Who Says You Can’t Find Value Bordeaux?

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

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

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

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

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

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

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

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

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

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

***So who says you can’t find value Bordeaux?


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


  1. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy April 1, 2011 at 10:24 PM - Reply

    Over the years have enjoyed wines from Bordeaux but, like you, had noticed their quality decrease over time while wines from other regions of the world surpassed Bordeaux. Glad to read about the “come back” of quality Bordeaux, worth trying them again.
    Thank you for sharing your insights and giving practical options for consideration.

    • Pamela Heiligenthal April 2, 2011 at 10:31 AM - Reply

      Well, lets hope you taste the wines and agree with my assessments! :) Thanks for stopping by TheGourmetCoffeeGuy. If you find other buys, let us know!

  2. Carol April 1, 2011 at 10:35 PM - Reply

    @GourmetCoffeeguy I agree with you in spirit. Glad to see the Bordeaux “come back” which is long overdue. I’ve given up on bargains for this region but I’m looking forward to sampling them once again.

  3. Craig April 3, 2011 at 9:20 PM - Reply

    Agreed and agreed. The Raphael is good, and I’m looking forward to trying the others. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • enobytes April 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM - Reply

      Thanks for the kudos Craig, and as stated before, let us know if you find other “must haves”. Cheers.

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