An uplifting day for Jeannie Cho Lee as she tastes non cru classé Bordeaux 2014s.
I haven’t had so much fun tasting generic Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc and modest wines from the Côtes de Bordeaux and Fronsac since the 2010 vintage. What is especially attractive about this vintage is the freshness of the flavors, a juicy fruit character and ripe tannins. There are some wonderful Bordeaux from petits châteaux with modest price tags.
After tasting over 50 non cru classé Bordeaux wines today, mostly generic Bordeaux, I felt uplifted rather than tired – always a good sign. Below are my favorite three whites and three reds for value (given last year’s prices).
Great value whites
Clos des Lunes Lune d’Or
A forward, lifted white with notes of peach, mixed nuts and hint of white flowers. There is a toasty oak note from barrel aging with 20 to 30 percent new oak used. Generous and fleshy with about 14 percent alcohol balanced by crisp acidity and focused, intense flavors.
Château Marjosse Blanc
Lively and fresh with nice mid-palate density and depth for a petit châteaux. Crafted to be enjoyed young and fresh with precise flavors, another good vintage at Marjosse (2013 was very good too). Owned by Pierre Lurton, this is one of the best value whites from Bordeaux priced below 10 euros per bottle.
Château de Fonréaud Blanc
Delicious, juicy white with lovely passionfruit and mangosteen flavors. Wonderful intensity, fresh acidity and good depth of flavors with nice length. Well-crafted white that will be a pleasure to drink only a few years after it is bottled.
Great value reds
Château de Malleret
Well made and polished with supple texture, lifted black fruits and hint of spices. Balanced and well made with lovely texture and good finish. Managed by Paul Bordes and consulted by Stéphane Derenoncourt. 46 percent Merlot.
Attractive nose of cedar, spices and sweet cassis. The palate is quite seductive with lovely plums, blackberries and violets. Made with mostly Cabernet and about one-third Merlot. Managed by Paul Bordes and consulted by Stéphane Derenoncourt. Good value at below 18 euros per bottle.
Juicy red currant and plums in this vintage with supple tannins. This is delicious and approachable now with flavors that will integrate and become more harmonious with a few more years in bottle. Well made and a great value at only around 12 euros per bottle.
• What is especially attractive about this vintage is the freshness of the flavours.
• Clos des Lunes Lune d’Or and Château Marjosse Blanc are great value whites.
• Château de Malleret and Château Barthez are great value reds.