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Bordeaux

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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Climens 2016 375ml
    Climens 2016 375ml

    BARSAC

    I tasted the 2016 Climens from four separate lots identified by location, harvest dates, alcohol, residual sugar and the percentage each lot represents of the harvest. The four wines were remarkably different. The Nord was both plush and tropical-leaning, yet with notable freshness, while the Sud managed to be both deep and also light on its feet. I found the Ouest to be the most precise and aromatically lifted of the samples, while the Est was the most concentrated. A simple, impromptu blend of the four lots suggests the 2016 Climens is shaping up to be a magnificent Barsac. The interplay of the various components is quite remarkable. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2016 Climens was tasted from the 12 different lots that will go into the Grand Vin, with some selected from the Deuxième Vin, Cyprès de Climens. As usual, I had to assemble them in my mind and relate commonalities, though at a négoçiant a week later I re-tasted four preprepared micro-blends. I found much elegance this year. It is not a powerful Climens in the making and even with the higher alcohol lots that reached 14.9%, you could not feel any warmth and the wines maintained the tension. Some lots displayed saline finishes, perhaps a little more than usual. Perhaps the most important factor was just how "Barsac" they all tasted. Sometimes some lots can taste more Sauternes-like in style, but not this year. NEAL MARTIN

    2016
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  5. Rieussec 2016
    Rieussec 2016
    Sauternes

    The 2016 Rieussec has an elegant bouquet of pure honeysuckle, orange pith, peach and light minerally aromas. The palate is well balanced with fine precision and pleasant fatness, featuring white peach and almond-infused, honeyed fruit. A touch of vanilla emerges toward the finish. This was a barrel sample due to be bottled in January 2019, though it was virtually the finished wine (93) NEAL MARTIN
    2016
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  6. Climens 2016
    Climens 2016

    BARSAC

    I tasted the 2016 Climens from four separate lots identified by location, harvest dates, alcohol, residual sugar and the percentage each lot represents of the harvest. The four wines were remarkably different. The Nord was both plush and tropical-leaning, yet with notable freshness, while the Sud managed to be both deep and also light on its feet. I found the Ouest to be the most precise and aromatically lifted of the samples, while the Est was the most concentrated. A simple, impromptu blend of the four lots suggests the 2016 Climens is shaping up to be a magnificent Barsac. The interplay of the various components is quite remarkable. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2016 Climens was tasted from the 12 different lots that will go into the Grand Vin, with some selected from the Deuxième Vin, Cyprès de Climens. As usual, I had to assemble them in my mind and relate commonalities, though at a négoçiant a week later I re-tasted four preprepared micro-blends. I found much elegance this year. It is not a powerful Climens in the making and even with the higher alcohol lots that reached 14.9%, you could not feel any warmth and the wines maintained the tension. Some lots displayed saline finishes, perhaps a little more than usual. Perhaps the most important factor was just how "Barsac" they all tasted. Sometimes some lots can taste more Sauternes-like in style, but not this year. NEAL MARTIN

     

    2016
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
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