Surprise! Bordeaux is Modern and Affordable.

 


Bordeaux is different things to different people. To many seasoned wine lovers it’s one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world, home to some of the greatest reds and whites the planet has to offer. When you look at Bordeaux’s track record of excellence through quality, scores and reputation over generations this is a fair and well-earned assessment. To a completely separate group of people Bordeaux can come across a bit differently than that. Take the newer American wine lover for instance. Their experience with wine might have started out by drinking wines from California. They’re comfortable with the price points and the fact that the front label most often boldly exclaims “Cabernet Sauvignon,” “Merlot,” or “Sauvignon Blanc”. At first blush these particular folks should be interested in Bordeaux as those are three of the key grapes upon which Bordeaux’s legend rests. However some are intimidated by a variety of perceptions that range from, “All the wines are expensive,” or “You have to age them a long time,” to “I’m not sure what grapes are in there.”

The truth is there was a time when all of these were valid claims -- to varying degrees, of course. However over the last few decades there has been a shift in Bordeaux.
Certainly pricey, highly rated, age-worthy wines are still in evidence. However more and more vintners have recognized the shift of world-wide palates. Many wine lovers are looking for wines that can be consumed early alongside their favorite contemporary meals. Like everyone else they love a good value too. Bordeaux winemakers are planting more white grapes than before and producing more rosè to help quench the growing global thirst for that style. Many of these same producers are also putting the grape varieties in question on the back label so that consumers know exactly what’s in the bottle they’re purchasing. They do all of this while still maintaining their focus on the idea that the vineyard is the driving force behind any great wine. I just tasted through a case of wine from Bordeaux. Here are my thoughts about my nine favorite wines from that dozen. They’re all reasonably priced with none reaching forty dollars. Each of them is also delicious and well-represents Bordeaux . So, if you haven’t been drinking Bordeaux because of old ideas, the time is right to taste what they’ve been up to!


Château Du Champs Des Treilles 2015 “Vin Passion” Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux ($15)

This producer has twenty-four acres under vine, sixteen for red and eight for white. They farm using biodynamic methods and harvest manually. This wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (34%), Sèmillon (33%), and Muscadelle (33%). White flowers, orange zest and white pepper dominate the nose. The palate is remarkably fresh and loaded with appealing fruits such as yellow melon and hints of green apple. Wet limestone leads the long, crisp, pleasing finish.


Close Des Lunes 2014 Blanche Bordeaux ($20)

This blend of Sèmillon (70%) and Sauvignon Blanc (30%) comes from the Sauternes region, an area most famous for outstanding dessert wines. Aging occurred over seven months on the lees. Stone fruit and lemon ice aromas lead the way here. The palate shows of restrained gooseberry, peach and wisps of savory herbs are evident on the even-keeled palate. Continued citrus notes are evident on the persistent finish.


Château De Cérons 2013 Blanc Sec Graves ($28)

Twenty-seven of their sixty-four acres are dedicated to white grapes, some of which go to sweet wines. This one blends Sauvignon Blanc (50%), with Sèmillon (40%), and Sauvignon Gris (10%). They harvest by hand and age in stainless steel on the lees. White peach and hints of papaya are evident on the nose. The concentrated palate is loaded with stone fruits, citrus and tiny bits of Anjou pear. Kiwi, white pepper and lemon ice are all in evidence on the finish. Lively acid keeps things mouth-watering.


Chateau Tire Pé 2012 “Diem” Bordeaux ($12)

This is one hundred percent Merlot from vines with ten to fifteen years of age on them. This family owned and operated organic producer makes their everyday wines with minimal use of oak. This offering was aged in concrete tanks for nine months. Red cherry aromas are underscored by a gentle hint of tar on the nose. The palate is stuffed with a burst of fresh red fruit flavors from the aforementioned cherry to bits of raspberry. Dried strawberry, black pepper and earth are all evident on the finish. At around $12 this is absolute steal. If you need a new house red, look no further.


Chàteau Mauvesin Barton 2012 Moulis-En-Mèdoc ($21)

This blend of Merlot (48%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Cabernet Franc (14%), and Petit Verdot (3%) came from thirty-five year old vines. The fruit is harvested by block and optically sorted. Each lot was separately aged over twelve months in new and previously used oak. The dollop of Petit Verdot blended in here provides a velvety edge that is evident from the first sip onward. Black cherry and bits of blackberry are evident on the nose. Cassis and bits of black raspberry dot the palate. Chicory, black pepper and a hint of chocolate are all evident on the solid finish.


Clos Puy Arnaud 2013 La Cuvèe Bistrot De Puy Arnaud Castillon Còtes De Bordeaux ($25)

All twenty-seven acres of their vineyards are dedicated to red grapes. They are certified biodynamic. This is a classic Right Bank blend of Merlot (70%), and Cabernet Franc (30%). Aging took place over 3 months in cement vats; it is one hundred percent unoaked. Leather and cherry aromas leap from the nose. The palate shows off plums, cloves, and black cherry. Currant, minerals and additional red and black fruit flavors continue through the above average finish.


Château De Reignac 2010 Bordeaux Supèrieur ($31)

Three quarters of their two-hundred acres are dedicated to red grapes. The vines have an average age of forty-two years old. Merlot (75%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) make up the blend here. Aging took place in French oak barrels, stainless steel and wooden vats. Hints of toasty oak underpin oodles of red fruit aromas. The palate here is filled with fresh red cherry flavors, black pepper and bits of thyme. Hints of roasted coffee, earth and continued spice notes are evident on the long finish. Racy acid and firm tannins provide excellent structure.


Clos Du Jaugueyron 2012 Haut-Mèdoc ($36)

This small producer has only 7.4 acres under vine. They are certified organic and biodynamic. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (53%), Merlot (40%), and Petit Verdot (7%). Barrel aging took place over twelve months in new (25%) and used (75%) oak. Ripe wild strawberry, cassis and vanilla aromas burst from the nose. The palate is loaded with rich berry fruit flavors that are underpinned with hints of espresso. Chicory, black pepper and a bit of sage are all evident on the long, layered finish


Chàteau Du Seuil 2014 Cèrons ($34)

This certified organic producer has thirty-seven acres in Graves and twenty-four in Còtes de Bordeaux. It’s composed entirely of Sèmillon. Hand harvesting occurred over several weeks to assure proper levels of Botrytis. Fermentations and aging took place over twelve months in new and previously used oak. White peach and apricot aromas are joined by bits of vanilla bean. The palate here is stuffed with oodles of fresh, pure fruit flavors. The honeyed finish shows off mango, and dried apricot. Firm, racy acid keeps this balanced and refreshing.

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Comments

  • Snooth User: Gary Hall
    1345585 34

    Enjoyed the Bordeaux Article

    Feb 03, 2017 at 4:14 PM


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