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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A Red for Hearty Food in France

Château Citran Haut-Médoc 2005

Thomas Matthews
Posted: December 10, 2010

Alison Napjus, James Molesworth and I were in Bordeaux tasting 300-plus Bordeauxs from the 2008 vintage, and took a break to have dinner at my favorite bistro, La Tupina.

I first ate there in 1980, when the medieval neighborhood was a no-go zone and La Tupina was a lonely oasis. Now the quarter is full of trendy restaurants and nightclubs, but the restaurant hasn’t really changed. It still serves rustic cuisine from southwest France, mostly big slabs of meat cooked over an open fire. We ate lamb shoulder, roast chicken and cassoulet. It all tasted like yesterday.

Owner Jean-Pierre Xiridakis has always specialized in Bordeaux’s “country” wines—good values from off-beat appellations. We chose Château Citran, a Haut-Médoc, from the excellent 2005 vintage, which was 65 euros on the list. The wine was ripe and muscular and is now starting to come around, with black fruits framed by toast, loam and licorice notes. I rated it 88 points, non-blind.

It’s good to go back to a place where you were happy a long time ago, and find that you’re happy still.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Château Citran Haut-Médoc 2005 (88, $21)

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Top Values among Bordeaux reds, for $30 and less.

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