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Testing a Right and Left Bank Bordeaux

Thank you for the great advice/info, I’ve ordered Ch du Pitray. Very interesting re Petit Verdot which accounts for its greater use in Cape Bordeaux blends, including one of my favourites, Springfield Estate “Work of Time”. The 2015 has 18% PV.

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Thanks Peter, out of interest have you (or others) tried BBRs ordinary claret or extra ordinary claret? These seem very affordable.

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I have, and think you can do better - relatively thin stuff, good for washing down a roast dinner but not much more than that IMO.

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No Jonathon - I’ve not had BBR’s wine. I rarely go to London.

@dunstanburgh - Springfield Estate make wonderful wines - I really like WoT, and they’ve got a climate where PV can reliably ripen.

@Bluebeard - you bring a wry smile to an old mans face. The claret I was brought up on was always ‘relatively thin’ - it’s the new world - California especially - that introduced rich fat Cabernets and Bdx blends, Parker that gave them high scores and Michel Rolland that tried to craft wines in Bdx that would get high Parker scores and which Americans would buy as a result

Claret and roast - a match made in heaven!

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I wouldn’t want Parker/Napa/Rolland wine either - most of my Claret is traditional LB stuff like Leoville Barton - but the BBR ‘Very Good’ Claret was not a good wine. It is possible for a wine to be too thin!

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I see there’s a whole raft of newly listed Bordeaux on the WS site. I’d love the views of more experienced members such as @Inbar and @peterm on left bank bordeaux they’d recommend as characteristic of a particular appelation. I can afford to try three or four under £30, preferably £15 - £20 if possible. I prefer cab dominant blends rather than those in which merlot predominates.

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While clearly not the calibre of the of the people mentioned, my recommendation would be the Marquis de Calon, Saint-Estèphe 2016 is a delicious wine from one of the classic St Estephe producers and one of my absolute favourites (and the first wine I ever bought EP - I do have another case of it now in reserves when it was flagged up yesterday). A slight budget stretch, but Segla Margaux 2015 which is one of @MikeFranklin’s favourites is also on the list at the moment. He bought a bottle of it to the South West London meet-up a few months ago and I can see why!

In terms of pure bang for buck the Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc 2014 at £13 is pretty hard to resist (although I have so far).

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Just needed to clarify that I am not an expert on Bordeaux - Left or Right bank - by any stretch of the imagination :blush: Bordeaux features relatively little in my racks. I do, however, adore Cabernet Franc, which is why I recommended the Pirtay.

Peter is certainly an excellent source of recommendations for this area, as are many others, who I’m sure you’ll hear from soon :grinning::+1:

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I agree with @strawpig’s recommendation of the Marquis de Calon which is an excellent St Estephe. If you want a slightly less expensive St Estephe, another one of my favourites that is back in now is Château Beau-Site, Saint-Estèphe 2016.

For Margaux the Segla is a great wine and one of my favourites but its price has suffered quite high inflation recently and another slightly less expensive but excellent introduction to Margaux might be Baron de Brane Margaux 2015 or Château Angludet, Margaux 2014 which is often available in halves, but not currently I think.

Another lower cost but excellent wine from one of the ‘lesser’ appellations, Cotes de Castillon, is Ch d’Aiguilhe 2012 Cotes de Castillon which is a right bank and a good example of Merlot dominant Bordeaux.

Most Pauillac tends to the expensive side but there is one (that I’ve not tried yet, though I do have one in my rack) that is a more reasonable price in the list right now; Lacoste Borie, Pauillac 2015

Another appellation that I’m very fond of is Moulis (or Moulis-en-Medoc) which is next to Margaux and almost as good for less money! Château Poujeaux, Moulis 2015 is at the top end of your budget but really very good or there is https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chateau-dutruch-grand-poujeaux-moulis-en-medoc-2015 which I’m personally not overly fond of but seems to be very popular. Or if you want to try a very reasonable fully mature example there is the very good Château La Garricq, Moulis 2010.

The two most highly regarded right banks are almost certainly Saint Emilion and Pomerol. With both of these you do tend to have to pay a bit more for the better quality. for the St Emilion on the list now I’d recommend Château Grand Corbin Despagne, Saint-Emilion 2015 though it is a little high for your budget and to be honest really needs 10 years or more in bottle but it is a lovely wine! There are some cheaper ones on the list just now but I’ve not tried them. I’ve not tried either of the Pomerols on the list at the moment but I’d imagine the Society’s own The Society's Exhibition Pomerol 2015 would be well worth a try.

Sorry for droning on so much but maybe something in there for you! There are some St Julien’s in the list at the moment but not ones that I’ve tried other than the Langoa Barton which is lovely but expensive!

I should also add that you are very lucky to have quite a few 2015s and 2016s in that lot at the moment. Both excellent vintages.

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Lots of helpful suggestions from @strawpig and @MikeFranklin for which I’m very grateful. Very useful to hear about Moulis and interesting to hear about your personal preferences. Thank you!

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I’m honoured to be consulted, but I really think you have to find your own favourites - I’ll tell you mine - but tastes have changed over the many years I have been drinking claret and as someone coming new to it you’d be better off reading as much as you can about the region and trying everything.

My bible was Edmund Penning-Rowsell’s magisterial The Wines of Bordeaux, now well out of date. I have visited Bordeaux several times - my first wine region visit as a new drinker was to Bordeaux and I remember my puzzlement at why many of the Chateaux we tasted and visited were not mentioned in Penning-Rowsell’s book.(Because there are just so many of them and Penning-Rowsell covered the most famous).

I came to the conclusion that left bank wines were my favourite, Pauillac was my favourite appellation, and that Chateau Batailley - which treated us very well when we visited was a classed growth I enjoyed and could afford. I have bought Ch Batailley on EP ever since, except for a few years when the kids were very young, the mortgage interest was creeping towards 20% and money was tight.

In those days, before the Yanks, Chinese and investors started buying, you could get Classed Growths for 2-3 times the cost of the cheapest claret.

These days Bdx wines are better made, the grapes are riper - the Bordeaux Superieur appellation originally rewarded wines that achieved 0.5 percentage points more than the minimum, and the minimum was 10% abv. Now 14% abv is not unusual, and one can drink young wines with pleasure rather than having to age them to make them palatable.

Ch Batailley is still reasonably priced for a 3rd Growth, and is offered EP by TWS and usually appears on their list for a while. (it’s not currently there).

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A much more modest one I have been buying for decades is Chateau Tour St Bonnet, Medoc. Available from TWS EP and on the list, but not currently

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CT tells me I currently have 52 Bdx blends, of which 46 are from Bordeaux including 41 Medoc wines.

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Absolutely second this from @peterm , such a well priced wine which is consistently good vintage after vintage . I also think wines from the medoc can be approached that bit younger than some of their left bank counterparts .
Worth giving this a shot too as it’s affordable , has a bit of age and offers good typicity and value for money .:slight_smile:
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chapelle-de-potensac-medoc-2012
I’m also a fan of this:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chateau-malescasse-haut-medoc-2011-halves

Again, mature , Cabernet dominant and comes in a half bottle which I love .

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I’d missed the appearance of the Potensac, one I will second - excellent VFM. I’ve not tried the Malescasse must give it a go sometime!

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I totally agree with @peterm that one has to discover one’s own favourites and thanks for your suggestions. There’s so much available in Bordeaux it’s good to have a few leads, including those from @MikeFranklin and @Leah. Lots to follow up here!

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I very much agree with @MikeFranklin. This wine from a lesser appellation punches well above its price tag. Made by the illustrious Stefan von Neipperg who also owns La Mondotte.

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