Many wine consumers falsely think of all Bordeaux as being costly. This perception is wrong. A few world-famous estates produce very expensive and extremely fine wines, others put out fine and affordable products
Bordeaux. With its 120 000 hectares of vineyards, is the largest quality-wine producing region of the world, making on average 800 million bottles annually.
A very small fraction of 9 000 Bordeaux estates were classified in 1855 (62 estates to be exact) into five categories starting First Grand Cru, Deuxieme cru, and so on to Cinquieme cru. There rest were classified as cru Bourgeois and cru Artisanal.
In Bordeaux estates are called chateaux. Some are huge and impressive castles most consist of modest buildings. Estates produce either generic Bordeaux wines, or communal (i.e St. Julien, St Estephe etc), or sub-regional (i.e Haut Medoc, St Emilion, Sauternes etc.)
The 1855 classification classified Medoc and Sauternes estates; St. Emilion and other sub-regions were not classified.
Classified Bordeaux estate wines are expensive, and the top five grand cru very expensive, regardless of vintage quality. Demand for all of them is always high and the management of these properties know how to take advantage of their fame and reputation.
Considering the fact that Bordeaux produces a huge quantity of wine, classified estates represent less than two per cent of the total, the rest are reasonably prices and very affordable.
Pending on vintage, they can be great; in lesser vintages still good and fine with appropriate foods.
Most are low in alcohol (12.5 per cent ABV) than New World wines (14 – 15 per cent ABV) and more appropriate with food. Simply put, they are acid-driven, rather than fruit-driven.
Recently wine writers were offered an opportunity to taste well over 20 Bordeaux wines available as general list products throughout Ontario.
Also, starting April 25 to May 1 several L.C.B.O stores in Toronto, London, Ottawa and other cities will offer opportunities to taste Bordeaux wines at minimum or no cost.
The following represent good value:
Chateau des Laurets, 2006
excellent brilliant colour, fruity, medium-bodied, with good depth and long finish
Reserve Mouton Cadet, 2006, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Medoc
Deep dense colour with a violet tint. Black fruit (blackberry, blackcurrant, Morello cherry) aromas mingle. Subtle floral notes. Powerful, full-bodied and well integrated. Long aftertaste.
Chateau Pey La Tour Reserve du Chateau, 2007
Brilliant and crimson colour. Intense berry aromas with a hint of oak. Supple and elegant, well balanced with a fine finish.
Chateau Lilian Ladouys, 2004
Composed on 40 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 55 merlot, and 5 cabernet franc this fine full-bodied red wine has good depth and elegance.
Enjoy with grilled lamb chops, spring lamb kebabs or stews, or semi-hard cheeses
Chateau Belle Air, 2008
Brilliant, fruity, medium-bodied, acid-driven, and very appropriate with food, ie. Medium rare hamburger, proc roast, roast beef sandwiches, and stews.
Mouton Cadet Blanc, 2009, Baron Philippe de Rothschild
This Bordeaux appellation white originates mostly from the vineyards of Entre-deux-Mers, a sub-region of Bordeaux.
The wine displays citrus and tropical fruit notes, is smooth and clean in eh mouth with a medium-body. Well balanced and easy to enjoy with or without food.