“Some of Bordeaux's best wine value is to be found at the most conscientious petits châteaux.”
Four wines from three different vintages, from four producers on the left bank illustrate of the value for money and quality of wine made by conscientious petit châteaux.
DiscoverVin are very pleased to be bringing these high quality boutique wines to Australia at an affordable price: wines from high pedigree sites, owners and makers, sitting just outside the highest vineyards under the 1855 classification but representing great value for money.
1. Château Senilhac Le Prade, 2009
Website Price $25.00
Chateau Senilhac la Prade is a small producer on 4 hectares east of Saint Seurin de Cadourne in the Haut-Médoc.
Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%), Cabernet Franc (10%)
Grapes are machine harvested and made using traditional Medoc winemaking methods in a modern winery. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 12 months.
Well balanced with layers of fruits and tannins so will develop over many years.
Our Tasting notes
Dark colour, a bouquet full of freshly picked berries from the forest, tobacco notes, mid dense structure and a long finish. The layers of tannins give the wine good ageing potential.
So many good Médocs to choose from the 2009 vintage but this was a standout value-for-money wine, in a large line-up.
2. Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie, 2006
Website Price $39.99
Benedicte and Gregoire Hubau made their first vintage in the Bordeaux commune of Fronsac at Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie in 1988. They have worked with influential Bordeaux based oenologist Michel Rolland to make wines with finesse, elegance and balance. Their philosophy is
“To make a fine wine one needs beautiful grapes, clean and ripe, grown in a vineyard in touch with its "terroir".
Possessing similar soil and climate to Saint Émilion and Pomerol a few kilometers across the Dordogne River to the east, Canon-Fronsac has a picturesque landscape made up of woodland and hills. It also has a rich history reaching back hundreds of years, when the area was much favored by French nobility. Canon-Fronsac is encompassed by the wider Fronsac appellation.
70% Merlot (70%) Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) Cabernet Franc (10%)
France’s prestigious Guide Gault-Milau gave the 2006 vintage 15/20 and a “good value for money” rating.
Drinking well but will keep for several years (2012-2020)
Our Tasting Notes
Lovely purple colour. Red fruit and plums on the nose. Palate is soft, round in the mouth with minerals and fine chalky tannins. Great balance and length. Delicious, classy Merlot!
When we were in Bordeaux for Vinexpo 2011, this wine was being served at Bar à Vin run by the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux) or local Vignerons association. From the many hundreds of wines available this wine was being served on their short wine list, which is updated on a regular basis.
Website Price $38.00
Situated in the commune of Martillac, this 20-hectare property once belonged to Baron de Montesquieu. Today, Mr. Eric Perrin owns the estate
and has set up a vast land clearing and plantation programme in the 1980s, rejuvenating the vineyard from the ground up.
The appellation of Pessac-Leognan was created in 1987 from the section of the Graves district south of Bordeaux city. Some of the vineyards are surrounded by the development of the Bordeaux suburbs. Pessac and Leognan, the key towns in the appellation form part of the suburban sprawl, with vineyards next to houses and industrial estates.
Graves means gravel and Bordeaux’s reputation as a great wine region has been built on the gravel.
The red wines of Pessac-Leognan have a rich and flamboyant style, developing deep and spicy flavours with age.
Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (30%)
Can be enjoyed now but will keep for many years (2012-2025)
Our Tasting notes
A wine with very pleasing aromas of black fruits (blackberries, black currant), red fruits (raspberries) and with subtle roasted notes (grilled and smoky). Good fruit weight and fine gravel tannins giving it a lovely mouth feel. Hints of minerals and chocolate.
Typifies the silky tannins, minerals and structure of the wines of Pessac-Leognan.
Website Price $110.00
Clos des Quatre Vents is a tiny 1.2 hectare plot planted with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The proprietor is Luc Thienpont, former owner of Château Labégorce-Zédé. The estate produces 6000 bottles/500 cases from a vineyard planted with very old vines with an average age of 80 years old.
Quatre vents means ”four winds”. The passage of the four winds across this elevated vineyard throughout the year ensures a fresh and healthy crop each vintage, and this purity is translated through careful harvesting and vinification into a wine of real elegance backed by restrained power.
The vineyard is situated on a plateau at the entrance to the town of Margaux, surrounded by Cru Classé vineyards.
Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (40%),Petit Verdot (5%)
This wine was made by Jacques Boissenot, wine consultant to four of the five First Growths of the Médoc, and named Winemaker of the Decade in 2010 by the Chinese Bordeaux Guide to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication.
Grapes were picked by hand, fermented in cement tanks with malolactic fermentation in new oak, followed by ageing in new French oak for 18-20 months.
A wine that will achieve full maturity a decade from the vintage, but which enjoys such balance that it can be enjoyed in its youth.
Our Tasting notes
Brilliant dark garnet/purple colour. A very savoury nose with red fruits and some meaty tones. The palate is soft and rounded with complex layers of red fruits (raspberry, strawberry etc.), fine tannins, very long and well balanced. We wrote down sexy when we first tried it! Very approachable - an amazing wine.