Tasting Report: Today’s Bordeaux, March 17, 2009

Spent some of the afternoon tasting “today’s Bordeaux,” which it turns out is a lot like yesterday’s Bordeaux, only cheaper.

Hit hard by the worldwide recession, the days of $1000 bottles of Bordeaux are rapidly coming to an end. And while the first growth chateaux still command hefty prices (just not quite as hefty as before), the guys at the bottom of the scale are getting squeezed even harder. Today’s Bordeaux featured only bottles of wine costing $35 and under… which is primarily names you’ve never heard of.

Since the vintages poured here (100 were available, I tried just 15 to get a sampling… and, this is St. Patrick’s Day after all… gotta keep something in reserve) are all over the map, it’s hard to draw any broad conclusions. Generally, though, I preferred the older vintages, which had softened up a bit. The younger stuff was old-school, textbook Bordeaux — thick, inky, tannic, and dusty, full of the earth and far too new to drink. Across the board, I preferred these wines with food — a bite of cheese will do just fine. They need a touch of fat to cut through all that tannin.

Some favorites: Ch. de Suduiraut’s second-label Sauternes, a $23 Castelanau de Suduiraut (2003), which I could drink all day and night. Among dry wines, Ch. La Fleur Bibian’s $15 Listrac-Medoc (2005) is an amazing value, a lighter, easygoing red, and the well-balanced 2003 Ch. Yon Saint Martin. At all of $30, it’s one of the pricier wines I tried.

Full report follows.

Today’s Bordeaux Tasting Report

2003 Castelanau de Suduiraut Sauternes $23 / A-
2005 Château Clarke Listrac-Médoc $28-$30 / B
2006 Château d’Agassac Haut-Médoc $30 / B-
2005 Château La Fleur Bibian Listrac-Médoc $15 / A-
2004 Château Greysac Médoc $15 / B+
2006 Château Haut Vigneau Pessac-Léognan $22 / B-
2005 Château Jean Faux Bordeaux $23 / B
2004 Château La Chapelle de Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes $NA / B+
2004 Château Larose-Trintaudon Haut-Médoc $18-$20 / C+
2005 Château Lestrille Capmartin Bordeaux Supérieur $23 / B-
2005 Château Leydet-Valentin Bordeaux Supérieur $23 / B+
2006 Château Magnol Haut-Médoc $25 / B+
2003 Château Reignac Bordeaux Supérieur $35 / B-
2005 Château Trimoulet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru $35 / B+
2003 Château Yon Saint Martin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru $30 / A-

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2 Responses to Tasting Report: Today’s Bordeaux, March 17, 2009

  1. Thanks for coming, Chris! Glad you found some you liked.

  2. Château La Chapelle de Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes is about $30.

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