Drinking the last bottle in the Yvon Mau tasting tour of Bordeaux.
Chateau Picoron, Cotes de Castillon, 1998: a blend of 82% merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc and 1% malbec.
There was a little sticker proclaiming this blend won a bronze in '04 at the 'Challenge International du Vin' - a very generic honour, to be sure.
1998 was a good year for Bordeaux, but I have to admit I was a bit suspicious.... Before I opened it I thought Mau might have tried to package off an inferior Bordeaux from a lesser house, a bit past its prime.
It was worth the modest gamble. Maybe it is the dash of malbec, or maybe it is the the year of the varietal, but all in all it was very satisfying, with a long, pleasant finish.