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Bordeaux, California

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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Idlewild Grenache Gris 2013
    Idlewild Grenache Gris 2013
    The Gibson Ranch is the most historical section of McDowell Valley Vineyards and includes these 100+ year old dry farmed treasures. The winemaking is our interpretation of the Ramato style Pinot Grigio's of Northeast Italy; in other words, this isn't quite a Rose nor is it a Red wine. Rather, it is a skin and stem fermented Grenache Gris that shows both fresh delicacy and structure.
    230 cases produced. IDLEWILD WINES

    Bright pink. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, cherry, blood orange and flowers, with a spicy nuance adding vivacity. Shows very good energy on the palate, offering intense red and dark berry flavors sharpened by juicy acidity. Finishes minerally and firm, with strong punch and lingering spiciness.  JOSH REYNOLDS
     
    2013
    Grenache
    USA
    362
  6. Idlewild Fox Hill Vineyard Dolcetto 2013
    Idlewild Fox Hill Vineyard Dolcetto 2013
    The 2013 Dolcetto Fox Hill Vineyard is fabulous. Dark red and purplish fruit, spices, menthol and tobacco meld together in the glass, with firm Dolcetto tannins that emerge on the mid-palate and finish. This is another absolutely joyous, delicious red to drink over the next year or so. ANTONIO GALLONI, www.vinousmedia.com

    (one-third of this wine went through carbonic maceration with whole clusters; two-thirds was destemmed and received a five-day cold soak)
    Bright red. Cranberry, cherry, anise and fresh herbs on the nose. Juicy and light on its feet, with a distinctly sappy quality to the brisk, dry flavors of cherry, red berries and licorice. No obvious sign of oak here (it was aged in neutral French barrels). Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and a touch of dryness. I find this very easy to drink. STEPHEN TANZER, Vinous Media
    2013
    Dolcetto
    USA
    362
    Special Price $50.00 Regular Price $60.00
  7. Idlewild The Bird 2015
    Idlewild The Bird 2015
    35% Dolcetto, 35% Barbera, 30% Nebbiolo
    From Fox Hill Vineyard in Mendocino, California. This is a blend of dolcetto, barbera and nebbiolo. Winemaker Sam Bilbro takes his back country vineyard very seriously; the site rich with interesting varieties. Bilbro is a less-is-more winemaker, preferring natural fermentation, low new-no new oak, low input in winery. A producer to keep a beady eye on.

    Peppery spice, clove, black currants, plum jam, Campari, earth. Wonderful perfume. Exotic, but anchoring you into something Italianate. The palate is breezy and crisp, dosed up with cherry-berry crunchiness and another hit of pleasing amaro sour-sweetness. Light powdery tannin sits on chomp of fruit. It’s bloody delicious, intriguing, smashable. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front 2016
    2015
    Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo
    USA
    362
  8. Idlewild The Bird 2014
    Idlewild The Bird 2014
    In Italy, the house wine is often light, fresh, aromatic, and firmly structured so as to pair beautifully next a wide range of foods. That is the inspiration for The Bird. Black cherries, anise, fresh strawberries, freshly turned soil, and spicy floral tones highlight the aromatic profile. The mouthfeel is fresh and bright, leans towards a touch of mouth filling richness, and then quickly moves to a clean and firm food driven finish. IDLEWILD
    2014
    Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo
    USA
    362
  9. Idlewild The Bee Flora and Fauna White Wine 2017
    Idlewild The Bee Flora and Fauna White Wine 2017

    Proprietor Sam Bilbro has spent virtually a lifetime around wine. His family owns Marietta, while brothers Jake and Scot are behind the reborn Limerick Lane. At Idlewild, Sam Bilbro focuses on Italian and other less well-known varieties. In addition to these wines, I also tasted the, Arneis Fox Hill Vineyard, Vin Gris Dry Creek Valley and Grenache Gris Gibson Ranch. The best wines in this range are compelling, and point to a bright future. ANTONIO GALLONI, www.vinousmedia.com

    Having had a relationship with the Bilbro family as importers of the Marietta wines some years ago we were delighted to find youngest son, Sam, was behind this new venture, Idlewild. In many ways the wines are the anitpathy of what so many believe Californian wines are supposed to be. Hunting out heritage stands of Italian and Rhone varietals (mostly in Mendocino County) Bilbro makes extremely interesting wines characterised by texture, savouriness and subtlety. Skin contact is a part of the wines as is a relatively non-interventionist approach; both indicative of the preferences of the younger brigade of Calfornia producers. PWS

    The 2017 White The Bee Flora & Fauna, is a classy, polished wine to drink now and over the next few years. Green pear, mint, white flowers and light tropical overtones all grace this very pretty, expressive wine. The Muscat in particular adds an attractive aromatic flair. ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Arneis, Cortese, Muscat
    USA
    362
  10. 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
  11. Forlorn Hope Mil Amores 2012
    Forlorn Hope Mil Amores 2012
    The DeWitt Vineyard is sustainably farmed, made up of granite and quartz soils. A blend of Portuguese grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz, Trincadeira are planted in a single block. The block was picked and co-fermented at the same time. Aged only in neutral oak for 12 months then bottled. The blend is loaded with black, blue fruit, earthy and spicy undertones, unmatched suppleness with lots of intrigue. PWS
    2012
    Tinto, Touriga
    USA
    362
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Peay Cep Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2018
    Peay Cep Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2018

    The 2018 Estate Pinot Noir is an incredible value this vintage, with loads of floral aromas over pure, bright red cherries, dried cranberries and rhubarb with accents of tangerine and dust. The palate is light to medium-bodied with bright, earth and spice-laced flavors, juicy uplift and a long finish. 600 cases were made. ERIN BROOKS, The Wine Advocate

    The 2018 Pinot Noir is pretty and perfumed, with lovely aromatic presence and tons of immediate appeal. Dried flowers, cedar, mint and tobacco all grace this mid-weight, perfumed Pinot. The Cep Pinot is all declassified Peay fruit, so it will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage holds for the estate Pinots. Most importantly, this delicious, affordable Pinot is loaded with class. ANTONIO GALLONI, Vinous.com

    2018
    Pinot noir
    USA
    362
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