Affordable Bordeaux actually exists! This would seem a surprise during the current era when huge media attention is given to the steep annual price increases – driven, to a great extent, by Asian wealth discovering a taste for the most significant Bordeaux wines. However, while it is true France’s most famous wine region produces some of the world’s most famous wines; Bordeaux also produces huge quantities of quite drinkable table wines and good quality mid-priced wines. As a bonus to the consumer, Bordeaux has enjoyed several stunning vintages in the past few years, and the historic 2009 vintage resulted in high quality wines across all price points.
These three wines – all three available in the Pennsylvania State Stores – are great examples of solid quality, affordable Bordeaux wines that are worth a look and a taste. If ranked against each other, they would sum up in price order from least to most expensive – but all three price points are well represented.
Chateau Camelot La Chapelle AOC Bordeaux 2009 ($7.99 PLCB code: 36348) – Proof that a $7.99 wine need not taste like its price. Made from a traditional Bordeaux style blend of 50% Merlot and equal parts Cabernet and Cab Franc. While this wine is not rich, or madly complex, it easily delivers light to medium bodied pleasant fruit against a back drop of earthiness that makes Bordeaux wines so popular.
Chateau Semonlon Haut Medoc Rouge 2009 ($13.99 PLCB code: 18655) – Chateau Semonlon is produced near the uber-famous Bordeaux sub-region of Margaux, which is known for producing delicate and stylish wines. In this case the wine is a Merlot and Cabernet blend (60%-40%) that sees no oak ageing, resulting in a light to medium bodied effort with some depth in the fruit but even and balanced throughout – a nice wine for the price.
Chateau Haut Surget Lalande de Pomerol 2009 ($21.99 PLCB code: 36349) – A “right-bank” Bordeaux blend is apparent in this wine (70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet 15% Cabernet Franc) as the Merlot-driven blueberry notes are integrated through the medium bodied, well-balanced wine. Some oak ageing took place and the balance is successful between fruit, oak, tannins etc. This is a wine that could stand up against more expensive and better known wines, so we are fortunate to have access!