July 17, 2023

Best wines in Bordeaux

In my research, I found various discussions on Reddit and articles from sources like Decanter and IntoWine. The Reddit discussions provided personal recommendations and experiences from users, while the articles focused on the best Bordeaux wines or wineries. There was a general consensus on some top Bordeaux wines, but personal preferences and experiences varied. The sources were relevant to the query, but there might be some uncertainty due to the subjective nature of wine preferences.

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Cantemerle

Cantemerle

Cantemerle, a vineyard in Macau, Haut Médoc, was suggested as an excellent Bordeaux wine at an affordable price point by a Reddit user. This recommendation came from a discussion where the author was looking for Bordeaux wines that were good value for money within a budget of £20-£50.
Château Batailley

Château Batailley

In a Reddit discussion about why one should buy Bordeaux wines, a user recommended trying Château Batailley as their favorite moderately priced wine.
Lalande de Pomerol

Lalande de Pomerol

Another Reddit user highly recommended Lalande de Pomerol, also known as "Baby Pomerol," as an accessible, less expensive, and beautifully balanced expression of Bordeaux.
Domaine du Jaugaret

Domaine du Jaugaret

Domaine du Jaugaret, a small winery in Saint Julien, was noted for making outstanding classically made Bordeaux wines.
Château Chasse-Spleen

Château Chasse-Spleen

In a discussion about Bordeaux wines, a Reddit user mentioned Château Chasse-Spleen from Moulis as possibly more traditional than Poujeaux, another vineyard discussed in the conversation.
Château Le Puy

Château Le Puy

Château Le Puy, a natural winery from Bordeaux, was mentioned in a Reddit post, with users praising its wines and the winemaker's use of natural winemaking techniques.
Château Bellevue-Cardon

Château Bellevue-Cardon

Château Bellevue-Cardon, Pauillac 2015, won the Best in Show award at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards with a point rating of 97.

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Research

"https://www.intowine.com/top-bordeaux-red-wines"

  • Bordeaux is the world’s most famous wine region and France’s largest.
  • It is home to 60 appellations and over 8,600 growers.
  • Bordeaux exports wines to over 150 countries.
  • Winemakers around the world strive to emulate the Bordeaux style, carefully blending red wine grapes to produce a wine that reflects the best influences of its terroir.
  • The history of Bordeaux wine parallels the history of western civilization itself.
  • As early as the first century A. D., Roman writers mentioned wines from Bordeaux.
  • By the 12th century, Bordeaux was exporting wines to England to satisfy the tastes of the Angevin (Plantagenet) rulers and their successors.
  • Exports grew during the 19th century, leading Emperor Napoleon III to request that Bordeaux develop a wine classification system.
  • The 1855 Classification designated First, Second, Third, and Fourth Growth châteaux in the Médoc, Graves, Sauternes, and Barsac.
  • The list of First Growth châteaux has only been changed one time, in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was moved from the Second Growth classification to First Growth status.
  • Other Bordeaux regions developed their classifications systems much later, after France created its AOC system, and some do not classify their wines at all.
  • Today, the best vintages of the First Growth wines command top prices, as do the highest-quality wines from Bordeaux regions that do not use classification systems.
  • Each year, wine experts flock to en primeur tastings to report on the newest Bordeaux reds and buy Bordeaux wine futures.
  • The article provides a list of the top Bordeaux red wines of 2005, including descriptions and prices for:
    • Château Pétrus: $2,700+
    • Château Margaux: $800 to $2,400
    • Château Latour: $1,000 to $2,500
    • Château Lafite Rothschild: $1,000 to $2,500
    • Château Cheval Blanc: $670 to $1,600
    • Château Mouton Rothschild: $575 to $1,100
    • Château Haut-Brion: $745 to $1,600
    • Château Le Pin: $2,500 to $6,000
    • Château Ausone: $1,995 to $4,

"Best value wine from Bordeaux left bank?"

Relevant: true Importance: 8

Notes:

  • The post author on r/wine asked for recommendations on Bordeaux wines that were good value for money. The budget was between £20-£50.
  • Another user commented on the thread and suggested vineyards that were Cru artisans or had underrated crus classés. They gave their recommendations according to the village they belonged in the Bordeaux region.
  • The villages that were recommended by the Reddit user included Macau (Haut Médoc), Margaux, Moulis, Saint Julien, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, and Bas Médoc.
  • Cantemerle from Macau was suggested as an excellent Bordeaux for the price point.
  • In Margaux, the Reddit user suggests two vineyards in Arsac: Moulin de Tricot and Clos du Jaugeyron for value wines. They recommend reading the Vinous article on Château du Bel-Air Marquis d’Aligre as they think it is of the most exclusive wineries in the appellation.
  • Domaine du Jaugaret from Saint Julien was noted as a small winery that makes outstanding classically made Bordeaux.
  • Langoa-Barton was the Reddit user’s top recommendation from Saint-Julien, which is the less expensive wine of Léoville-Barton.
  • The Reddit user mentioned Château Chasse-Spleen from Moulis as possibly more traditional than Poujeaux, which was another vineyard discussed later.
  • Reddit user’s top pick from Pauillac was Grand Puy Lacoste. They noted Pontet-Canet as an excellent expression of Pauillac’s terroir but is a bit above the price range.
  • Château Calon-Ségur and Montrose were the two vineyards that the user was most familiar with and had excellent back vintages. In Saint Estèphe, they found it difficult to suggest vineyards that hadn’t embraced new age techniques. Poujeaux (considered excellent by another commenter) was suggested, as was Château Gloria which combined vineyards owned by a 2nd growth.
  • The Reddit user mentioned that the Graves region was slightly tougher for that price point. They mentioned that the southern part of the area had more value finds than the north. This part of the region was more conducive to wines made in traditional ways. Château Auney L’Hermitage from the south of the Graves was mentioned as

"Struggling with Bordeaux wines, quality and pricing."

  • The user is a beginner in red wines and is looking for advice on Bordeaux wines.
  • The user admits to liking some residual sugar in their dry red wines but are prepared for Bordeaux’s usual dryness with more tannins.
  • The user has been disappointed by one bottle after another of Bordeaux wines, including an undrinkably bitter and twice as expensive Merlot/Cab Sauv blend, leading the user to stop buying wines from Bordeaux in their price range (5-20€) altogether.
  • A reddit user suggests that the user may be drinking Bordeaux wines too young, which can be tight and tannic due to the insane longevity of these wines. Instead, the reddit user suggests trying Bordeaux that is at least 10 years old, better yet 20 years old, to fully develop the secondary and tertiary characteristics and become a truly delicious wine.
  • The user might not like Bordeaux because the user prefers a little residual sugar, which is rare in classic Bordeaux style. A ripe New World style might be more to the user’s liking.
  • Another reddit user suggests trying wines from Rhône, which are generally less expensive than Bordeaux and much easier to drink young, with juicy fruit characters rather than austere structure found in Bordeaux wines.
  • Differences in appellation are noted, with a five-year-old Margaux typically easier to drink than a five-year-old Pauillac due to riper characters in Margaux and higher tannins in Pauillac.
  • There is a lot of variability in the quality of Bordeaux wines in the user’s price range, with reviews from wine publications or crowd-sourced reviews being helpful beforehand. The quality of Bordeaux wines can be quite variable, second only to Burgundy at this price range.
  • At the bottom of the price range, Bordeaux wines are immediately drinkable, but a few years waiting for a 20€ Bordeaux might be necessary for better taste.
  • South American wines come from much hotter climates, which might explain the user’s preference for them over French wines.
  • The user is advised to evaluate the wine objectively to better understand why the user did not like it. Acidity, tannin levels, and flavor profiles must be carefully noted.
  • Chateau Bernadotte is recommended as a good and affordable Medoc wine.
  • Bottles of Bordeaux must breathe first to be enjoyable, with opening the bottle at least an hour before drinking being one user’s recommendation.
  • Alternative French wine regions, such as Gaillac, Southern Rhone, and Languedoc, are suggested

"Bordeaux - Why should I buy it?"

Relevant: True Importance: 7 Notes:

  • A reddit user asked why they should buy Bordeaux wines and if there are any great options they could try around the $100 budget.
  • Various reddit users suggested Bordeaux wines that they like and think the person should try.
  • Some users recommended specific wineries or wines, such as Chateau Batailley and Lalande de Pomerol, while others gave general tips like trying right bank Bordeaux blends or looking for less expensive Bordeaux wines.
  • Discussion around the characteristics of Bordeaux wines, such as their aging potential, less fruity taste, and earthier notes compared to Napa Valley wines.
  • One user recommended trying Burgundy instead of Bordeaux, and some others recommended specific producers from that region.
  • There was some discussion around specific vintages to look for or avoid when trying Bordeaux wines.
  • Some users talked about the cost of Bordeaux wines or difficulty finding good inexpensive options.
  • Others mentioned the importance of buying Bordeaux wine from reputable sources or working with a knowledgeable wine seller to make a good choice.
  • The conversation also included some tips for enjoying Bordeaux wines, such as using a decanter or giving them time to age before drinking.

"https://www.decanter.com/decanter-world-wine-awards/best-of-bordeaux-top-20-wines-of-dwwa-2020-445977/"

Here are my notes:

  • The webpage is titled “Best of Bordeaux: Top 20 wines of DWWA 2020”.
  • Provides insights into French wines that performed well at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards.
  • France won 12 Best in Show medals, with Bordeaux making up 25% of these.
  • Bordeaux had 20 award-winning wines - all of which are included on the list.
  • Of the wines that won awards, those from the 2018 and 2019 vintages stood out.
  • The webpage lists the top 20 award-winning wines from Bordeaux, including tasting notes and point rating given by the judges.
  • The wine list includes a mix of different vintages, including three wines from the 2016 vintage and one from the 2015 vintage.
  • The wine list includes wines from different categories, including Gold, Platinum, Best in Show, and Value Best in Show.
  • Château Bellevue-Cardon, Pauillac 2015, won the Best in Show award with a point rating of 97.
  • 16 of the top 20 award-winning wines are from the 2018 and 2019 vintages, with Château Lacombe Cadiot, Bordeaux Supérieur 2019, also winning the Value Best in Show award.
  • Bordeaux wines from the 2016 vintage were also commended including Château Rauzan-Gassies, L’Orme de Rauzan-Gassies, Haut-Médoc 2016, which won the Value Best in Show award.
  • Judges commented that Bordeaux had lots of exciting wines with good vintages such as 2018 in a bigger, more opulent style, as well as very well balanced 2016s, and plenty of wines from those three vintages.
  • The webpage also provides readers with the option to search all DWWA 2020 award-winning wines from Bordeaux or read more about Best in Show wines.
  • There is also a link to a separate article that provides an insider’s guide to the 2020 Bordeaux harvest written by Jane Anson.
  • The webpage includes 3 Bordeaux 95-point white wines from the Gold category.
  • The webpage also mentions that Barton & Guestier, Thomas Barton Réserve Privée, Médoc 2016, is packed with lush blackcurrant, cherry, and spice and has a richness that will never disappoint.
  • Reddit Karma is not provided as the recommendations are not sourced

"First trip to France: Bordeaux or Burgundy?"

  • Reddit users are discussing a first trip to France for either Bordeaux or Burgundy.
  • One user who had been to Bordeaux, recommended going to St Emilion, a beautiful and romantic place, which is only half an hour out of the city. There is also the city of Bordeaux itself, with museums, great nightlife, and of course, excellent restaurants and wine bars. Another user suggested visiting Biarritz for seaside towns.
  • Another user commented that Burgundy is beautiful and fairly rural, especially the small towns of Cote d’Or, Chassagne, and Chateau de Vougeot. However, reservations or appointments are a must in both regions.
  • According to some users, it is hard to get tasting sessions in Burgundy, although some wine bars or restaurants may carry local wine.
  • Another user suggested renting a car or driver for a day for flexibility in touring.
  • When it comes to wine, one user commented that getting into prestigious tastings in Burgundy is hard unless you know someone in the industry.
  • Another user mentioned that Bordeaux has more diversity of things to do and see compared to Burgundy with the Cité de Vin, The Médoc and Saint-Emilion. However, Burgundy’s proximity to Champagne was a plus, and the region was charming and interesting from a historical perspective.
  • Bordeaux is a large city with museums, great nightlife, and excellent restaurants and wine bars. In Burgundy, Dijon, the Cote d’Or, and Beaune have stunning restaurants and amazing wine shops.
  • Logistic wise, a car may be necessary for either region, especially to go for cellar door tasting.
  • Other non-wine tourism options include checking out the architecture and the sand dunes in Bordeaux or Chenanceau in Loire.
  • Wine bars and restaurants in Bordeaux were La Tupina, and in Burgundy, it was Lameoise.
  • Besides visiting wineries, users also suggest checking out landmarks such as La Dune of Pilat in Bordeaux, Citeaux Abby in Beaune, and the city of Lyon with great food.
  • A few users noted that wines in some Burgundy shops had prices equal to or greater than outside France.
  • This discussion was from a year and three months ago but may still have relevance for anyone planning a wine trip in France.

"Château Le Puy — natural winery from Bordeaux"

  • The post on r/wine is discussing Château Le Puy wine, a natural winery from Bordeaux in France.

  • A user attended an event featuring the winery and got the opportunity to talk to one of their winemakers.

  • The user tasted three wines from Château Le Puy: 2020 Chateau Le Puy Rose-Marie, 2018 Chateau Le Puy Emilien, and 2018 Chateau Le Puy Barthelemy.

  • Tasting notes for the wines are included:

    • The 2020 Chateau Le Puy Rose-Marie has a fruit-forward nose of strawberry and red cherry, is dry and highly acidic on the palate, has a velvety texture, and tastes of baking spices and butter with a medium finish.

    • The 2018 Chateau Le Puy Emilien has a powerful nose with cherry, plum, and leather; is dry and very tannic on the palate with tastes of dark fruit and a hint of licorice; medium finish with a bit of alcoholic bite at the end.

    • The 2018 Chateau Le Puy Barthelemy has a nose of licorice, black cherry, plum, and oak; dry, with medium+ tannins and acidity; tastes of dark fruits and vanilla; long, elegant finish.

  • A commenter mentions that they have a 2017 Puy Emilien chillin which they bought immediately after reading Asimov’s article and were especially intrigued by the “It’s the best Burgundy wine from Bordeaux” quote.

  • Another user comments that they love Château Le Puy wine and had a 2005 vintage next to some other big names in Bordeaux and it blew them out of the water.

  • A user suggests that Château Le Puy wines are not typical for the American palate but are good wine made in a somewhat naturalistic fashion.

  • Another commenter mentions that they enjoyed Château Le Puy’s Duc des Nauves wine, which costs around $20.

  • The post also includes discussion about the winemaker’s use of natural winemaking techniques in producing the wines.

  • A reminder is included in the post that if a user is submitting a picture of a bottle of wine, they should include original tasting notes and/or other pertinent information in the comments.

  • The post has several comments, with some users sharing their own experiences tasting Château Le Puy wine, while others discuss the winery’s wines

💭  Looking into

Overview of the Bordeaux wine region and what makes it unique

💭  Looking into

5 top-rated red wines from Bordeaux with brief descriptions and food pairings