Monday, August 8, 2011
Good, cheap Bordeaux still exists!
The sky-rocketing price of Bordeaux in recent years has left many wine-lovers with the impression that it simply isn't possible to get good, well-made Bordeaux for a reaonable price. But this simply isn't true. The perception arrises, in my mind, from a mistaken impression of what Bordeaux truly is. I'm acquainted (via the internet) with an American ex-Patriot who lives in Bordeaux, who made an very astute observation about the situation: the problem is that the American Bordeaux market equates Bordeaux with the Classified Growths, i.e., the Grand Crus. But stop and think: there are, if we include the Medoc, Pessac-Leognan, and St.-Emilion classifications, about 100 Grand Crus in Bordeaux. But there are about 5000 producers overall - it is the largest premier wine region on the planet. But the Amerian market thinks Bordeaux is supposed to some kind of block-buster, and the Grand Crus do deliver that in their youth, so that is what the market demands, and what sells. But a fine claret, as the English would say, is a beverage, not a cocktail - a sophisticated drink to accompany a fine meal. And if you still believe in traditional Bordeaux, there are still good deals to be found, no where more so than in Graves. Here's a fine, well-made, attractive, meat-friendly $11 Bordeaux I enjoyed with dinner last night.
Chateau Des Proms, Cuvee Bellevue, Graves 2008
Dark ruby red. Wonderful, classic Graves nose of earthy gravel, dark fruit, and hints of flowers. On the palate, blackberry and dark cherry, attractive by not overstated, with abundant gravel and stoney earth, hints of violets, and hint of herbs/tobacco leaf on the finish, with just the right touch of oak. Medium bodied with nice aromatic accentuation, good tone, and respectable density. Very classy. Needs a little while in the glass to show its best. Approachable now with air, but should age nicely over the 5 - 10 years. Excellent value at $11. * * (2 stars) = 88 points