A very comely Bordeaux for the vintage--and the price. The '98 Cha^teau Clos du Bourg is graceful and light-footed, with a pretty raspberry and cherry nose and lots of zingy fruit. It's nearly all Merlot, from the right bank.
Two things make this one stand out from the hordes of indifferent petits Bordeaux: a good location, low yields and some serious winemaking talent. The fact is, making great wine from great vineyards is not nearly the feat that taking a small property, doing everything right and turning out a good wine at a good price is. This is that wine.
I'd drink it with jambon cru (raw-cured ham), pa^tes and terrines and with grillades--grilled things. It's not a wine to tax your brain, but then sometimes all you want is something delicious from start to finish.
About $12. Available at Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese, Los Angeles, (323) 856-8699; Almor Wine & Spirits, Hollywood, (323) 874-0410; Du Vin, West Hollywood (310) 855-1161; and Mel and Rose Wine & Spirits, West Hollywood, (323) 655-5557. If you can't find this wine, ask your retailer to contact the distributor, Wine Warehouse, Los Angeles, (323) 724-1700, Ext. 213.