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Bordeaux recommendations for a newbie

recommendations

#1

Hi all

New to the community and fairly new to Wine Soc. I’m looking for some Bordeaux recommendations. I’ve not had much of it before and wondered what a good starting point might be?

I did have my eye on this but it’s out of stock and Wine Soc haven’t said whether they’re expecting any more:

Thanks
Chris


#2

Oof, that’s a wide open question. It’s a big area and a lot of styles and price points…

my usual tactic with something like this is to go for a mixed case (or two!) and see what I like.

Currently there are 6 mixed cases on offer on the site:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/searchProducts.aspx?q=&hPP=15&idx=products&p=0&dFR[country][0]=France&dFR[region][0]=Bordeaux&dFR[type][0]=Mixed%20Cases&is_v=1&pl=wbx

The ‘grand tour’ case looks like a good option to test a range:

although not the cheapest wines. But a lot of the hard work has been done for you!


#3

The other way of approaching this question is: what do you enjoy in a wine, and what are you hoping to find in a bordeaux? You can probably find a different recommendation for every member here :smiley: If it’s a ‘decent, standard claret’ you’re after, the society’s own label ones are pretty good.


#4

This case is also half Bordeaux, very tempting…

funny how the revised selection for this case includes the Crozes-Hermitage (maybe funny only to me…)


#5

Thanks, Tom. I guess I was hoping to try something typical for the region but I take your point about there being so many styles within Bordeaux!

The mixed case is a nice idea but far more than I (or more accurately, my wife!) would want to spend at the mo as I’m accumulating quite a lot of nice wine since joining the society and it’s not being drunk at a remotely comparable rate!

In terms of price point, something between £10 and £20 would be ideal.

I am fairly new to wine so please bear with me on my descriptions but I hate overpowering acidity in wine. I was hoping to find a full bodied wine with nice soft and rounded tannins and, what I think is termed good ‘grip’ (I mean a nice balance of acidity to tannins).

Thanks again!


#6

I think @tom’s suggestion of the mixed case is a good one, as long as the price isn’t off-putting. There are very enjoyable options at the lower end of the Bordeaux range. I seem to recommend this one about once a week at the moment, but it’s really very good for the money:


I’ve also got this one coming in my next order - the member reviews online are very enthusiastic, and at £6.95 it’s got to be worth a punt:

I haven’t had this vintage yet, but the 2012 was really good, this is from a superior vintage, and Pitray is a known and respected producer:

This has more cabernet in the blend, as the others are merlot-based. Worth trying to figure out if you’re more of a left-bank (cabernet) or right-bank (merlot) type!


#7

Fair enough! Here are a couple from the list that I’ve tried that might fit:

and if you want to sneak a more expensive one in:


#8

Give us an idea of your budget and when you want to drink them?
That might be a good starting point.
What have you bought either from the Society or elsewhere that you liked, might be a good indicator of your taste?


#9

Just saw your price range! In that case, I’d look at these:
Fantastic vintage and cru bourgeois with some very positive reviews. These might improve over the next couple of years but will be drinking well now:


When in doubt, buy from the Society’s Exhibition Range:


#10

Sorry Taffy! New to all this. £10 to 20 would be budget. I’d be looking to drink it soon, i .e. this year.

I’m usually a big pinot noir fan but I’ve really enjoyed the following full bodied wines recently: Coyam 2013, Iona Solace Syrah Elgin 2014, Cotes du Rhone Rive Droite Rive Gauche 2016, Rapsani 2015 and Cote Rotie Gilles Barge 2006 (the last two were at the summer fine wine tasting). Also enjoyed a great Cab Sav from Pine Ridge in California on a recent holiday.

There seem to be quite a few young bordeaux recommendations here. I recall reading somewhere (possibly a wine soc guide) that ideally you don’t want it younger than 7 years. Is bordeaux from 2014/2015 generally not too young and acidic?


#11

Lots of body, bit of bottle age, still plenty of grip, £10-20? Here ya go:

Had it last month and was really impressed. A lot of right-bank guts for your money here. Still plenty of life ahead of it too.


#12

and your easy question is…

to help would probably want to know:
Price point (range) ?
Merlot or Cab Sav dominated ?
To drink your / cellar ?


#13

Sorry James - others have asked the same so I’ve replied above. £10 to £20, to drink now (this year) and no idea about the balance maybe one recommendation for each so I can compare and see which I’d prefer? I’m being greedy now…


#14

Thanks for that.
I think that my fellow members are giving you more than enough to be getting on with, so I’ll let them get on with it.
My only advice might be that members are beginning to think about Christmas, so get stuck in sooner rather than later. So order before say late October, or at least start an order that you can add to.


#15

You’d find this syndrome is common enough to have its own entry in the International Health Organisation manual…!

Well, not really… But you’re not alone :wink:


#16

I’m nowhere near as experienced as many of the others here but I operate on a similar budget (sometimes going rather higher) and I’m also a big Bordeaux lover.

If you’ve not tried Pomerol it would be hard to go wrong with @tom’s suggestion of the TWS Pomerol. Probably the best value introduction to these otherwise expensive wines.

Looking at your example 2010 was a great year for Bordeaux. Funnily enough I’ve never bought a Montagne St Emilion from TWS and yet I buy it quite frequently from the supermarket when in France. Have to remedy that!

My favourite reasonably priced St Emilion is currently also not available but for possible future reference at £16 last year was this:


Though there is a magnum available…

I reckon if you are exploring, and considering 2010 was such a good year, I’d go into the advanced search (just type Bordeaux into the normal search and you’ll land up there) and choose Bordeaux, set the price range to £10 to £20 and the year to 2010 and there’s a pretty good selection of mid range Bordeaux any of which is probably good. There are 8 reds and one white showing in stock. I’m actually quite interested in this one as I’ve not tried any Francs Côtes de Bordeaux myself!

A quick scan up the way and I see @Herbster has already fingered that one and he knows way more than me :blush:

Oh and welcome to the community. We all get so carried away with enthusiasm it’s easy to forget our manners!


#17

Some good suggestions already for you, @CBiscuit. A useful tip might be to look for Merlot-forward wines as - on average - their tannins tend to be rounder. Though that may not be too helpful if you prefer the taste of the Cabernets.

Of the suggestions, one I can particularly recommend is the Peyredon Lagravette recommended by @Bargainbob . In my view well worth the few pounds extra compared with the others. (I haven’t actually tried the 2014 Exhibition Haut-Médoc, but Ch. Beaumont is an ever-reliable address.)


#18

Thanks so much for all the suggestions, Mike. And thanks everyone else for all the great tips. Looks like I’ve got plenty to be getting on with.

I like the idea of trying a left-bank and a right-bank to start with to get a feel for what I prefer. I’ll report back. I’ve had some pretty cheap merlots in my time so think those may have put me off. Time to re-calibrate!

Cheers


#19

I have actually tasted it today, on day 2 of the WSET training. Highly enjoyable wine! Quite perfumed on the nose, with cassis, dark cherry and a touch of sweet tobacco. Tannins were certainly present, quite chewy in texture, but it had a good structure and balance overall. Thumbs up from me! :+1::+1:


#20

I just realised I mistyped: @tom’s recommendation was the society’s Pauillac which is really good value.

Also, to answer one of your earlier questions. It is true that a lot of Bordeaux is not really designed to be drunk early but there’s also a lot that is, though they typically won’t age as well. Which sounds like it’s not an issue for you! The TWS drinking windows are generally a pretty good indication though sometimes a little conservative maybe…