Bordeaux Shouldn't Make Red Wine Add/Read Comments
Snooth Wine Search:
Perhaps I should clarify - I do not think that the red wines of Bordeaux, those that retail for under £6, especially those set at the £3.99/£4.99 mark, should be made. The upper echelons are fine - the market for the top Château is more than healthy judging by the en premieur prices. Even those wines priced from a tenner up-wards are fine - there is a market for the style. But the bog-standard red wines, those labelled simply 'claret' or utilising an often non-existent château name, you have to ask why bother?
The price point I am talking about - the bottom end of the market - is dominated by the easy drinking, fuller, richer-in-sweet-fruit, brands and labels from the New World, Australia and Chile specifically. The leaner styles from Bordeaux just cannot compete. Having sampled many over the last few weeks mediocrity just doesn't come into it.
From what I surmise wine drinkers who buy bottles at this price are more concerned with value for money and drinkability with out food. You put those New World wines up against a Claret and the latter fails to inspire on all levels. They do not make for easy drinking on their own, they do not give the impression of fullness and value for money. In short why are they making them - they cannot compete.
So, at risk of putting hundreds of producers out of business, what should they produce? White wines!
And if you want to test my theory six white Bordeaux recommendations (although these come in a little higher than the £4.99 level) -
Château Thieuley, Cuvee Francis Courselle, 2005, Entre-Deux-Mers
Offers the crisp freshness of Sauvignon, a lemony edge from Semillon, a dash of Sauvignon Gris all layered with a new French oak spiciness.
Château Ducla, 2005, Entre-Deux-Mers
A blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 355 Semillon and 15% Muscadelle
Château Ducla Experience, 2005, Entre-Deux-Mers
Good texture and weight with sweet grapefruit and strawberry flavours, made from Sauvignon Gris. A little residual sugar and some oak influence. Excellent at about £9 a bottle.
Château Bauduc Semillon, 2004, Entre-Deux-Mers
100% barrel fermented Semillon, crisp, limey, creamy. Around £8 a bottle.
Château Bauduc Les Trois Hectares 2004, Bordeaux Blanc
Listed at all the Ramsay restaurants and at Rick Stein’s a barrel aged Sauvignon blanc. Direct from the vineyard at £9 a bottle.
Château Brown Sauvignon Blanc, 2005, Pessac-Leogan
Superbly aromatic, passion fruit, nettley finish, crisp and lifted. Delicious.
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