Château Boutisse, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru (Bordeaux, France) 2019

($41, Vintus):  Usually when you see “Grand Cru” on a label it represents a higher level in a classification or stratification of a region.  Not so in Saint-Émilion where it is an appellation, not an indicator of quality.  The appellations of Saint-Émilion and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru are identical geographically.  The difference between the two is in winemaking/viticulture.  Rules for Saint-Émilion Grand Cru require higher minimum alcohol levels (i.e., higher ripeness) and lower yields, among other things.  That said, the youthful Château Boutisse is a high-quality wine.  It is run by Élodie and Marc Milhade, part of a well-known Right Bank family that’s been making wine since 1938.  Both fleshy, high percentage of Merlot speaking, and refined, the talented team speaking, it is fine for current drinking.  My preference would be to cellar it for a few years to let the tannins, spice, and black fruit to integrate.
92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2023