The Protégé’s Right Bank Red Carpet Access
It doesn’t get much easier than this. When 100-point winemakers make affordable wines, your best bet is to pounce. When that 100-point winemaker is the protégé of Michel Rolland and Andy Erickson, you should be leaning towards a case. And when 100-point winemaker Benoit Touquette (Realm, Fait-Main, Hartwell, Kata) makes an under-$25 Bordeaux from the greatest vintage since 2010, you hit “Buy,” quickly reorganize your cellar for more space, then come back and add another case of the 2015 Arbalest Bordeaux to your order.
Napa winemaking star Benoit Touquette — protégé of Andy Erickson (Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Spottswoode) and author in his own right of five 100-point wines in the last three years — teamed up with famed importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. Why? Jones has red carpet access to unprecedented fruit sources of superior quality, and Touquette knows exactly what to do what just such fruit. Their combined efforts and vision resulted in the inaugural release of Arbalest — a modern-styled red Bordeaux blend offered at a value price.
Touquette produces Arbalest in his usual California-driven style, using predominately Merlot grapes to complete his Bordeaux blend, marrying rich, fruit-driven opulence with classic Bordeaux minerality, yielding a knockout.
The 2015 vintage in Bordeaux was the best vintage since 2009. “The dominant impression from the top to the bottom of the Gironde estuary is of drinkability,” says Decanter’s Steven Spurrier. “Certainly, stunning wines have been made and several châteaux have arguably made their best ever wines,” he concluded. The 2015 Arbalest is right in the pocket.