Bordeaux: Location, Location, Location

What is the first rule of real estate? Location, location, location. The idea as it relates to establishing a business is that it does not matter how great the business may be, if it is not in a high traffic location no one will ever know about it. The catch is the rent will cost more than in an area with less traffic. The same holds true in the housing market to a degree. The areas with the best schools tend to be the most populated so the housing prices are higher than in areas with poor schools. Having the “right” location can make or break a business whether it is in retail, restaurants or vineyards. What? Vineyards? Yes grapes are planted all over the world and yes there are thousands of varieties and they all grow in a variety of conditions. But when you have the perfect location with the perfect varietals what do you have?

Texsom Bordeaux tasting

BORDEAUX! That’s right, not only is Bordeaux crafted from two of the most esteemed grape varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (okay Merlot took a hit but it’s on its way back), Bordeaux also has an ideal climate, ideal soil and an ideal location as a port city on France’s western coast, thus making it historically perfect for wealthy foreign merchants who were looking to export the wine. Understanding the region of Bordeaux is simple, understanding the rules of Bordeaux is more complicated. However, the focus of this article is another outstanding wine tasting at Texsom featuring 8 high quality Bordeauxs. To learn more about the region please read my article, “The Beauty of Bordeaux.” To learn more about the rules of Bordeaux, well that is another article for another day.

Texsom

The Texas Sommelier Conference (TexSom) was held once again this past August at the Four Season Resort and Spa in Las Colinas, Texas. This was my second year attending TexSom and, like the first year, it was phenomenal. TexSom classes are highly educational, led by the top Master Sommeliers in the world, and the wines poured to accompany the educational sessions are always of the highest quality. TexSom is open to any oenophile from novice to Master Sommelier and anyone in between. I highly encourage you to attend the best wine conference in the world! The Regional Focus: Bordeaux class was led by Master Sommelier Larry Stone, and 2010 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Wine Service recipient, as well as Brand Director of the French Portfolio at Kobrand Corporation, Bernard Sun. Several of the top Bordeaux poured were from the Private GuildSomm Cellar.

Texsom Bordeaux wines (2)

2011 Chateau Kirwan 3rd growth Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot – Cabernet Franc – Petit Verdot Margaux AOP: deep garnet, dark red and blue fruit, spice, organic earth, hazelnut, touch of graphite, acidic, tannins on side of palate, no new oak, crafted in a newer world style, elegant wine. $35

2012 Chateau Gruaud Larose 2nd growth Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot – Cabernet Franc – Petit Verdot Saint-Julien AOP: deep garnet, bright red fruit, cherries, plums raspberries, juicy, violets, pepper, baking spice, dusty earth, mid-palate softness, round acidity, big tannins, lingering dry finish. $94.

2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion Merlot- Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Franc 2nd label Chateau Haut Brion Pessac-Leognan, Graves: scarlet, cherries, plums, cranberries, spice, dry dirt, mushrooms, touch of tobacco, deep acidity, full mouth feel, tannic, long finish. $80.

2010 Chateau Duhart-Milon 4th growth Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot Pauillac AOP: deep garnet, juicy red and blue fruit, warm baking spice, chocolate, espresso, violets, made by La Feit, more modern style Bordeaux, great structure, round acidity, well integrated tannins, $100-150.

2011 Chateau Lynch-Bages 5th growth Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot – Cabernet Franc Pauillac AOP: violet with purple highlights, cherries, blueberries, black raspberries, plums, currants, floral notes, dried tobacco, toasted hazelnuts, round acidity, pronounced tannins, lingering finish.

2012 Chateau le Fleur-Petrus Merlot – Cabernet Sauvignon Pomerol AOP: ruby, ripe red and blue fruit, violets, soft cinnamon and cloves, red licorice, well integrated flavors, round acidity, soft tannins, young and powerful, 10 years from bottling it will be perfect. $200.

2008 Chateau Pavie Merlot – Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon ‘A List’ Saint-Emilion 1er Grand Cru Class AOP: scarlet, red and black fruit, licorice, cloves, leather, very dense in texture and mouthfeel, high acidity, pronounced tannins, persistent dry finish. $250.

2007 Chateau Rieussec Semillon –Sauvignon Muscadelle Sauternes AOP – Fargues, Graves: dried apricots, coconut, banana, honey, very sweet, perfect palate cleanser after big Bordeauxs, perfect with stinky cheese

Texsom Bordeaux wines

As you can see these Bordeauxs were all outstanding and will only get better with age and proper cellaring. Although Bordeaux is a complicated wine region it is well worth the investment in time to learn about the intricacies and nuances are only in Bordeaux. An investment in learning about the wines of Bordeaux will pay off in two ways: first, your knowledge will allow you to make quality purchases when shopping for lower priced value Bordeauxs; second, when you invest in high quality high dollar Bordeauxs you know you will be getting an extraordinary bottle of wine. So take the time to learn one of the great wine regions in the world: Bordeaux! It will be delicious education.

My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with these gorgeous Bordeauxs is not only an all-time classic but it describes my feelings for Bordeaux so grab a glass of your favorite Bordeaux and turn it up!

Get your own bottle of Bordeaux and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!

 

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