This past Friday, I joined an online cast of enthusiastic wine bloggers and participated in the Planet Bordeaux Twitter Taste-Live event. This event was organized by Michael Wangbickler of Balzac Communications and Marketing as part of a marketing campaign to get the word out about good affordable Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines. Bordeaux, arguably the world’s most famous wine region, produces a large quantity of wine, in particular, high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines. Outside the top-tier and more expensive classified growths are a generous number of value-priced, good-quality wines that are enjoyable upon release and capable of improving with age. These wines, in my humble opinion, are the most overlooked by American consumers. Why is this – especially since the majority of these wines, as seen in this tasting, hit the under $20 sweet spot? I think a big reason goes back to a recent blog post of mine titled, “Are you hooked on varietal labels?’ Many U.S. consumers find comfort in what they know, and just about everyone knows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec, right? These are all Bordeaux red wine grape varieties and the grape's name is not typically spelled out on the front label of French wine. As a general rule of thumb, anything from the left bank will be Cabernet Sauvignon-based, while right bank wines are Merlot-based and usually more fruit-forward, softer, and approachable than their left bank counterparts. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bordeaux white wines that are crafted using [namely] Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These refreshing whites can be found at very good price points and are some of my favorites to sip during spring and summer months.
The Planet Bordeaux Lineup
If you haven’t introduced a few value-priced, everyday Bordeaux wines into your weekly, even bi-weekly, rotation yet, think outside the box from your normal selection, and give this prestigious wine region a try. For the average wine consumer, a small investment can sometimes yield big rewards in the glass! Below are my notes from the five diverse Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines we tasted. All of these wines were 13.5% ABV or less, priced between $13 and $16, and ranged from decent to very good in terms of quality. Do you want to learn more about Bordeaux, the region many wine connoisseurs consider to be the birthplace of today’s wine culture? I recommend a visit to Planet Bordeaux’s website where you’ll find all sorts of good information about the region as well information on where you can find the wines.
1) La Butte du Château La Gatte 2006 (100% Old Vine Merlot) – Well balanced with supple tannins, moderate acidity, and bright notes of cherry and strawberry accented by earthy tones.
2) Château de Lugagnac 2008 (50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon) - Blackberry and black cherry fruit with toasty oak, subtle smoke, and herbal notes with a viscous palate and dusty tannins with a dash of dry cocoa on the lingering finish.
3) Château de Terrefort-Quancard 2008 (64% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon) – Palate is restrained in its fruit with firm tannins and (subtle) aromas of leather, fresh mushrooms, cedar, and forest floor that extends to the palate with drying tannins and spice on the medium length finish.
4) Château de Parenchère Cuvée Raphaêl 2007 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot) – Moderately complex nose of currant, dark cherry and coffee beans mixed with potting soil, a minty component and smoked meat. This medium-bodied wine offers a round mouth-feel with well integrated tannins and a spicy lingering finish.
5) Château Penin Tradition 2009 (90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) – Fruit forward, easy-drinking wine that has hints of leafiness and greenness upfront developing into delicate tart cherries and soft raspberry flavors with a dusting of black pepper on the medium length finish.
Many thanks to Michael Wangbickler for setting this Twitter tasting up and the above named producers for sharing their passion with the wine blogging community. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!
CLICK HERE to visit Planet Bordeaux's website.
CLICK HERE to follow Planet Bordeaux on Twitter.
CLICK HERE to add Planet Bordeaux as a friend on Facebook.
CLICK HERE to go to Balzac Communications and Marketing website.
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