Please welcome Bill Eyer of Cuvee Corner for a feature on affordable Bordeaux wines. The motto of his blog is “The intersection of where great wine meets reasonable prices”. I was intrigued by his take on French wines and asked him to write an article on what he would recommend for everyday Bordeaux wines. Here is what he suggests for red, white and yes, even rosé from Bordeaux!
You can find bill on Twitter @cuvee_corner, and his blog http://cuveecorner.blogspot.com/. Santé!
“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day life more civilized.” — André Simon
I’m a firm believer in that quote, hardly a day goes by without me popping the cork on something new and/or interesting. But for many it’s so easy to get stuck in the same wine-rut; going back to same familiar label again and again.
But I would encourage you to take a chance on something that may possibly be new to you. I’m talking to folks who may have been enjoying domestic US wines for the longest time and have never branched out, based solely on the fear of the unknown.
You’ve most like seen bottles of wine which say, “Bordeaux” on the label, but you may have been reticent to give them a swirl. That fear of the unknown can keep folks off the path to discovery and frankly it’s quite understandable.
Now that said, with recent blockbuster vintages 05, 09 and 10 having been bottled and shipped to our shores here in the states; now more than ever is the time to take a chance to discover the wines of Bordeaux. I say that because many of these wines will immediately resonate with the American palate and our propensity for wines which are bigger and stylistically much broader on the palate. In other words, in many cases you’ll find that these wines are immediately approachable.
Okay so maybe you grant me that fact, yes there has been lots of talk about the current crop of great vintages from Bordeaux, but perhaps you’re thinking “aren’t those wines really expensive?” That is a great question, but of course of one man’s expensive is another man’s bargain.
But the honest answer is that the wines of Bordeaux have something to offer everyone in every price point. I know many you may be thinking, “but I only like white wines” okay great Bordeaux has that covered for you as well.
And you can even grab some great rosé wines, the unofficial iconic wine of summer. So really no matter what you may be looking for in great tasting easy drinking wines, Bordeaux has something to offer even the garden variety vino-sapien.
For any wine-nerds who may have stopped to see what’s going on here, may scoff and even some Bordelais may talk about the great back-to-back vintages like 89/90 or 95/96 as the latest and greatest. But if they were to be completely honest 09/10 are going to go down in history as epic back-to-back vintages in Bordeaux.
Now what would a great conversation like this be without an opportunity to see a few examples of what I’ve been talking about up to this point.
So the first wine in the bright and shiny Bordeaux spotlight is from Chateau du Retout their 2009 Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeous, a wine I purchased just under $20. It’s a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon [53%] Merlot [28%] and [19%] Petit Verdot. This wine is very generous, oozes with wild blackberry, it’s fresh, lively and above all balanced. Drink now or later.
Wow, this rosé wine just says summer in a glass. Say hello to Bordeaux with this blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot provide the swagger of fruity/floral aromas with a slap of blackcurrant and summertime ripe strawberry enchant you, while finely toned elegance plays its part on the palate, providing a vivid canvas for summer-time sipping. Bold, fresh and just waiting to please, the price is easy on the eyes as well at a SPR of $11-$13.
And last but not least, okay lets say you’re not a fan of the last two wines I’ve shared, but you love a tasty white wine try Cheval Quancard Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, coming in at a price that’s as easy a Sunday morning [SRP $15]. This folks is a serious lobster wine and, to that fact there can be no doubt. A brillant blend with Sauvignon Blanc and its best friend Semillon providing a little something, something with a creamy mouthfeel, that will you have coming back for more. A serious dry white wine, with a not so serious fun side, a fleshing melon, creamy lemon note, a spritz of citrus and a lingering finish.
Now that you know Bordeaux a little better, you see it’s not all expensive red-wines which occupy the dusty cellars of stuffy old-guys. On the contrary the wines of Bordeaux are fun, easy going wines which have so much to offer in every price category, real wines of substance and soul. Until next time everyone remember sip long and prospers cheers!