We are thrilled to have the newly released 2016 Arbalest in stock. This a fantastic follow-up to the inaugural release which was an instant hit and outsold every other Bordeaux in the store. This lush and juicy full-bodied wine boasts an abundance of dark fruit flavors and incredible texture with silky smooth tannins.
The Wine Advocate's Lisa Perrotti-Brown loved this wine calling it, "a seriously fun Bordeaux wine that offers jaw-dropping great value. In giving this wine a score of 91 Points, she also described it as "jam-packed with juicy black fruit, framed by ripe rounded tannins and seamless freshness."
From the highly regarded winemaker from Hartwell, Realm, Kata and Fait Main (Teeter Totter) comes an absurd value. Arbalest is a project involving winemaker Benoit Touquette and importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. The idea of Arbalest was born when Benoit and Kimberly were traveling in France. They tasted a lot of wine in Bordeaux and both felt they could improve on the quality of reasonably priced wine from the region. Benoit reached out to his friends in Bordeaux and found sources for high quality grapes. Benoit then did what he does best. He made this wine in his style consistent with his other wines, but kept the price amazingly low.
Benoit was born in Bordeaux where he was surrounded by family and friends in the wine business. He was amazed at the passion people had for wine and soon felt it himself. He graduated from Bordeaux University with a Master's Degree in Oenology and learned from one of Bordeaux's greatest, Michel Rolland. After some time, Benoit decided it was time for a new challenge and decided to go to Napa. There he worked with another legendary winemaker, Andy Erickson, whose resume includes such iconic estates as Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle and Spottswoode.
The mentorship of Michel Rolland and Andy Erickson was transformative for Benoit. He has learned well and clearly knows how to make delicious wines. In the spirit of full disclosure, we have to admit this wine possesses the character of Touquette's full-bodied Napa reds. The quality of the perfectly ripened fruit flavors and creamy texture in this Bordeaux blend made us feel like we were enjoying a much higher priced wine. It does have a touch of minerality you might encounter in Bordeaux, but this is a dead ringer for a high-quality Napa wine.
While the prior vintage was delicious, somehow the 2016 kicks it up a notch. Given the picture-perfect growing season, we knew Benoit would knock it out of the park and we were not disappointed. Enjoy this delicious, crowd pleasing wine with a good steak or simply on its own-it's that good!
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Here's a seriously fun Bordeaux wine that offers jaw-dropping great value, made by French native, Napa super-star winemaker Benoit Touquette. The 2016 Arbalest is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot and the Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Left Bank. I’m not allowed to tell the name of the Château, but it’s in the Saint-Estèphe area. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc come from the Right Bank, where the soil is clay-limestone on limestone rock, with a southwest exposure."
"Medium garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with notes of warm black plums, Black Forest cake, licorice and candied violets plus hints of fallen leaves and cedar chest. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with juicy black fruit, framed by ripe rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and spicy. 2,000 cases were made."