Stephen Tanzer writes in International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Redcurrant, tobacco and menthol on the nose. Broad, sweet and fairly full in the mouth, with a fine grain to the flavors of currant, tobacco, herbs and earth. Not especially complex or structured but nicely made. The finish features broad, ripe tannins and good energy and length."
James Molesworth writes in Wine Spectator: "A toasty style, with focused mocha and espresso notes backed by solid plum and black currant fruit. Toast and tobacco hold sway on the finish. Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2012. 2,213 cases made."
Robert Parker writes in Wine Advocate: "Revealing abundant minerality as well as a leaner, tighter style than the 2010's with less mass, extraction and power, this elegant, medium-bodied 2008 exhibits raspberry and black currant fruit, cedar, loamy soil and a hint of spice box. It should be consumed over the next 3-4 years."
This is one of those little Bordeaux gems you wouldn’t know about without some sort of guide to show it to you. In this case the guide is one of the best at ferreting out unique properties in the region, Jeffrey Davies. Bolaire is situated on the Gironde River estuary, east of the Medoc town of Macau, and 12 miles north of downtown Bordeaux. Its neighbors include La Lagune, Dauzac, and the cru bourgeois Siran. Created prior to 1860, it remained in the same family until its purchase in early 2003 by the owner of Château Belle-Vue. The soils are rich in clay which helped the news owner get out of the gate with a bang in the torrid 2003 vintage. A well-maintained vineyard boasts an average age of 42 years including one block of 80-year old Petit Verdot. The vineyard has kind of an unusual mix for the area of 34% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, and, an exceptionally high 39% Petit Verdot, a varietal that has been very successful at Belle-Vue. The aptly named property takes its name from the local hamlet or lieu-dit called “Bolaire”, whose name is derived directly from an old French adjective used to describe reddish, finely grained, clay soils called les terres bolaires. Lots of minerality and structure here, with red currant fruit tinged with earth and tobacco. There’s also a cool streak of aromatic herb that invokes fond memories of the striking Von Siebenthal Toknar from Chile we sold a few months ago (that’s the Petit Verdot talking). Altogether a distinctive Bordeaux that shows more complexity than most in this price range.