Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dipping into Bordeaux and its 6000 chateaux. The easy way!

Dipping into Bordeaux and its 6000 chateaux.
The easy way!

In Bordeaux last June, while I was searching in vain for a particular local wine, a wine-shop proprietor said to me, by way of excuse for not having it in stock: “You know there six thousand castles in Bordeaux”. That is a lot of wine, hard to get around to all those chateaux.

But you don’t don’t even have to go to Bordeaux at the moment as the Supervalu French wine sale kicks off this week. Most areas of the France are covered and there are quite a few wines on sale. While Bordeaux often gets a bad press because of “gambling” at the higher end, it is hard to go wrong with a regular wine from the area. The sale starts tomorrow (Thursday September 25th) and goes on until October 10th.
No need to go to Bordeaux!

Chateau Haut Bertinerie, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux, 2011, 13.5%. (12.00, down from 15.99)

A blend of sixty per cent Merlot and forty per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, this has dark fruits (plums mainly) and traces of spice on the nose. It is good and fruity, smooth and elegant, tannins barely noticeable. It is an excellent well balanced wine, with second glass appeal.

This is a rather special wine for the chateau, a “terroir cuvée” produced from a selection of their oldest vines, the fruit hand-picked and sorted. Lots of TLC too in the wine-making which includes 12 months in new French casks. I reckon all the effort pays off. Very Highly Recommended.


Les Hauts de Gros Caillou, Saint-Emilion 2011, 13% (14.00, down from 27.99)
A different blend here: Merlot (65%) and Cabernet Franc (35). This beautiful dark red wine has an inviting nose of ripe red fruit. It is rather soft and lush on the palate, flavours of dark fruits, some spice too; tannins present but nothing approaching severe.

This is a well made wine, typical of the area, and very highly recommended. Pair with red meats and cheeses. Label also recommends turkey but I'm not too sure. Depends on the sauce, I suppose. Then again, if you like red wine with your turkey, go for it.

Michel Lynch Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc Bordeaux 2012, 12% (10.00, down from 19.99)

Bordeaux whites are generally taken as being a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon but that is not always the case and indeed the area is making some terrific wine with one hundred per cent Sauvignon, as is the case here.

In the glass it is pale gold and stunningly bright and has aromas of citrus, pineapple and blossom. On the palate it is fresh and fruity (maybe without the rush of flavour you’d get from a Marlborough SB), with an almost creamy mouthfeel and a persistent finish. In terms of Sauvignon Blanc, this is well up the rankings and highly recommended.

* Getting the correct serving temperature is quite important - I’ve had a few hiccups recently. There are some good guidelines here.

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