During a recent twitter taste live event, I had the pleasure of tasting five value Bordeaux reds. The event was sponsored by Michael Wangbickler of Balzac Communications and Planet Bordeaux. You’ll probably recall that Marc wrote about value Bordeaux a few weeks back. It wasn’t that long ago that finding good values from this region were mediocre at best which is why I was pleasantly surprised by the quality I tasted this evening. It’s a given these wines can’t compete with the greats from this region, but considering most are at the $15 mark, they are worthy of stocking up as they make great every day drinking wines. Give them a try. I think you’ll be happy with your purchase. Below are my notes on the five wines we tasted. À votre santé!
2006 La Butte du Château La Gatte
The 100% Merlot fruit comes from a 50-year old vineyard producing low yields. This wine produces nice earthy and spicy components with apparent raspberry and plum showing through. If you love dusty tannic finishes, this wine is for you. It’s well made with good balance and nuances of minerality, complexity and spice. $15 | 13.5% ABV
2008 Château de Lugagnac Bordeaux Supérieur
A very fruit forward blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon; rose petals on the nose with a good amount of plum flavors and a slight round toastiness to it. Medium long tannic finish; give this one at least an hour of decanting before consuming. Exclusively made from free run juice before pressing; two-year barrel ageing. 9,100 case production. $13 | 13.5% ABV
2008 Château de Terrefort-Quancard Bordeaux Supérieur
Spicy and full-bodied red with flavors of candied fruit, black fruits and spice; dry and tannic with a slightly toasty finish; not extremely complex but on the flip side, this red would go well with a juicy steak or grilled lamb. 64% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon; 5,800 case production. Drink now through 2015. $13 | 13.0% ABV
2007 Château de Parenchère Cuvée Raphaêl
Don’t be shocked by the dumb nose upon opening; give it an hour to decant and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Good flavors of plum and cherry followed by a dusty tannic finish; it’s a well made, delicious medium-bodied 60/40 blend (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) worthy of the wait, meaning decant this puppy for an hour or two before serving—you’ll be happy to did. Drink now through 2015. $18 | 13.5% ABV
2008 Château Penin Supérieur Tradition
Light to medium-bodied with classic cherry flavors and a dash of rhubarb, red fruits and green herb; well made red with a tantalizing long finish. 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc; 6,600 case production. $12 | 13.0% ABV
***So who says you can’t find value Bordeaux?