Bordeaux is one of the most prestigious wine growing regions in the world. It is tough finding that inexpensive gem from Bordeaux, mainly because they are not rated by major critics. Everyone thinks red when they think about Bordeaux. The white wines, including Sauternes are wines that should be explored as well. The dessert wines of Bordeaux are some of the most long lived wines produced, and the prices do not fluctuate heavily from vintage to vintage. Inexpensive Bordeaux should also be treated like an expensive Bordeaux.
The five main red varietals of Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. You Meritage fans should look at Bordeaux in your next visit to Binny’s. There is only one way to find a good inexpensive Bordeaux. Taste. With any young red Bordeaux, the wine will need air. My first experience with Bordeaux was terrible, then great because I revisited a wine 12 hours later. It does not matter if you spend $10 on a 2005 Bordeaux Superior or $1900 on a 2005 Chateau Latour, it needs to breathe before consumption. Decanting or aeration will do the trick. If you don’t like the wine after 3 hours, try it the next day.
2005 Chateau des Judes: An absolute steal at $7.99. The wine is very fruit forward and well balanced.
2005 Chateau Brulesecaille: This is a Merlot based blend that drinks a lot better than its $15.99 price point. It will not disappoint. Great quality!
The non-dessert white wines of Bordeaux can be light and crisp to oaky and waxy. The main white varietals of Bordeaux are Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc and a little bit of Muscadelle. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, I would definitely recommend trying a young, white Bordeaux.
2008 Graville Lacoste: This is a great pick with shellfish. There is a lot of citrus flavor and it has very refreshing acidity. Look for the 2007 on our shelves as well.
2007 Grand Bourdieu: This has more toasty, leesy flavors along with a mineral driven, ripe finish. Quantities are limited.
The dessert wines of Bordeaux can be amazing. The grapes in Sauternes and Barsac are naturally infected with a mold called Botrytis Cinerea, also known as Noble Rot. The mold reduces the moisture in the grape and intensifies the sugars and flavors of the finished product. The harvesting of one vine will produce a single glass of Sauternes or Barsac.
2006 Les Charmes de Rieussec: This is the second label of Chateau Rieussec, which is one of the second best producers in Sauternes. (The best being Chateau d’Yquem.) You get a sense of the Botrytis from this wine. You’ll get flavors of saffron and honey in the nose. This is a great value at $12.99.
2005 La Tour Blanche: This is a great valued, first growth Sauternes. This will age 20 plus years and beyond. There is nothing wrong with it right now, however.
Sauternes is an extremely sweet wine. A little bit will go a long way. Enjoy with bleu cheese, foie gras or fresh fruits.
I hope you get to try these wines from Bordeaux.