So I am interested in exploring Bordeaux a little bit more both from an educational standpoint as well as to see if there are wines I am interested in collaring for the longer term. So my question is if you could pick one or two wines from each of the regions of Bdx for under $50 what would you pick as representative of that area. I tend to favor the more classically styled older school wines if that gives any indicator. Thanks in advance!
A few to consider:
Haut-Medoc - Ch. La Lagune (2009 @ 59.99) or Sociando Mallet (2009 @ $50). Easy to find older vintgaes. At $20, consider Lanessan (2009 excellent, 2001 is available for $20 as well).
Moulis - Ch. Poujeaux (2009 @ $35). Google for older versions like '05.
St. Julian - Talbot. Have always been a huge fan. The '82 and '86 I popped recently were spectacular. PC had the 2010 at $50 in futures. Sniff around PC’s sales.
St. Estephe - Long time fan of Meyney for value but must admit I have not tried recent vintages. Some of the '80s vintages were outstanding. Still not too hard to find for some backfilling of mature vintages.
These are all very representative, more classicly-styled wines.
St. Emilion: Corbin
Pomerol: Nothing representative. De sales, which is not really a good example.
Margaux: Giscours* and Siran
St. Julien: Lagrange
Pauillac: Grand Puy Lacoste*
St. Estephe: Calon segur or Phelan Segur
Graves: Malarctic La Graviere
(* will just break budget)
I would agree with the above suggestions. I was going to list the exact same Haut-Medoc wines as Robert. For me I would add:
St Estephe: Lafon Rochet, Phelan Segur (agree with Meyney)
Pauillac: Haut-Bages-Liberal, second wines of Pichon-baron and Pichon-Lalande retain their Pauillac roots if only good and not great wines. Clerc-Milon, d’Armailhac.
St. Julian: Gloria, Langoa Barton - can find “off” vintages in price range
Margaux: Tough, Du Tertre is good but atypical. Brane-Cantenac is a great example but over budget.
Graves: I don’t know as well as others, but Domaine de Chevalier comes to mind.
I picked up 2010 Gloria and 2010 Talbot in futures for $50 each.
I have always loved Pomerol, but the ship sailed away on price. However, I was recently turned on to Vieux Certan’s second label, 2010 La Gravette de Certan, for $50. Cut in a more class mold, and not just a second label from this vintage. I have no other experience with this bottling, but enjoyed the 2010 I bought to go out and by more and also seek out 2009.
Chateau St. Pierre used to be a “go-to” for me but the style appears to have changed more recently, which I started noticing with '05.
Oh, from Graves, La Louviere is a very lovely wine. The 1990 was actually my “epiphany wine”. Really enjoyed the 2005 too.
I have some 05 la Louviere tucked away. Have you had a bottle recently? Think it is ready to open?
Not really, I think it still needs a few good years. Shows a lot of upside.
From St. Julien, Branaire Ducru can be had for around $50-$60 if you avoid the trophy vintages. IMO there have been no “off” vintages in Bordeaux since 1997. People would have killed for years such as 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2008 in earlier decades. They are only viewed as “off” years in the cotext of 2000, 2005, 2009, etc.
My picks in the lower to medium end of the desired price range are the following*
Médoc: Rollan de By (which I don’t like that much, but I think it’s quite representative of the Bas-Médoc), Potensac
Haut-Médoc: Cantemerle, Lanessan
St. Estèphe: Phélan Segur, Les Ormes de Pez
Pauillac: Haut Bages Liberal, Lacoste Borie
St. Julien: Lagrange, Clos du Marquis
Margaux: Ferriere, d’Angludet
Pessac-Leognan: Domaine de Chevalier, Latour Martillac
Pomerol: Guillot-Clauzel, La Petite Eglise
- these are picks for wines that I found to be fairly reliably good recently.
All great suggestions so far.
Picque-Caillou is another good one from Pessac-Leognan and goes for $25 - $30. Tertre’s second label, Les Hauts du Tertre (Marguax), can be very good also (~ $25??).
Although I have no real insight into US-$-prices I´ll try it:
Haut-Medoc: Northern part: Sociando-Mallet
Middle part: Lanessan
Southern part: La Lagune or Cantemerle
St.Estephe: Phelan-Segur or Meyney
Pauillac: Batailley or Haut-Batailley
Margaux: Prieuré-Lichine or d´Issan
Graves/Pessac-Leognan red: La Louviere or Carbonnieux
Pessac-Leognan white: Clos Floridene or Carbonnieux
Sauternes/Barsac: Bastor-Lamontagne or Clos Haut Peyraguey
St.Emilion: La Dominique or Clos l´Oratoire
At least some vintages (usually not the greatest) should be available below 50 $ - e.g. many 1994s are now drinking very well.
Good call on Ferriere, forgot about that one.
Agree. I’ve even been impressed with how '07s are drinking now from the more reliable producers, for example Phelan-Segur. A little green but otherwise quite good. And '07 is probably the worst vintage since '97. (I’ve enjoyed some '97s too from the classified growths)
I really like this list, but the Clos de l’Oratoire somehow caught my eye. I had this only twice or so and never had any of the more expensive wines of Comte de Neipperg (e.g. La Mondotte), but somehow the Comte de Neipperg wines (Clos Marsalette, d’Aiguilhe and Clos de l’Oratoire) so far always left me feeling a bit “empty”. They seem really well made, they seem to age well (I never had one which was more than ten years old), they seem modern, but not over the top modern, they’re polished, but not bland. Yet, after drinking these wines I never felt particularly inspired or was looking forward to the next time I can drink one of the wines again. However, I can’t really say why. What do you like about Clos de l’Oratoire? I’m asking because - after all - the Clos de l’Oratoire (as well as Clos Marsalette and d’Aiguilhe) doesn’t seem too expensive and I’m still somehow hoping that I could start to really like it.
If you would like to see how older wines taste, I would suggest looking for a 1989 and 1990 Lagrange at a place like HdH. We opened these wines side by side for my 40th last year and while they were both fantastic, it was an interesting lesson in the difference a vintage can make on a wine. Some people loved the 1990 for it fruit while a couple of us (me included) preferred the 1989 for a more classic Bordeaux profile.
You can still find the wines for just north of $100-$120.
The Comte’s festive sweaters and pantalons don’t inspire!?
Oh, those certainly do inspire. I don’t leave home anymore without a festive sweater twined around the neck, preferably over a dinner jacket with a pocket square, worn with colourful pantalons and with my moustache neatly twirled.
Quite seriously, I think the Comte certainly has style.
Not a fan of Neipperg’s wines. Had the '09 Clos de l’O with board member MarcF this year. Terribly modern for my palate (wood, alcohol, extraction), and d’Aughile is worse (all wood). MarcF popped that bottle give the price and some of the praise, and we both walked away saying “pass”. Just my 2 cents.
Yes, they are quite modern in style, but I haven´t had any feel of empty in good vintages.
Had a Canon la Gaffeliere 1990 in spring that really sang, and also a 1998 Clos de l´Oratoire that showed very well if still youthful. The oak integrates very well with age, and the wines are elegant, concentrated and satisfying.
Often better than some higher regarded Chateau (La Gaffeliere, Canon, earlier Belair, Trottevielle …), and good value. Vintages from 2000+ were also promising, although I haven´t tasted comprehensively.
However - who doesn´t like the style should simply avoid …
(granted, I also prefer Cheval blanc …)