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Senior editor and tasting director Bruce Sanderson joined Wine Spectator in 1993. His tasting beats are Burgundy in France and Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy.
Bruce Sanderson

A Bargain from a Great Vintage of Bordeaux

Château Gigault Premières Côtes de Blaye Cuvée Viva 2005

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: February 19, 2009

In Florida, where I recently vacationed, you have to go to an ABC store to buy gin, vodka and other spirits, and while they may sell wine, the bottles in the racks are usually inexpensive, commercial labels. Imagine my surprise when I was browsing the ABC in Sebring and saw the Château Gigault Premières Côtes de Blaye Cuvée Viva, a small-production wine from a terrific producer in Bordeaux. Even better, it was from the great 2005 vintage, and a steal at $18.

The Cuvée Viva has outstanding potential in top vintages; it is mostly Merlot with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. The best barrels of the estate go into the Viva.

I couldn't wait to uncork the 2005. The aromas are intense, revealing a huge nose of raspberry, blackberry and cassis. It's rich and round, with ripe, lush fruit, a firm structure, ending fresh and long (91 points, non-blind). It should develop nicely over the next five to seven years.

Château Gigault Premières Côtes de Blaye Cuvée Viva 2005 (91, $21)

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