth, dating to the legendary 1855 classification; for our purposes, this makes it a great producer, and its first label can cost more than twice that of the second.
The Big Guy bought the Confidences de Prieure-Lichine and brought it to lunch at Dallas’ Urbano Cafe (the blog’s unofficial BYOB restaurant). We were joined by Thibodaux, who finagled a day off from work despite the bossses’ insistence that the business would collapse without her.
The Confidences de Prieure-Lichine was all we hoped it would be – elegant, sophisticated, and oh so Bordeaux. There’s dark fruit (plums? black currants?), the tannins are almost velvety, and the wine has an idea of earthiness, nothing more. It was softer than I expected, but understandable since Prieure-Lichine uses more merlot in the blend than other left bank producers.
It probably won’t age much longer, so drink now. Highly recommended, and the ideal wine to pair with holiday beef, lamb, or even turkey. And it’s yet another reason why scores are so useless. This was a beautiful and delicious wine, yet its average score on Wine-Searcher was 89 points. That’s about what a quality bottle of $10 wine gets.