Bordeaux release day is here! With the multitude of wines being offered, what are the best deals? Everyone has their own opinions and personal taste preferences but here are a few wines from the release that I think is worth purchasing (price before tax in brackets):
Chateau D’Armailhac ($125) – if there was one wine over $100 that I would recommend purchasing, it would be this wine. It comes from the famous region of Pauillac (where Lafite and Latour are located), is owned by the same owners as Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and is a fifth-growth wine in the 1855 Classification System. This wine will be approachable fairly early but will last 15 years. It is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and it will develop into a medium-bodied wine that will be pleasing to most consumers.
Chateau Beau Sejour Becot ($150) – This is the best value of the high-end wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, where the Merlot grape is predominant. This is a stunning wine that is classified as a St. Emilion Premier Cru Classe B wine (only 12 wines hold this quality designation, with an additional two wineries holding the Classe A designation). Because it is not as well known as some of the Left Bank wines, it provides incredible value, as you would pay double for the same quality on the Left Bank. This wine will need 10 years of aging but will drink well for 20-plus years.
Chateau Canon ($275) – it is hard to imagine that a $275 wine is well priced, but the quality of this wine rivals similar wines which are priced close to $800 to $1000. Chateau Canon is owned by Chanel and this is another St. Emilion Premier Cru Classe B wine. I have been to the winery and it is meticulous and precise, like its wines. It is an heirloom wine.
Clos Floridene ($45) – this is probably the best value of the entire release. Floridene always provides great quality for the price and it can be drinkable with minimal aging. It is approachable right away with a few hours in the decanter, but it is better if you can wait for one to two years.
Grand Puy Lacoste (GPL), Haut Bages Liberal (HBL) and La Lagune (all $100) – these wines represent Growth wines from the Left Bank that are a bit forgotten and overlooked. However, the quality is undeniable and at this price, they all provide great value for the money. GPL and HBL come from the Pauillac region, whereas La Lagune is from the Haut Medoc region.
Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc ($85) – it’s hard to argue with the quality of this white wine. Carbonnieux is one of the most consistent producers of red and white wine out of the Pessac Leognan region. Unlike Bordeaux red wines, this white wine can be enjoyed right away.
Chateau Coutet ($60 for half bottle, $110 for full bottle) – this is a Sauternes wine, which is a sweet wine. It is made when grapes are infected with “noble rot”, which makes grapes shrivel so that all that is left is very concentrated juice. For this reason, it takes many more grapes to make Sauternes than normal red or white wines. Coutet is a Premier Cru or First Growth Sauternes wine. Sauternes wines turn from yellow to amber as they age and are delicious.
For more of my thoughts on the wines being released, click here. Until next time, happy drinking!
Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.