By Kori ~ March 23rd, 2009.
Whether or not those of us in the New World like it, French wines still set the bar against which the world’s wines are measured. And when it comes to red wine and the grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Bordeaux remains the world’s standard. With a reputation like that, it is no wonder that the premiere chateaux in Bordeaux command hundreds of dollars per bottle.
Much has already been written about the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux, the “vintage of a lifetime.” While the already sky-high Bordeaux prices absolutely went through the roof with the release of the 2005’s, the wonderful thing about such a perfect growing season is the fact that so much good fruit was to be had all over Bordeaux that quality wines were not limited to the First Growths. Numerous chateaux produced stellar wines, even those who sell their wines at very reasonable prices. And while the 2005 vintage has received the most attention, both 2004 and 2006 were also very good years which is great news for consumers as those are the three vintages you are most likely to find on the shelves of wine retailers right now.
Last week, we had the pleasure to attend the Today’s Bordeaux: 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Affordable Wines tasting in Seattle. The selected wines were all priced between $8 and $35 and were chosen by an independent jury in a blind tasting of nearly 350 wines. The purpose of the Today’s Bordeaux tasting is to highlight the diversity and increasing availability of affordable Bordeaux wines. The tasting featured red, white, and sweet wines. However, we decided to narrow the selection even further and tasted only the red wines that retail for $20 or under.
Why only red wines? While Bordeaux makes wonderful white wines and sweet dessert wines, Bordeaux is known the world over, first and foremost, for its red wines. After all, 89 percent of Bordeaux vineyards are planted with red varieties. And why limit ourselves to $20 and under? With the Wine Peeps mission of helping you get the most bang for your buck coupled with the current state of the economy, we wanted to be able to present our readers with a comprehensive list of high quality, easy on the pocketbook Bordeaux wines. Of the 36 wines that we tasted, five wines received a quality rating of 4 stars and 19 wines received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck.
Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of all the wines that we tasted at the Today’s Bordeaux tasting. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) will be listed along with price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2005 Chateau La Fleur Bibian, Listrac-Medoc, $15, QPR: 5
2004 Chateau Larose-Trintaudon, Haut-Medoc, $19, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Plain Point, Fronsac, $20, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Armens, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, $20, QPR: 5
2006 Chateau Liversan, Haut-Medoc, $20, QPR: 5
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Chateau Les Tours-Seguy, Bordeaux Superieur, $14, QPR: 5
2006 Le Chene de Puynard, Premieres Cotes de Blaye, $19, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Landat, Haut-Medoc, $20, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Les Ricards, Premieres Cotes de Blaye, $20, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Les Tours de Peyrat Vieille Vignes, Cotes de Blaye, $20, QPR: 5
2006 Chateau Lieujean, Haut-Medoc, $20, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Tour de Calens, Graves, $20, QPR: 5
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2007 Dourthe Beau Mayne Rouge, Bordeaux, $10, QPR: 5
2006 Chateau de Seguin, Bordeaux Superieur, $11, QPR: 5
2005 Grand Bateau, Bordeaux, $13, QPR: 5
2003 Chateau Roques Mauriac, Bordeaux Superieur, $13, QPR: 5
2006 Dourthe No. 1 Rouge, Bordeaux, $14, QPR: 5
2005 Chateau Cazat Beauchene, Bordeaux Superieur, $14, QPR: 5
2004 Chateau Greysac, Medoc, $15, QPR: 5
2006 Chateau Malbec, Bordeaux, $16, QPR: 4
2006 Chateau Pey La Tour Reserve, Bordeaux Superieur, $18, QPR: 4
2005 Lalande Balestard, Bordeaux, $20, QPR: 4
2005 Chateau Listran, Medoc, $20, QPR: 4
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2007 Chateau Pey La Tour, Bordeaux, $12, QPR: NR
2004 Chateau Grand Pascaud, Bordeaux, $13, QPR: NR
2006 Chateau de Lugagnac, Bordeaux Superieur, $15, QPR: NR
2006 Chateau Mirefleurs, Bordeaux Superieur, $16, QPR: NR
2005 L’insolent de Laville, Bordeaux Superieur, $17, QPR: NR
2005 Chateau Mirambeau Papin, Bordeaux Superieur, $18, QPR: NR
2004 Chateau Sissan, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, $18, QPR: NR
2006 Chateau Tour Prignac, Medoc, $18, QPR: NR
2006 Barton & Guestier Gold Label, Medoc, $19, QPR: NR
2005 Chateau Majoureau Cuvee Hyppos, Bordeaux Superieur, $19, QPR: NR
Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
2005 Chateau de Birot, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, $13, QPR: NR
2006 Chateau Lagupeau, Graves, $15, QPR: NR
2006 Chateau Lamothe, Bordeaux, $15, QPR: NR
Filed under: Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, French Wine, Merlot, Red Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25