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Bordeaux, Beaujolais

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 


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  1. Pierre Marie Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes Beaujolais 2019 375ml
    Pierre Marie Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes Beaujolais 2019 375ml

    crewcap. This Beaujolais cherrybomb is drawn from 20- to 40-year-old vines grown on dark, granite soils around the Chermette homestead in Saint-Vérand (southern Beaujolais). The winemaking here has remained unchanged for decades, with traditional whole-bunch, semi-carbonic ferment in concrete tanks and then maturation in tank and ancient oak casks still the order of the day.

    As opposed to his age-worthy Crus from Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, et al, Chermette's aim here is to produce something light-bodied and cherry-fruited with reach-for-another-glass charm--something the juicy-crunchy 2019 nails with ease. From one of the region's great addresses, this is a punchy and buoyant red that goes down dangerously easily. PWS

    Pale peach skin color. Fresh citrus fruits, red berries and a hint of nectarine on the incisive, mineral-accented nose. Silky and focused on the palate, offering light-bodied strawberry, tangerine and succulent herb flavors. Finishes smooth and subtly sweet, with a repeating red berry note and good tenacity. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous

    2019
    Gamay
    France
    352
  2. Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 20% Côt
    The Coteaux du Quercy AOC is one of France smallest wine region with only 400 hectares and less than 20 growers. It lies between Cahors & Gaillac. After the Phylloxera, the Quercy, once 50 000 hectares was almost destroyed. Roger Gisbert and his brave mates started their appellation from scratch. With high draining slopes of white clay and limestone soils, Cabernet Franc was chosen to blend with the Merlot, and off course the Cot (aka. Malbec) replanted on the rocky soils. The grapes are harvested and sorted, then fallow slow and gentle traditional fermentation.
    2016
    Cabernet Franc, Merlot
    France
    356
  3. Chateau Thivin Cotes du Brouilly Sept Vignes 2019 375ml
    Chateau Thivin Cotes du Brouilly Sept Vignes 2019 375ml
    Thivin's 2019 Côte de Brouilly unwinds in the glass with inviting aromas of plums, red berries, warm spices and peonies. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping, it's bright and precise, with fine depth at the core and real energy, concluding with a long, gently tannic finish. A touch finer-boned and more dynamic than the gourmand, demonstrative 2018, this is showing very well. WILLIAM KELLEY, robertparker.com
    2019
    Gamay
    France
    352
  4. Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml
    Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml

    Fronsac

     74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    An utterly delicious red with crushed berries, cappuccino and hints of black olives. Medium-bodied, compact and very soft. Really creamy texture. A blend of 75% merlot, 22% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Hard not to drink now. So do it! JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 La Vieille Cure is deep, fleshy and delicious. In 2017, La Vieille Cure is a bit less dense than it often is, but it still packs a pretty serious punch. Dark red cherry, plum, cinnamon, chocolate and floral notes shape this racy, inviting Fronsac. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Vieille Cure has a tightly-packed black cherry and cassis scented bouquet that feels as if it could be more intense once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a candied, pastille-like opening: blackcurrant, crème de cassis and vanilla, lower in acidity than its Fronsac peers but smooth as silk towards the finish. NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  5. Senejac 2018
    Senejac 2018
    36 Bottles available at time of offer

    The 2018 Sénéjac has an attractive bouquet of blackberry and raspberry fruits, touches of graphite and pressed flowers. I admire the precision of this Haut-Médoc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, well-judged new oak (25%) and a touch of dark chocolate toward the finish. This has real panache and class and comes highly recommended. NEAL MARTIN
    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  6. Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Shows ripeness and power on the nose with ripe dark berries and volcanic salt. Full body, soft and rich tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Drink in 2022. (91) JAMES SUCKLING

    One of the best things agbout the Bordeaux 2016 vintage was the stregth of the satellite appelations - this Canon Fronsac is a freat example - situated on the right bank but with a lot of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon you could easly see this as more left bak in style - it is everything a good claret should be dense dark with chewy tannis and cool clean fruit - absoultly delicous and a great price. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  7. Chateau Thivin Cotes du Brouilly Sept Vignes 2019
    Chateau Thivin Cotes du Brouilly Sept Vignes 2019
    Thivin's 2019 Côte de Brouilly unwinds in the glass with inviting aromas of plums, red berries, warm spices and peonies. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping, it's bright and precise, with fine depth at the core and real energy, concluding with a long, gently tannic finish. A touch finer-boned and more dynamic than the gourmand, demonstrative 2018, this is showing very well. WILLIAM KELLEY, robertparker.com
    2019
    Gamay
    France
    352
  8. Clos Floridene Blanc 2017
    Clos Floridene Blanc 2017

    1 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc has a really classy bouquet, very well defined with citrus lemon, lime and light crushed pebble aromas. This is very pure and focused. The palate is well balanced with a twist of sour lemon on the entry, a fine bead of acidity with a very saline finish. This is a really interesting Clos Floridène thanks to the expressive Sémillon (91). NEAL MARTIN

    A wine of real distinction and class, the 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc also shows just how appealing the vintage is for Bordeaux's dry whites. Lemon confit, tangerine oil, pear, spice and a kiss of new French oak all grace this soft, wonderfully expressive white from the Dubourdieu family. The 2017 is pure class. That's all there is to it. Tasted two times. (91) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  9. Chateau Thivin 'L'Heronde' Cote de Brouilly 2018
    Chateau Thivin 'L'Heronde' Cote de Brouilly 2018
    A single site located mid-slope on Mount Brouilly with a southern exposure. The best grapes from this site go into this bottling, with the remainder used in the Sept Vignes. Rich, fleshy and succulent wine with a heap of exotic spice, blueberry and blackberry pie, and violet perfume. It’s ripe and juicy, almost sweet, but has ripe silty tannin and and a stony feel to go with that, and fine acidity through its core. Finish is full of fruit, pastry crust, and a whole lot more of that spice. Kind of exuberant now, but should come up very nicely with some bottle age. (94) GARY WALSH, The Wine Front
    2018
    Gamay
    France
    352
  10. Doisy Daene 2010 375ml
    Doisy Daene 2010 375ml

    Sauternes (1st Growth)

    Denis Dubourdieu's Barsac cru has an attractive bouquet with subtle notes of cooking apple, pear and lime-flower, all with very fine delineation. The palate displays good weight and a fine thread of acidity, lending tension and poise that leads to a taut finish, showing good botrytis levels for the vintage. With its trademark minerality in place, this Doisy-Daene comes highly recommended.  NEAL MARTIN

    Slightly less sweet than the 09, but still just as highly-strung with a healthy acidity and above all a very vibrant tone of fresh fruit running through the sweetness. A classic Doisy Daene, all natural and tensile, that will be lovely young and probably great old.  BILL BLATCH

    PLEASE NOTE THIS WINE IS OFFERED EN PRIMEUR AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED THE FINAL (NOW) PRICE LESS 20% WITH THE BALANCE DUE WHEN THE WINE ARRIVES IN 2013.

    2010
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  11. Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    This is a 100% Sémillon form a 1 hectare vineyard located in Montravel, a sub-region of Bergerac.
    The grapes are hand harvested in small lug boxes, bunches are selected one by one. Pressed in an air tight press, the must is then barrel fermented and the wine aged on fine lees with regular batonnage. Aged for eleven months in 1/3 new, 1/3 one year old and 1/3 in two years old oak barrels.

    I love this wine - Semillion grown on chalk with a minerally intense core. It is opulent and dense yet has great freshness. A slight touch of stuck match reduction adds complexity to a lifted bright nose of citrus and minerally notes. Great power and mouth coating flavour and yet finishes crisp and clean. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Semillon
    France
    356
  12. La Fleur de Bouard 2010 375ml
    La Fleur de Bouard 2010 375ml

    The 2010 La Fleur du Bouard (80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is bottled unfined and unfiltered and hit 14.5% natural alcohol. The wine offers up notes of black raspberry and blueberry pie intermixed with incense, lead pencil shavings and plenty of underlying floral notes. Some background oak is also present. The wine is medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, voluptuously textured, rich, long and hedonistic and satisfying. Drink it over the next 10+ years. The other cuvee, a limited production wine, can be absolutely magnificent with some bottle age, as the 2000 is certainly proving to be.

    The standard of excellence for Lalande de Pomerol is Hubert de Bouard’s 50-acre property, over half of it located on the highly prized Neac plateau, which consists of clay, sand and gravel sub-soils. ROBERT PARKER, 2013

    2010
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  13. Rieussec 2017 375ml
    Rieussec 2017 375ml

    Sauternes 1er Cru Classé
    24 BOTTLES remain at time of offer

    The 2017 Rieussec captures the natural intensity of the year, while also remaining faithful to the house style that is now favored by the estate. A high percentage of Sauvignon Blanc (17%) adds freshness and lift to the passionfruit, pineapple, mint and lemon confit flavors. Beautifully harmonious and persistent in the glass, the 2017 has so much to offer. In this tasting, it is simply tremendous. (94-97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Rieussec was affected by the frost, losing around 15% of the production although, it was more located in parcels that are designated for the dry white R de Rieussec. Eric Kohler told me that it was a relatively rapid picking. It has around 125gm/L residual sugar. It has a clean but slightly distant bouquet, does not really exude the richness that you expect from Sauternes. The palate is medium-bodied and more promising than the nose: a viscous opening, quite spicy and slightly Auslese in style. The acidity is well balanced and it becomes increasingly lively towards the lychee and fennel-tinged finish, as if compensating for the nose. (92-94) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  14. Le Petit Ducru 2018 AKA Lalande Borie 2018
    Le Petit Ducru 2018 AKA Lalande Borie 2018

    24 bottles available at time of offer

    Sitting on the western side of St Julien sitting alongside the great classified growths of the appellation. It is owned by the Borie family of Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, another top performer the bears .  -Tom Portet
     
    Andrew Caillard MW 94
    Deep colour. Lovely fresh mulberry cassis fruits with inky cedar complexity. Intensely concentrated and juicy with fresh dark berry fruits, some brambly notes, fine slightly gritty tannins and underlying cedar notes. Very good at this level.

    Antonio Galloni 90-92
    The 2018 Lalande-Borie is pliant, supple and wonderfully inviting. Bright floral notes perk up the red/purplish berry fruit in a silky, succulent Saint-Julien that will drink well right out of the gate. In the glass, the 2018 is heady and alluring, and yet it retains its classic mid-weight personality and structure. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine. The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.


     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  15. Bernard Metrat Fleurie 'La Roilette' Beaujolais 2019 1500ml
    Bernard Metrat Fleurie 'La Roilette' Beaujolais 2019 1500ml
    From vines planted 1924 and 1936. La Roilette is regarded as one of the best sites in Fleurie, and this old vines cuvee (60-90+ years old vines) is produced from a patch of vines planted in pink granite-clay soil located beside the winery in the northern part of the appellation beside Moulin-a-Vent. 15% of this cuvee is vinified in barrel (none new) giving extra dimension to its freshness and perfume, will also age for 10+ years. This is Gamay at it's finest and beautifully perfumed best. PWS

    La Roilette cru sits on very deep black granite. Historically, La Roilette used to be part of Moulin-à-Vent, which borders it to the east. In 1920, when Fleurie was demarcated, La Roilette ended up in Fleurie. This wine comes from vines planted in the 1920s and 1930s, and it has amazing density and precision. JAMIE GOODE, wineanorak.com.
    2019
    Gamay
    France
    352
  16. Sigalas Rabaud 2010 375ml
    Sigalas Rabaud 2010 375ml

    Sauternes (1st Growth)

    This has quite a bit of sulphur on the nose at first, but it clears with aeration. It remains tightly-coiled, with lemon, honey, apricot and limestone, demonstrating fine minerality. The palate has great tension on the entry, quite spicy and nutty in style, with a vibrant, zesty finish. This is an exuberant Sigalas-Rabaud with great potential. NEAL MARTIN

    A very full wine, with good but unobtrusive sweetness and above all a great brightness / freshness to the middle-fruit that, together with the just-enough acidity, take this remarkably full yet pure wine through to a very fine, minty, tight finish. This is clearly about to become the closest recent vintage to this château's golden days of the 60s. It reminds me of a latter day version of the great 67.  BILL BLATCH

     
    2010
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  17. Vray Croix de Gay 2013 375ml
    Vray Croix de Gay 2013 375ml

    This tiny estate’s (less than 12 acres) sensational terroir has never been fully exploited, but that will change now that the owner of Chateau Latour, Francois Pinault, has purchased an approximately 50% interest in Vray Croix de Gay. Made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the dark ruby-hued 2013 exhibits notes of black cherries, loamy soil and underbrush. Consume this medium-bodied effort during its first 4-5 years of life. ROBERT PARKER, 2014

    2012
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
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