Bordeaux on a Budget: Are You Part of the 95% or the 5%?

By January 31, 2012Winemakers
Château Picque Caillou

Image of Château Picque Caillou via Snooth

We’ve read and heard a lot recently about the 1% of the population that is super wealthy and then there’s the other 99% (to which I belong.)

Français : Les régions viticoles du Médoc, des...

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And if you’re a lover of Bordeaux wines, then you know how astronomically expensive they’ve become. This is directly attributed to increased demand, mostly from the Chinese market.

But here’s a very encouraging fact for depressed lovers of Bordeaux: there are 7,700 estates in Bordeaux but only 164 (2%) are classified. Let’s count them together: 61 classified Médoc; 26 Sauternes; 61 in St. Emilion and 16 Graves. And of these, only 40 to 50 have fetched the 300% price increases.

Guess what? There are great values among the remaining 95%. The task is to find them. But how does the average wine lover sort through over 7,000 wineries? It’s easy: find someone like Jean Christophe Calvet.

I just returned from the Boston Wine Expo which I faithfully attend every year. I fortunately signed up for the Bordeaux seminar conducted by Jean Christophe and his American born wife Margaret.

They are the owners of the Aquitaine Wine Company which specializes in “discovery” wines and up and coming wineries in Bordeaux. At the seminar they presented 14 wines of the 2009 vintage from their portfolio, ranging in price (Massachusetts minimum) from $12 to $45. In a word, they were outstanding and delicious. I list them here because I think they are worth your quest and you deserve a decent wine from Bordeaux!

I also plan to consult Jean Christophe for visits during our upcoming Bordeaux 101 tour this May.

  • Chateau Doyac  AOC Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois $25  ***
  • Petit Manou AOC Médoc $25
  • Larose de Gruaud AOC St Julien $30 (2nd label of Gruaud Larose)
  • Chateau Mongravey AOC Margaux Cru Bourgeois $35
  • Chateau Deyrem Valentin AOC Margaux Cru Bourgeois $20
  • Chateau Fonbadet AOC Pauillac Cru Bourgeois $45   ***
  • Chateau Bel Air AOC Sainte Croix du Mont $12
  • Chateau Mylord Cuvée Milady AOC Bordeaux Rouge $12
  • Costes du Chateau Feret Lambert AOC Bordeaux Supérieur $12
  • Chateau Tire Pé La Cote AOC Bordeaux Supérieur $20
  • Chateau Haut Colombier AOC Cotes de Bordeaux- Blaye $15
  • Chateau Prieuré Canteloup AOC Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux $15
  • Chateau Saint André Corbin AOC St. Georges St Emilion $17
  • Chateau Picque Caillou AOC Pessac Léognan $35   ***

 *** my favorites!

Château Fonbadet

Image of Château Fonbadet via Snooth

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Author Vin Marottoli

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Very helpful indeed thanks for sharing. This list would certainly help me. I have a liquor shop in Canada (Calgary). The demand of good wines are always high. But their availability is what bother us.
    This kind of sharing help us to serve our clients.

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