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The Bordeaux Browsers

I thought they were only allowed in small quantities and in the generic, marginal area appellations - Bordeaux Superiore and the like to start with (I must admit to doing zero research on this, but seem to vaguely recall reading it somewhere).

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I think Chateau Margaux is ripping up all vineyards to replant with 100% Arinarnoa… :wink: … to be offered in the bin series in 10 years.

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You know I was sure there must have been one and I did a search for such a thread (anything with Bordeaux in its title) but gave up after several pages of results. Maybe it was too low in the list because it was so long since it has been posted to. And it was 6 months or so before I joined. :frowning: :blush:

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Hi Mike if I am not mistaken I think you like this wine. If so do you have any feelings on drink window start? CT says 2022. Thanks.

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I do indeed! :smiley: I have drunk the 2010 in 2019 and it was singing. I have another '10 that I plan to drink soon and then I have a '12 that I plan to drink in a year or two. I think I would tend to look for 8-9 years for it to be really singing but I suspect it would be great after 5 so '22 is probably reasonable. It is after all made for younger drinking than the first wine Ch Calon Segur (which I really must try one of these days when/if I’m feeling a little flush!). Sadly, if it’s been on the list in the last few years I’ve missed it, though I have some '19 on EP (correction I just checked my notes and I bought the ten in 2019).

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@szaki1974

Thank you so much for reminding me of that “1st” encounter, which lasted several years as I and girlfriends various demolished the restaurants stocks of a Latour Martillac on it’s way to apogee!!
The most remarkable part of this tale was one New Years Eve, at dinner, we were told that the bottle of Latour Martillac that we had just finished was the last one :sob:, and I said to the waiter to bring us something similar. The bottle that he brought us was much heavier, had the sloping shoulders of a Samoan Rugby Prop and had this odd embossing on the top half of the bottle. Yes, you’ve guessed it - my first bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape!! :+1: :clap:
The proprietor of this tiny, gastronomic haven who purchased his wines at auction was truly knowledgeable, his head waiter - a vinous desert, but between them both in the embryonic sense, enabled me to take my first steps into the Great World of Wine. :wink:
I owe them both, in very different ways; my heartfelt thanks. :smiley: :dragon:

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Now that would be silly. Actually, they are grafting Touriga Nacional on to the old Cab. Sauv. rootstocks. Come 2050, desert sands will have consumed Porto and then Margaux will dominate the ‘French Port’ trade.

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I might start planting some of the Bdx varieties in my back garden then based on your predictions :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’ve tasted that wine, but attempts to order via their website defeated me (And now I can’t find their website :frowning_face:.

I’ll wait till they have a UK agent; now who do we know that imports quirky wines, ummmm… tough one…

Actually there are six varieties allowed for reds (and I thought that winery used all six), and yes. (Later edit: now I’ve read the entire thread I see @strawpig got in first: respect!)

TWS have incorrectly stated more then once 'All five …"

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Hi @Tom_R - Bordeaux was my first vinous love and the first region I visited right at the beginning. Because nearly all Bordeaux wine is a blend of allowed varieties and each Chateau makes its wine from its vineyards planted with a different proportion of those varieties you’ll probably find that after initial tasting of as many different ones as you can you’ll settle on a few favourite Chateaux and appellations.

But the first big divide is Left or Right. This refers to whether the wine comes from the left bank or the right bank of the Gironde Estuary, Left is on the west, what you see to your left if on a boat sailing down river towards the sea. (As the estuary flows north towards the sea, on maps the Left bank is on the left!)

On the Right Bank - where you find St Emilion - Merlot tends to be the major variety in the blend. On the Left Bank Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be the dominant variety.

So Right Bank wines tend to be softer and more approachable, especially when young and especially to new red wine drinkers.

Of the three appellations you mention, two, Margaux and Pessac, are on the left and St Emilion is on the right.

As has been mentioned, there are over 4,000 named Chateaux and in addition negotiant wines. These are branded wines made by merchants who buy wine or grapes from all over Bordeaux, blend them to their standard and stick a brand name label - wines such as Mouton Cadet, Calvet and our own TWS Society’s Claret).

You have many many happy years ahead of you learning all the intricacies of Bordeaux, or you can just open the wine and let it talk for itself.

Cheers :smile:

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@peterm. Many thanks for taking the trouble to respond. I’ve a few different chateau’s in the wine cave and I’ll be trying these over the winter. Hopefully I’ll settle on a style in time for next years EP offering.

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Bordeaux is an amazing city to visit and eat/drink copiously. A great way to learn about the wines too I think. I can’t wait to be able to get there again…

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I’d say Pitray has regularly been good value. En primeur it is usually ~£12-14 after tax. It seems pricier (£15-20) when sold as is by the bottle on TWS site. I’d say at either price point it is very good value though it seems always to be sold quite young. I think it improves immeasurably after a few more years in bottle. I discovered in 2014 when they were selling the '09 but the bottle I thought was extraordinary was '05.

This is also pretty good, though the same producer does another cuvee ‘Nectar’ which once again is reasonable En Primeur (£75 per dozen for '17 ~ £10.20/btl after tax) but annoyingly rarely sold by the bottle by TWS. The ‘Caractere’ is the lesser cuvee but also pretty good at the price.

That all said I’d agree - generally you can get £10-20 Bordeaux style wines which punch way above the equivalent. My favourite recently has been Dom Perdiguer. Alas not in this years EP campaigns and sadly they just sold out of the '09

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Methinks it might be something to do with the community tasting this Thursday (it’s one of the wines)…? Can’t wait to try it!

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There are two organisations that “spread the word” outside the region namely:

https://www.gcvb.fr/en - 4 chapters in the UK

and

A couple more sub £20 Bordeaux I would recommend:
This one is very good for the price. Made to be drunk young


This is a really good St Emilion:

A couple of others that are not on the list now:
This is great and ages well. It was £16 when I bought the '12 in '16 and it regularly appears in the list and EP.


This is a lovely St Estephe but I’m not sure how often it appears on the list. It was £16.50 when I last bought it in '19.
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I would have preferred Château Carteau Côtes Daugay kept a secret! One of the best St Emilions I’ve had in a while!

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You’re right, of course.

Listen folks I mispoke; it’s terrible, you’ll hate it and if you buy it you’ll just have to hassle the poor overworked staff at TWS for refund!

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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