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Another Example of Why I Love Great Vintage Bordeaux

I’ve written in other blogs about my philosophy of stocking up on Bordeaux in great vintage years.  Top shelf Bordeaux from the classified growths is expensive in any year, and downright ridiculously priced in great vintage years, but there are hundreds of lesser known, unclassified chateaus that produce excellent wine – especially in great vintages.  In these years they tend to exceed their usual quality standards and really provide some great values.  Generally I’ll stretch out for some bottles in the $30-$40 range and get some great wines.  Around that I’ll fill in with $15 -$20 values that drink like much more expensive bottles.  Then a case or two or three of some wines in the $8-$12 range.  I love great vintage years.  Someday I hope to try the big boys, but for now I’m happy with their poorer cousins.

Some examples of great values in the past couple of heralded vintages:

2003 Faugeres – drinking great right now.  Paid less than $30 and it could be $75 and worth it.

2003 Meyney – delicious, deep and complex.  Paid about $25.

2005 Caronne Ste. Gemme – $12.  Ridiculously cheap and drinking like a $40 bottle, easy.

2005 La Prade – $18 back then.  Big, still tannic but approachable, great fruit – got another 10 years in it easily.

What will be the steals of the 2009 and 2010 vintages?  I’m not sure, but I am putting some down.  In the meantime the Cru Bourgeois of those vintages have been arriving and in stores, and they are ready to drink now in most cases.  Here is what we picked up this past week:

CIMG1864This is a case of La Barauderie, a Bordeaux Superieur from the universally acclaimed 2009 vintage.  A bottle of Latour might set you back $1500 from this vintage, this one will cost you $8.20.  At least that’s what we paid at Haxton’s liquors in Warwick, RI.  And that is the normal price, they then took a case discount off of it.  Better yet, for less than $100, including sales tax, I got a full case of a yummy Bordeaux, from a great vintage, in the original wood case!  This is downright crazy.

We didn’t jump right into the case, but after trying a bottle it seemed like the thing to do.  So this is in the cellar and we’ll be trying a few more of its low priced Bordeaux buddies over the next few weeks to see if there are more cases to buy.  You can drink this wine now or let it age for a few years, but either way it is great value.  I think it’s delicious.

Bordeaux Superieur is a class above the basic Bordeaux AOC, and represents wines that are from somewhat older vine parcels and are aged at least twelve months before sale.  This is not Bordeaux table wine.  It’s also not super big, tannic Bordeaux.  It’s not Chateau Latour.  It doesn’t need to age 5-10 years before you drink it.   But for under $10 it is a great value and I plan to drink a lot of it, as well as its siblings.  There will be a few cases of “better” stuff aging in the basement from 2009, but why wait 5-10 years to enjoy this vintage?  Think easy drinking and yummy.

I heartily suggest you try some of this crop now available in your local wine shop.  Bordeaux does not have to be expensive.  (I have some expensive 2002 Pontet Canet that might take thirty years before the tannins smooth out – not sure that’s a great thing to have lying about –  but it gives me something to hang around for)

A votre sante!

 

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