Holiday Bordeaux for Any Budget

 
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Somewhere in the last 10 years we started to forget about Bordeaux. Maybe it was the advent and rush of the natural wine movement and ‘new school’ wines , or perhaps it was the increase in perceived luxury following the legendary 09′ and 10′ vintages. It could even have been a slow shift in perception towards the idea that Bordeaux is less of a wine to drink and more of a collectible to be boasted about. The likely truth is that all of these factors have influenced the new and old American wine enthusiast to overlook some of the greatest wine made on the planet.

That is nowhere near an exaggeration. In case you haven’t noticed, Cabernet, Merlot, and the usual Bordeaux blend suspects are capable of making absolutely stunning wines all over the world. Before there was Napa Valley Cabernet, there was Bordeaux. Before there was Chilean red blend, there was Bordeaux. Before there was Mendoza Malbec, there was Bordeaux. We could go on and on. How massive though is the irony that the global palate can be so proud of the native wines which have built the identity of their regions, and so dismissive of the wines which provided the very blueprint of success?

The reality is that there’s a lot of very good wine competing for our attention all of time, and Bordeaux has not always done itself a favor on the pricing side in making some of its best wines broadly accessible. This is changing FAST. The level of winemaking coming out Bordeaux at the moment is of such a high quality, and at such a pervasive level, that the big appellations and smaller appellations alike are bursting at the seams with fantastic wine. Funny as it is to think, consumers used to lean on an 1855 classification of the top estates to inform their purchasing decisions. There are now hundreds of estates and wines that don’t exist on that list but offer amazing drinking experiences for wonderfully low prices.

Bordeaux is as much the blueprint for a globally successful wine style as it is a beautiful region with exceptional terroir. Nowhere else does Cabernet and Merlot so consistently produce wines of deep minerality, complex bouquet, and delicious fruit. These are wines built for the holiday table; perfect fits for pairing with intimate family moments over dinner, and the late night conversations and memory sharing that come after.

Below we’re going to recommend several curated Bordeauxs across three different price spectrums: Excellent Value, Mid-range Beauties, and Best-in-Class. These wines will be perfect to share with friends and family over your holiday celebrations, and they’ll be treasures to enjoy long after.


EXCELLENT VALUE

Chateau Grimont Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2020 750ml $14 special, 36+ bottles available
Decanter 90 points “Scented bramble on the nose. Smooth, supple, and energetic….Bright strawberries, red cherries, and raspberries supported by chalky tannins. Soft flecks of spicy licorice linger in the mouth giving the wine Fram and body. Bold, full style, with great drive and persistence, that needs time but feels well worked. Classy and characterful. In organic conversion.”

Château Soubian 2019Chateau Soubian, Pessac-Leognan 2019 750ml $28 special, 32 bottles available
Importer Notes “This hidden gem of a property lies just to the west of the village of Léognan on a beautiful hillock of gravel, and noted historically for its unique setting and propensity for exceptional wines. The Château has been owned since 1930 by the Célérier family, a line of Bordeaux negociants, who have recently sought to revitalize the vineyard by entrusting its operation to the astute Bernard family, of neighboring Domaine de Chevalier fame. Olivier Bernard and his team have overseen the conversion to organic production of this 4-hectare vineyard, which is composed of gravel soils on clay-gravelly subsoil, perfectly-suited to the cepage of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot..The 2019 Soubian offers a quintessential expression of the velvety, ripe and fresh 2019 vintage, with its own individual expression of forward red and black fruits, with spicy, slightly-peppery aromas.”

Chateau Canon Saint-Michel, Canon-Fronsac 2016 750ml $33 special, 31 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 92 points “Owned by the Delon family of Chateau Leoville las Cases in Saint-Julien, this small property has produced a dense wine. Chateau Saint Michel is winemaking at the pinnacle of technology. This medium-bodied red possesses a fine, silky texture and nice balance all the way through the finish. There is a lovely elegance to this wine made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc grape varieties. Simply Fantastic.”


MID-RANGE BEAUTIES

Le Crock St Estephe 2016 750ml $41.90 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Cellar Sellection. Under the same management as Château Léoville-Poyferré in Saint-Julien, this estate belongs to the Cuvelier family. With its structured Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is made to age. Big tannins and concentrated fruits are full and dense.”
Decanter 94 points “Clearly standing out in this line-up, an impressive, well-crafted wine with great tannic hold; a wine you would be thrilled to own. Cassis, bilberry, blackberry, hawthorn, black chocolate, slate. Great texture and balance, and full of St-Estèphe signature. Great stuff.”

Buy Chateau Gloria 2016 wine online | MillesimaChateau Gloria St Julien 2019 750ml $49 special, 36+ bottles available
Vinous 96 points 
“The 2019 Gloria has a compelling nose: black fruit, crushed rocks, tobacco and very subtle marine scents that are all beautifully combined. Perhaps the most precise and delineated nose among an impressive array of Saint-Julien’s this year. The palate is medium-bodied with a lively opening. A touch of soy infuses the black fruit; fine-boned with wonderful sapidity on the finish. Extraordinary length. Serious. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Showing beautifully, with the polished, pure, elegant style of the vintage, the 2019 Château Gloria sports a deeper ruby/purple color as well as great aromatics of cassis and assorted blue fruits to go with smoked tobacco, cedar pencil, damp earth, and floral notes. I love its purity, and it’s just a quintessential, medium to full-bodied, layered Saint-Julien that can be drunk today or cellared for a solid two decades. It should be a no-brainer purchase for the wine lovers out there.”
Jane Anson 95 points “So good, this is a vibrant mix of young and exuberant, luxurious, seriously creamy in texture, crushed stone, baked earth, smoked caramel, damson, sweet blackberry and damson fruits. This is pure pleasure, hard to resist.”

Chateau Laforge St Emilion 2009 750ml $75 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “From proprietor Jonathan Maltus, this blend of three terroirs, two on sand and one on gravel, is a blend of 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 2,000 cases are produced, and the prodigious 2009 is the finest vintage to date. Inky blue/purple, with notes of licorice, camphor, black truffle, blackberry and blueberry, this full-bodied wine has massive concentration yet at the same time displays elegance and harmony. The equilibrium and 60+-second length make for a huge, massive, but incredibly well-balanced wine, like a shadow of the proprietor himself. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.”


BEST-IN-CLASS

Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2018 750ml $89 special, 17 bottles available
Vinous 95 points “The 2018 Malescot Saint Exupéry is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel. Powerful and incisive, the 2018 is a driving, potent Margaux that dazzles from the first taste. Iron, smoke, new leather, licorice, pressed rose petal and cedar all open in the glass, conveying tremendous nuance and a ton of character.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Malescot St. Exupery leaps from the glass with expressive scents of baked blackberries, Morello cherries and boysenberries with hints of blackcurrant cordial, dark chocolate, licorice and tilled soil. The medium to full-bodied palate has impressive intensity without heaviness, delivering mouth-coating black fruits and a firm, grainy texture, finishing with a refreshing earthy lift.”

Buy Chateau Pavie-Macquin 2016 wine online | MillesimaChateau Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 750ml $119 special, 28 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date, the 2016 Château Pavie Macquin comes from a cooler, later terroir on the upper plateau and checks in as 82% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 50% new oak. This deep, inky-colored effort boasts a rock star bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, white truffle, graphite, and spice. Deep, rich, and powerful on the palate, yet also balanced, elegant, and seamless, with ultra-fine tannins, this seamless beauty needs a decade of cellaring and will keep for 4-5 decades.”
Vinous 98 points “The 2016 Pavie Macquin is a total stunner. Rich, lush and inviting, the 2016 is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Sweet red cherry, plum, rose petal, lavender and mint are all given an extra kick of allure by silky tannins that caress the palate from start to finish. There is a level of precision and nuance here that is simply breathtaking. The purity of the fruit is just mind-boggling.”
James Suckling 97 points “This is very linear and driven with a precise and driven center palate. Full-bodied, tight and compact. Energetic and well formed. Give it at least five years. Try from 2024.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Pavie Macquin charges out of the glass with gregarious black cherries, warm blackberries and wild blueberries scents followed up by loads of red roses, baking spices, cedar chest and unsmoked cigars sparks plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise, revealing layer upon layer of cherries and berries flavors and tons of savory nuances, framed by firm yet exquisitely ripe tannins, finishing very long.”

Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion 2015 750ml $349 special, 34 bottles available
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
Vinous 100 points 
“From the very beginning, the 2015 Canon has made an eloquent case for itself as one of the wines of the vintage. Multiple tastings from bottle only confirm what several early tastings hinted at: the 2015 Canon is simply extraordinary in every way. Sumptuous and exotic, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 grabs hold of all the senses and never lets up. A rush of red fruit intermingled with floral notes, spice and smoke notes effortlessly runs up the wine’s vertical structure as the 2015 thrills with every twist and turn. The 2015 Canon is a rare wine that is both hedonistic and intellectual – well, maybe it is a bit more hedonistic-leaning. It doesn’t matter. Don’t miss it. This 2015 is masterpiece from General Manager Nicolas Auderbert and his team at Canon.”
Neal martin 100 points “The 2015 Canon was a benchmark wine that seemed to revitalize this historic estate. I was crossing my fingers that it would not disappoint in bottle and I am glad to say that it delivers the goods. It has a very intense bouquet (just as it showed out of barrel) with laser-like precision offering wild strawberry, raspberry preserve, wet limestone and hints of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, clean and fresh with pure black and red fruit whose every atom appears infused with minerals. The mouth is tingling long after the wine has exited and your brain is thinking…when is the next sip coming? It is frankly heads and shoulders above almost every Saint Émilion this vintage, to reaffirm, a benchmark for this historic estate that will give pleasure to many over the coming years. Astonishing.”
James Suckling 100 points “Seductive. The nose draws you in deep: It’s like staring into a well of pristine dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries and mulberries. All the oak is perfectly subsumed. The palate’s flawless with immense depth and power and it’s so balanced as to appear to float. Immaculate fresh dark-berry and plum flavors. Silky and deep, ribbon-like finish. Perfect. Best from 2022.”

 
 
BORDEAUX  FEATURE WINES  VWS PRICE  AVAILABLE LINK
GRIMONT CADILLAC BORDEAUX 2020 $14.00 36+ Link
SISSAN CADILLAC BORDEAUX 2020 $14.00 10 Link
SAINT JACQUES DE SIRAN 2016 $16.60 10 Link
GOUBAU LA SOURCE 2015 $18.00 29 Link
GRANDCHAMP ST EMILION 2016 $21.90 13 Link
LE PUY DUC NAUVES BORDEAUX 2020 $28.00 17 Link
SOUBIAN PESSAC LEOGNAN 2019 $28.00 32 Link
CHATEAU CANON SAINT-MICHEL 2016 $33.00 31 Link
CHATEAU PUY BLANQUET 2018 $33.00 18 Link
CARMES C DES CARMES 2019 $39.00 10 Link
LABEGORCE MARGAUX 2019 $41.90 15 Link
LE CROCK ST ESTEPHE 2016 750ML $41.90 15 Link
RESERVE DE LEOVILLE BARTON 2019 $47.50 10 Link
GLORIA ST JULIEN 2019 $49.00 36+ Link
TOURELLES DE LONGUEVILLE 2018 $49.00 36+ Link
CHATEAU BOURGNEUF POMEROL 2016 $75.00 14 Link
CHATEAU LAFORGE ST EMILION 09 $75.00 23 Link
CLOS DE SARPE ST EMILION 2019 $79.00 11 Link
MALESCOT ST EXUPERY 2019 $79.00 11 Link
SAINT PIERRE ST JULIEN 2019 $79.00 24 Link
BRANAIRE DUCRU ST JULIEN 16 750 $89.00 11 Link
CHATEAU GISCOURS MARGAUX 16 750 $89.00 13 Link
CLOS DE SARPE ST EMILION 2016 $89.00 33 Link
GRAND PUY LACOSTE 2019 750ML $89.00 24 Link
MALESCOT ST EXUPERY 2018 $89.00 17 Link
GRAND PUY DUCASSE 2010 $99.00 11 Link
GRAND PUY LACOSTE 2018 750ML $99.00 16 Link
LA GAFFELIERE ST EMILION 2018 $99.00 19 Link
LEOVILLE POYFERRE ST JULIEN 2014 $99.00 36+ Link
PALMER ALTER EGO DE PALMER 2019 $99.00 13 Link
CLINET POMEROL 2017 750ML $119.00 16 Link
LEOVILLE BARTON ST JULIEN 2019 $119.00 12 Link
PAVIE MACQUIN ST EMILION 2016 $119.00 28 Link
CLINET POMEROL 2019 750ML $135.00 12 Link
LEOVILLE BARTON ST JULIEN 2018 $135.00 22 Link
CHATEAU BEYCHEVELLE ST JULIEN 15 $149.00 10 Link
RAUZAN SEGLA MARGAUX 2016 750ML $159.00 24 Link
CANON ST. EMILION 2010 $179.00 36+ Link
LYNCH BAGES PAULLIAC 2020 $179.00 12 Link
SMITH HAUT LAFITTE 2020 750ML $179.00 12 Link
CLINET POMEROL 10 750 $189.00 12 Link
LA MONDOTTE ST EMILION 2012 $189.00 10 Link
PICHON BARON PAUILLAC 2016 $199.00 12 Link
PICHON BARON PAUILLAC 2019 $199.00 14 Link
PICHON BARON PAUILLAC 2020 $199.00 24 Link
BELAIR MONANGE 2018 $249.00 10 Link
PICHON LALANDE PAUILLAC 2019 $249.00 16 Link
PICHON LALANDE PAUILLAC 2018 $279.00 13 Link
CANON ST. EMILION 2015 $349.00 34 Link
ANGELUS ST. EMILION 2016 MAG $899.00 19 Link