Bordeaux ~ March Wine Region of the Month
March 2 – 29, 2011
According to the Roman poet Ausonius (Chateau Ausone still bears his name) the vines of Bordeaux have existed for at least two thousand years. It is most likely, however, that these vines were planted prior to the arrival of the Romans by the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians. The 2nd millennium ushered in the era of British domination of the “claret” region, a word that is still used to today to refer to red Bordeaux wine. Unlike most of the other French wine regions, wine in Bordeaux was developed by merchants, while in other parts of France, wine was under the power of monks. This would eventually change in the bloody aftermath of the French revolution when vineyard plots were designated back to “les peuple de France”. Intriguing that such a violent past would cultivate arguably the most famous wine growing region on the planet, and the most expensive.
Bordeaux, however, need not be pricey to enjoy its heavenly pleasures. Some creative buying schemes have allowed us to procure top notch Bordeaux at reasonable prices. So sit back and imagine yourself in some quiet cafe du Paris while quaffing on a delectable Bordeaux without the need to mortgage the house to pay for it. A la votre!
Chateau Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc
Regular $14.99 Special $11.99
This three grape blend of sauvignon blanc, sémillon and muscadelle is based on ancient tradition and rarely used in Bordeaux these days. Traditional winemaking at work here: skin contact, cool fermentation in vat, and barrel-ageing on the lees for about 3 weeks, which adds to the wine’s round, smooth character. There is delicious minerality at its base that invokes the bright apple and pear notes, with a nice dollop of fig and melon on the finish. This wine is ideal as an aperitif or serve with fruits du mer (seafood), shellfish and goat cheese dishes.
Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc
Regular $15.99 Special $12.99
French law demands that only sweet white wines may be labeled as Sauternes. Any dry white from this famous wine district must carry the generic moniker of Bordeaux blanc. Consequently these often-impressive dry whites can be great values, which is certainly the case with Chateau Ducasse. The vineyards are in Barsac, one of the many satellite villages clustered around the town of Sauternes and entitled to the use of its appellation. It is made mostly of semillon grapes from vines more than 50 years old as well as some sauvignon blanc and muscadelle. A very elegant wine with a subtle mouth feel of fresh pear and peach character, mineral notes with zippy acidity on the finish. Try it with seared scallops, chilled crab or a filet of roasted halibut.
Chateau Laforet Bordeaux Rouge
Regular $9.99 Special $8.99
Made from equal portions of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, the nose of this great bargain red offers up leather notes with a generous balance of raspberry, blackberries and blackcurrant fruit. The wine is silky and elegant on one hand and shows backbone from firm tannins and minerality on the finish. Wonderful match with red meats dishes, grilled vegetables and semi soft cheeses.
Chateau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux Moulis en Medoc
Regular $29.99 Special $24.99
Chateau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux takes its name from the proprietor who established the vineyard in about 1850. Recognized as a cru bourgeois right from the initial 1932 classification, Dutruch has a reputation for quality which comes from the excellence of its terroir and the remarkable ageing potential of its wines. The varietals found in this Bordeaux red is what gives it its elegance and body – merlot for the roundness and the charm; cabernet sauvignon for the strength and the ageing potential; and petit Verdot for the firmness. The average age of the vines is about 30 years, which contributes to the tight structure of the wine. Notes of blackberry, coffee, tobacco, spice and vanilla are apparent, with a delicious mineral quality and supple tannins on the finish.