Château de Nivelle 2015 Bordeaux

This week I tried another Bordeaux. It's a 2015 Bordeaux from Château de Nivelle. The estate overlooks the Gironde River, and it only grows Merlot grapes.  This particular wine has won gold medals from Concours Agricole Bordeaux, and from the French wine guide Gilbert & Gaillard. My fiance picked up this wine through the NPR wine club. He gets a case of various wines every three months, and some of the proceeds go to support NPR. You can also buy a single bottle, or half a case or a case of just one wine, on their website. We make an effort to get our wine from a variety of sellers, so that we can get a diverse selection.

I really enjoyed this wine. When I first sniffed it I smelled notes of pepper, over-ripe raspberries, and tobacco. When I tasted it, I also got notes of plum, dark cherries, vanilla, and leather. The wine was subtley fruit-forward, with well-balanced tannins. It was a very easy to drink Bordeaux, and was not particularly complex.

As I drank the wine, I found myself struggling to find anything notable or distinct about the wine. It was a good wine, and I enjoyed drinking, but it was just a standard young Bordeaux. There wasn't anything particularly breathtaking about the wine, but there also wasn't anything that made me wrinkle my nose and try to figure out what I didn't like about the wine. It was a very solid, dependable, but average wine. I think this would be a great wine to serve at a dinner party, or at a holiday dinner, because everyone would be pleased by it, and no one would dislike it. It won't rock anyone's world, but it won't offend anyone either. I would be interested to buy a few more bottles and try it again in five or ten years. I think it has a lot of potential to age well and become more complex and present a unique flavor, but it's just not there yet.

My fiance and I enjoyed this wine with a snack of mozzarella and prosciutto roll-ups on toasted rosemary focaccia bread. It went great with our little appetizer. The subtle fruit-forward nature balanced well with the saltiness of the prosciutto. If you're serving this with dinner, I think it would go great with herb-roasted lamb chops, or with hearty mushroom ravioli. The well-balanced tannins allow it to be paired with something a bit robust than just turkey or chicken. I would buy this wine again to serve in a group setting or to keep in a cellar and allow it to age for awhile longer, but I wouldn't buy it for just my fiance and I to drink together soon, I'd rather try something new or find something more unique.