What’s Wrong With Bordeaux? part 39

We all know Bordeaux has a lot of stupid problems, thanks to the English it is France’s largest and most fruitful wine region cranking out  70 million cases a year.  Catering mostly to douchebags in silk suits and small cocks, Bordeaux tries to outdo itself every decade by declaring about every other vintage “the vintage of the century!” It happened in 2000, it REALLY happened in 2005, 2009 and now REALLY, REALLY 2010!   Every new batch of juice invites critics to come and taste en primeur (tasting out of the barrel) before anything has been blended and put into bottle.  Then after a bunch of back scratching and masturbation all the First Growths (and Second Growths) get to declare how great their wine is and then proceed to ask ridiculous prices for their bottles (at least you get a cool wood case with the purchase of 12!).  Does this practice really indicate what the finished wine will represent?  Can these critics really get a sense of how the wine will age?

Eric Asimov of the New York Times just featured a tale of two exhatled critics disagreeing on the 2010 en primeur tasting of the famous Château Pavie of St.-Émilion.  Basically Robert Parker blew his wad on it and said something like “It is hedonistic and monumental! Two Gazillion points!”  John Gilman said something akin to “It sucks and I would not rinse shit out of my mouth with it!”.  Which critic is right?  Whose taste palette do you trust most?  How will you know if you should spend $200 bucks on a bottle of Château Pavie?  I think all of this arm chair wine rallying can be nonsense.  Don’t let these crusty old historic estates ruin your perception of France’s most famous wine region.  There are better ways to spend your hard earned inheritance.  Bordeaux has plenty of little guys making honest and true wine that won’t rape your bank account.

Here we have a classic right bank Bordeaux with rich, dark fruit and fat, structured round tannin.  The 2005 Château Villars of Fronsac.  The town of Fronsac is made up of mostly hillside vineyards on top of well draining soil with large amounts of clay-limestone on top of large amounts of chalk.  The Merlot grape is rightfully at home here producing tough guy and full bodied wines.  Château Villars is a 7th generation family estate growing pristine fruit and vinifying clean, delicious Bordeaux.  I had it with some Camembert and Gruyère cheeses on a Flour Garden baguette purchased from Belmont Butchery … and some roasted turnips tossed in brown butter, garlic, sage and thyme.  Perfect for a Wednesday evening.  There are many other great examples of thoughtful, hand made, traditional Bordeaux available to you right here in Richmond.  Leave the Latours and the Lafite-Rothschilds to the trophy hunters.

2005 Château Villars-Fronsac.

Imported by Wine Traditions

$24 at J.Emerson Fine Wine

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2 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Bordeaux? part 39”

  1. John Witherspoon Says:

    i’ll give you the fact that Bordeaux…for the most part is overpriced. It has been for years, this isn’t anything new. And unfortunately for consumers, the ability for them to taste the simply fantastic 1st growths gets farther and farther from reach every year.

    As far as the X vintage being the best…that is up for debate. Have you ever been to a restaurant and said, holy shit, this is the best “whatever” I have ever had….and then 2 months later gone to another restaurant and had the same dish and said holy shit, I can’t believe this is better than the other places “whatever” dish?? I know I have! There is a lot of hype both in Bordeaux and Burgundy, I completely agree with that, but don’t discount the critics that taste this juice out of the barrel of year. Unfortunately their opinion drives the prices further into the stratosphere but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are talking about. Secondly, everyone has their own opinion – i don’t know how many times I have seen a wine rated in Speculator at 90+ points only to see it in Enthusiast at 76pts or vice versa.

    Unfortunately trophy hunters are the only ones that can afford the lafites! That doesn’t mean if you have the means, you shouldn’t get one, they are great…also, their is some fantastic $30 Bordeaux out there, as you pointed out.

  2. richmondwineculture Says:

    Thanks for the comment Mr. Witherspoon, I miss reading your blog Anythingwine.wordpress.com. Many, many examples of good, affordable Bordeaux. Check out Château le Puy, 06 Côtes de Francs for an old school version of fine, delicate, aristocratic wine. It is around $35. It is making the rounds in Richmond at J. Emerson, River City Cellars and Secco Wine Bar.

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