Wine Journal: 2005 Domaine Bel Air Bourgueil “Vingt Lieux Dits”

I tried a glass of this 2005 Cabernet Franc while enjoying a romantic dinner at Silver Lake’s Cliff’s Edge. I wasn’t too impressed with their wine list, so I settled for something I thought was a safe bet. At $12 a glass, I can’t help but feel a little ripped off– seeing as though a bottle of this 2005 Domaine Bel Air Bourgeil is only $16 at market. When I first put my nose into the glass, I was already put off by its overly spicy and earthy nose. Upon first taste, I was surprised that the initial sip was rather smooth on the palate. However, as the glass and I got to know each other better, the complexities in this wine just didn’t win me over. The spice was in the foreground and the fruit (dark berries) were hidden–almost lost. The finish was too tannic and dry for me. Not nearly as well-balanced as I would like. It seemed a little too peppery, also. While this wine was okay (especially paired with bold flavors and hearty meats), I can’t say that I’ll be rushing to the store to buy a case of it for cheap; but for a value wine, this is a decent alternative to the run-of-the-mill domestic Zinfandel for all you spice fans out there.

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