Posts in Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s 2016 Vintage – An En Primeur That At Last Is (Mostly) A Pleasure To Taste

Bordeaux En Primeur 2016 was my first, verging-on-excellence En Primeur campaign. The top end turned out wines that were easy to be choosy about. So much the better when you’re forking over big digits two years before you receive the wines. The vintage also allowed for plenty of charming wines that will be pleasant to drink as well as ones that are overly ambitious. Regardless the appellation, it was exciting to see who teased out just a bit more of everything in their expressions of the vintage through their terroir.

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Thoughts & Scores from 2015 Bordeaux En Primeur

Another year, another en primeur campaign. How long this system can sustain itself? It seems every year the fuse gets shorter. What 2015 offers is a highly mixed bag. There’s something for everyone, but without careful research, everyone may not love what he or she purchases.

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Bordeaux on the Table or Under the Tree for $65 or Less

There’s a sad misperception that Bordeaux is either utterly unaffordable or really, really bad. It’s true that most of us don’t buy much of super fancy stuff these days as their prices are, indeed, dizzyingly high. However, even in difficult vintages, Bordeaux – like the rest of the world – generally makes darn good wine today.

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Enclos de Viaud, A Discovery in Bordeaux

The 2010 and 2012 show vibrantly rich fruit with tendancies toward the blacker end of the fruit range. The 2011 shows the most perkiness, both in its redder fruit character as well as its refreshing acidity and lower alcohol. The 2014 white is fresh and highly drinkable.

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Bordeaux Supérieur Truly Is Superior…Especially These Days

Wine folks – myself included – often look skeptically upon Bordeaux Supérieur. What’s so superior about a few extra years of vine age in a region that actually keeps its vines quite young? Sure, Supérieur wines age at least nine months before release as well, often in some sort of barrel…but, they don’t have to. At least Supérieur doesn't refer to a half percent of extra alcohol here.

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Two Duos from Saint-Émilion

Merlot isn’t a grape that particularly moves me, except when it comes from Saint-Émilion. Yes, those wines are blended with Cabernet Franc and sometimes Cabernet Sauvignon, but Merlot almost always predominates in both flavor and structure. From Saint-Émilion comes Merlot in all its svelte, not hefty, glory. That’s a style I can relish.

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The Lovelies of a Lambasted Bordeaux Vintage

It is such a shame that the wine world these days makes a proclamation on a vintage just as it slides out of its fermenter into an aging vessel. (In fact, it’s often done well before.) Dialed-in wine lovers know it’s absurd, but many still dose-up on the fear of buying the wrong vintage. A fine example is Bordeaux’s 2011 vintage, which is still a bit tight and wound-up, yet it is opening up now to offer some excellent, mid-term drinkability.

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Three Smart Bordeaux Whites for $25 or Less

Château La Grande Métairie 2014 Entre-Deux-Mers: Youthful, fresh and exuberant, this 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Sauvignon Gris and 9% Muscadelle blend is the epitomy of bang-for-the-buck, true-blue Entre-Deux-Mers. Its producer is neither trying to make it a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc nor is it “oaking-it-up” to try to make a flashier, less characteristic wine for the appellation.

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Two Affordable 2009 Bordeaux Reds

The 2009 vintage was a killer year in Bordeaux, appealing particularly to those palates that love blockbuster wine styles. Declared the vintage of the (still-very-new) century before the grapes were even off the vine, the prices rocketed into the stratosphere. Yet, relative bargains from well-known appellations can be found. Here are two I recently came across.

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Château Tanesse 2012 Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Château Tanesse 2012 Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux: Nuanced, if hardly subtle, the wine smells of blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, briar patch and smoked beef. This wine is one of many that proves that the various “Côtes” appellations of Bordeaux make for excellent drinking while sparing the wallet.

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Wine List Pick: Comptoir Cuisine (Bordeaux, France)

Comptoir Cuisine sits on Bordeaux’s grand, central square across from its ornate and brightly-lit opera house. Classically Bordelais, its wine list is a compendium of the region’s well-known names with vintages mostly extending back across the last decade. Diners need not worry about picking a lemon from this smartly-curated list.

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Hit & Miss: Château Lassègue 2005 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé with Duck Sausage & Pork Shoulder with Demi-Glace

Vintage 2005 was among the best Bordelais vintages in the last 20 years. This wine epitomizes its force. Nine years on, it isn’t showing a hint of development. It’s belligerently youthful.

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