Winemaker Jean-Philippe Janoueix as a young man (far left with nose in glass) with his father, grandfather, and other family members

ETA Week of December 14th, 2009

A bottle of this wine has a shelf life in our house of about 24 hours. It's no sooner down in the cellar than I've got a stranglehold on it and am stabbing it with a corkscrew.

That is no exaggeration. Have you had your bottle of Chateau Croix Mouton yet?

Jean-Philippe Janoueix is the winemaking genius in his winemaking family that has been in the business in Bordeaux for 100 years. I think he must have wine running in his veins instead of blood. He is such a natural when it comes to making wine.

His name is on La Confession (95 Parker rating in 2005), La Croix St-Georges (another 95 in 2006), de Chambrun, and Croix Mouton. They all get the 90s. Yes, these are all his wines and they are some of the best out there. But, the great thing about Chateau Croix Mouton is getting "garagiste" perfection in a bottle for a Cru Bourgeois price.

Garagiste perfection means such strict selection that no green, unripe grapes are allowed into the final mix. It means throwing out grapes that are flawed, which is tantamount to taking euros and tossing them into the wind. For some growers the thought is just too painful, but for the great growers, there is no hesitation - it is the only way. That is why Jean-Philippe has the reputation he has.

Chateau Croix Mouton is a wine that will give you immense pleasure, the more so for not having emptied your wallet. It will give you immense pleasure because it is not a wine you will see on anyone else's table and when it's obvious your guests want you to open another one, you can afford to be generous.

Chateau Croix Mouton comes from a vineyard west of Saint-Emilion, on the right bank in Bordeaux. The cepage is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc with a small amount of Petit Verdot thrown in for elegance. There are only about 2000 cases of this wine made.

Chateau Croix Mouton has the rounded texture I adore in a red wine. This comes from well-integrated wood that does not obscure the delicious red and black, curranty fruit.

Croix Mouton is a wine you do not have to stare at as it sits dormant in your cellar waiting to become something. Chateau Croix Mouton already is something! Get that corkscrew out and twist away. It's ready. Not that you can't save a few bottles for down the road. This wine is not a short-hitter.

So, if you're in the market for a great petit chateau (and could you ever complain about having too much of that in your cellar?), this is one of those wines that you can buy with your, mouth closed. Jean-Philippe is brilliant. Don't miss this! Cynthia Hurley

Chateau Croix Mouton Bordeaux Superieur 2007


RP 88-90. No tasting note available. more

On Sale $17.99
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