A red Bordeaux that feels almost Californian (that’s not a slam: for Californians, that can be better than okay)

Chateau Lestrille Capmartin 2005 Bordeaux Superieur, estate bottled, $22.

It’s delicious, lightly tannic but smooth, rich bodied and full of dark stone fruit, so this blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and several other Bordeaux grapes pleased us. Judy had been a bit apprehensive because French wines can be outside her “Wow! Charming!” zone. She’s still not going to savor typical French austerity, but I bet she’ll even be willing to try an Italian Bordeaux now.

Niece and nephew Sherry and Ron had given us this–we’re sorry we didn’t have them here with us. We had hoped the wine would work well with one of my leftover specials–a jus-soaked hash of prime rib, julienned, and the filling from a disemboweled French dip sandwich. California being an anything-goes place, the starch was a blue-cheese risotto, and the veggies-for-decency offering was (why not?) a nice caprese salad of fresh mozzarella (cow’s milk, unfortunately) and home-grown tomatoes with fresh mint since we were out of basil.

Strangely, the nose is a bit shy, but the taste isn’t! Dark fruit, lots of it, is delicious. A taste becomes a mouthful, with 13 percent alcohol and bright acids lightening a wine that’s rich enough to have come from vines in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley.

I know purists who wouldn’t open a red Bordeaux with my bistro-fusion leftovers. They have to live with themselves but I don’t have to! Thanks for a great experience, Sherry and Ron! Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster, 8 October 2011.