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As a consumer, we immediately learn about the greatness of French wines even before we touch a bottle. Quite immediately the prestigious Chateaux of Bordeaux with it’s 1855 classification and pricing pyramid with astronomical auction prices come alive in our minds. We begin to chase vintage ratings, thinking only the most praised and possibly tannic wines are worth to consider.

old bottles

We opt for a different approach and try to choose a wine first by selecting the producer and not the vintage (by the way, what you would do in Burgundy). A conscientious and skilled winemaker will work like a chef and make the most of the ingredients (vintage). Often the lowly rated harvest might become a fine every day bottle, while you patiently check the bottle in your cellar regularly, asking yourself is it time yet?

sunset lalande

Then much later in your buying career. You start to hunt for jewels that hardly anyone knows about. These, like Domaine de Viaud with a chest full of mature jewels, are often introduced by wine bars and independent restaurants. Unlike many Bordelais’ colleagues, the Bialle family do not solely work with negotiants; they also manage their estate similar to a domaine in Burgundy with an eye on viticulture (Note: not to be confused with Chateau de Viaud that happens to be in Lalande as well) making a wine style that is based on finesse, earthiness, and soulful aromatics that one can expect from a old school and mature claret.

cuvee special

For some wine lovers, this wine may perhaps lack intensity, but this is exactly what the sandy and gravelly soil in the Lalande can offer, and also why we get so excited about classical Bordeaux wines at a proper degree of alcohol around 13%.

The Viaud 2000 is 95% Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc, aged in 1/4 new wood. The wine is ready to drink, with no decant. We recommend using the two prong wine opener, as some cork are dry.

Domaine de Viaud

Now if you enjoy this style, we can also recommend the finer Cuvee Speciale from 1996 that has a higher acidity level; in stock.