FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Affordable Bordeaux

by Eunice Fried

Sep 1, 2017
September 2017

IN A WINE REGION FAMOUS FOR its expensive red wines and large enough to warrant 60 area appellations, the challenge of finding good wines at reasonable prices may loom as overwhelming. But Bordeaux, one of the world’s most highly regarded wine regions — whose top-rated wines often sell for hundreds and, when they are also well-aged and from a highly rated vintage, may cost thousands — also produces a remarkable number of great and affordable finds.

Among those I’ve recently tasted and highly recommend is Les Hauts de la Gaffelière 2014 ($22), a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux’s St.-Émilion appellation. A flavorful, lively, full-bodied wine with a burst of red fruit flavors, it can easily pass for a wine two or three times its price.

Château Saint André Corbin hails from St. Georges-St.-Émilion. Its 2014 ($21) combines 75 percent Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon to produce a medium-bodied, savory, firm wine with silky tannins. And its long, tasty finish can best be described as absolutely delicious.

You’ll find Château Cambon la Pelouse 2012 ($23) savory and spicy with intense color and a nose reminiscent of ripe red fruits with a pleasant whiff of vanilla.

La Caravelle Listrac 2012 ($24) blends 60 percent Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Petit Verdot. It is vibrant on the palate, robust and toasty with a faint aura of violets in the background.

For a special dinner when you may want to spend more but still not a fortune on the wine you serve, consider Château Olivier 2012 ($40), a blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot from the Pessac-Léognan appellation. A bright and aromatic wine, medium-bodied, round and well-balanced, it presents a silky texture and a bouquet of ripe red fruits.

The 5-year-old Château Phélan Ségur 2012 ($45) from the St.-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux still has a teasing touch of youth about it. Both fullbodied and full-flavored, it is well-balanced with a hint of figs and currants in its aroma.

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