An Aged Bordeaux Not to be Missed—1999 Lestage Simon, Haut-Médoc

One of the biggest perks working at K&L offers is access to Clyde’s fantastic buys on aged, value priced Bordeaux. This Friday, Cinnamon and I enjoyed a bottle of the newly arrived 1999 Lestage Simon, Haut-Médoc ($22.99) with a steak. Saturday morning, I bought myself a case. I think this will become a legendary wine in the same league with the 1997 Potensac, Medoc and the 2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc. It is sure to be gone very soon.

This 90-acre property is located in the northern part of the Haut-Médoc, in the village of St. Seurin de Cadourne, just next to St. Estephe. The vineyard is planted mostly to Merlot, which represents 69% of the surface, with 22.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and ½% Petite Verdot. The average vine age is quite old for a cru bourgeois, at 30 years of age.

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The 1999 vintage is a little bit forgotten, overshadowed by the miraculous 2000s which came after. This one, like the best of the 1999s, has wonderful, fresh, dark fruit which is still going strong 20 years after the harvest. To go along with this beautiful fruit, this wine is framed by subtle earthiness and also has the texture that only decades of patience can bring. It has become quite silky and the tannins are fully integrated. The alcohol is low on this Haut-Médoc, coming in at a classic, old school 12.5%. This means a lot to me, because I have to work on Saturdays, and I like to drink more than one glass of Bordeaux with my steak on Friday night!  Perhaps my favorite thing about this wine is how it combines dark fruit and texture with a lifted and bright finish. It provides the kind of refreshment that I love when having a juicy New York steak like the one I had with it.

I am very happy to have another 12 of these in the cellar now. If you like old fashioned Bordeaux at a great price, it is not to be missed.

—Gary Westby

Gary Westby