Overview of Bordeaux
Bordeaux is probably the most important and best wine making region in the world. Its beautiful countryside is sprawling with grand chateaus only matched with the perfect climate. They produce a lot of wine in Bordeaux, roughly 150,000,000 gallons of wine through 20,000 producers. The majority of these premium wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Each grape is used differently within the Left and Right Banks of Bordeaux. The Left Bank tends to use the Cabernet Sauvignon as the focal grape in their blends while the Right Bank priorities the Merlot for blends. The south is known for its dessert wines or Sauternes.
The post today will focus on the wines of the Left Bank of Bordeaux.
Left Bank: Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Jullien, Pessac-Leogan
The wines of the Bordeaux have inherited a premium when it comes to cost. The demand is high, wines consistently get rated extremely well (which isn’t a bad thing) and cost keep rising vintage to vintage. Vineyards have allowed collectors to purchase the latest vintages before they’re even bottled or barreled for that matter. This cumulation of factor has led people to question if they can should buy from Bordeaux to begin with or seek better value for money elsewhere. I think some of this is true. The market for Bordeaux is overall inflated, but you can find a lot of great value with family and smaller production vineyards.
Here are some tasting notes of some wines that I’ve had from this region in the last couple of months. I selected a mix of styles, region and price range.
Château Dutruch Grand Poujeaux 2010
This is a pretty great entry level Bordeaux. Well priced and good value for the money the Poujeaux exhibits many of the qualities synonyms with the region. The nose had black cherry, currant with pleasant oak undertones. The palate was much of the same flavors with the addition of chocolate, blackberry and earthiness. The tannins were a little firm, but still drank with some finesse. This wine paired extremely well with food as do most quality Bordeaux and a couple more years in the cellar would do it pretty well. Great buy at around $30. Château Fonbadet is also recommended at this price point.
Clarendelle Blanc 2012
I know what you’re thinking a white wine from Bordeaux that isn’t a desert wine. With 90% of the region producing red wine the whites from this region tend to be overlooked, but they do in fact have a rich history of white table wines. The Clarendelle is a blended primarily of Semillon and is a wonderfully easy drinking wine. The nose is citrus forward with a palate of tropical fruits, mineral and a slightly buttery finish. It was an refreshing sip of white wine that matched the seafood paired along side really well. I enjoyed this wine and was surprised by it. Good value for the low cost of ~ $20.
Domaine de Chevalier 2010
I love this vineyard and am amazed at the level of quality they produce vintage to vintage. One word to describe the 2010 would be elegant. Immediately poured into the decanter our table knew it was in for a treat. It was deep purple in color. The nose is floral with currant and a hint of licorice. The palate is wonderfully balanced and complex. Ripe fruits like cherry, plum, raspberry integrated nicely with silky tannin and the perfect acidity. The finish was long and smooth. It drank well when decanted last night this vintage will be pretty amazing stuff in 5 years.
The wine just screams class, refinement and the Pauillac style. The nose was huge, showing beautiful aromas of sweet rich black cherry, plum, graphite, ripe berry, and some floral notes. The body was full, very fresh, beautifully balanced with well integrated creamy tannins. The wine just glides down the palate like silly with a nice long finish. It is great value for money and probably one of my favorite of the 2010 Bordeaux that I have tasted to date.
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