L’Oratoire de Chasse-Spleen 2009
Bordeaux remains one of the world’s greatest wine regions and I am increasingly interested in exploring and drinking those wines outside of the most famous. With such wines one can find much better value and still participate in the essential wine phenomenon that is Bordeaux. Recent vintages have been warmer and coupled with ever improving technique and technology; it is increasingly rare to buy bad Bordeaux.
Chasse-Spleen is the leading estate from Moulis-en-Medoc (in the central Medoc), one of the ‘lesser’ crus of Bordeaux. While much of the central Medoc lacks the gravel that makes its neighbours more suited to top quality wine, patches do exist at the top estates such as Chasse-Spleen. L’Oratoire is one of the estate’s two “second wines”, which while not at the level of the top wine, brings the price into even more reasonable territory.
The quality of Cru Bourgeois has really improved in the last decade and Chasse-Spleen is one of nine Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels. The value tends to be outstanding with such wines and Chasse-Spleen is no exception, offering an accessible, authentic and typical left bank Bordeaux experience for an entry-level price. I’d say it is not unlike the wines of St. Julien – so seek out Chasse-Spleen if you enjoy that commune’s archetypical style of red Bordeaux.