I attended a most enlightening Bordeaux tasting a couple weeks back, courtesy of JJ Buckley Fine Wines, an outstanding online purveyor of wine based out of the SF Bay Area. The event was held at the well known French restaurant La Folie, which also provided the nibbles that were served alongside the wines that night. Tuesday Night Bordeaux aimed to prove to its lucky attendees that good to outstanding quality wine can be had in Bordeaux at affordable prices. All of the wines were $35 and under, with most falling into the $25 and under range.
This event aligned perfectly with my work as Le Wine Buff for EnjoyBordeaux.com, as such we helped promote the event and I arrived under the auspices of that project. I also was able to be a part of the event thanks to Paige Granback (Twitter) of JJ Buckley. I was immediately enveloped in a warm hug after arriving by Paige and my usual vinopanion in crime, Thea (Twitter, Twitter2, Twittter3) of Luscious Lushes. They quickly got me up to speed on the proceedings and I dived into the wines.
Skipping the whites since I was late (later to be regretted), I started off with the 08 Château Le Gay Bordeaux Festival Rosé, which was a wonderfully crisp, light red fruited quaffer and extremely affordable at under $10. JJ Buckley had a really neat pouring station setup that night, separated by the traditional split of Bordeaux wines. Station I featured Left Bank wines, historically are Cabernet Sauvignon based blends that also feature the other four (rarely five, with Carménère) Bordeaux varietals of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Stations II & III had Right Bank wines, blends that usually feature Merlot or Cabernet Franc as the dominant varietal. Station IV had a couple tasty sweet wines, typically served with or as desserts.
A few highlight wines for me were the Château des Fougères La Folie de Montesquieu Graves 2006, Château Roque le Mayne Côtes-de-Castillon 2005, and the Château La Tentation de Richelieu Fronsac 2005. All featured what I’ve come to expect from French Bordeaux at virtually every price point; namely great balance between the fruit, tannin and acidity of the wine, complemented by savory and earthy notes, finishing long with wonderfully smooth mouthfeel. These four showed all of these characteristics, and then some! Additionally, finishing with the C2006 Château La Fleur Des Pins Bodeaux Blanc, poured by JJB Private Client wine buyer Alex Shaw (WL), was a very fine choice. Pineapple, dried citrus blossom and diesel notes in the nose combined with the citrus, sweetness and crisp acidity in the mouth to make for a very tasty nightcap.
I also chose many of these wines as some of my affordable holiday wines picks for this season, which I gave for this article on Yahoo! Shine. While I was not credited in the article, all of the holiday wine choices, links and subsequent tasting notes are mine. A very big thank you to Paige and everyone else at JJ Buckley as well as all of the staff at La Folie for a very enjoyable wine tasting and food pairing session!
Please feel free to unearth the full reviews of all of the high quality, yet affordable Bordeaux wines that I tried (which were only SOME of the wines being poured) that school night, from JJ Buckley’s (WL) fine wine buyers. If you would like to list them in your own WineLog, they are all tagged with “JJBuckley2009TuesBDX“. If you were there as well, tell me your favorites in the Comments below. Enjoy!
Station I- Left Bank:
Station II – Right Bank:
Station III – Right Bank Part Deux:
Station IV – Sweet Wines: