In April of this year I had the great pleasure of spending a week in Bordeaux. As a guest of Millesima our week was hosted by Bernard Magrez. Over the course of the week we were wined and dined like royalty. We attended many En Premiur tasting events and dinner. We toured Bordeaux City, ate at Grand Maison de Bernard Magrez Joël Robuchon 2 Michelin stars Restaurant, and cruised the Garonne River. It was magical. It also taught me a better understanding of the regions of Bordeau and the wonderful wines produced there. So I am super excited our Winophiles group is moving from the Loire Valley (which I loved) to Bordeaux!
The Gironde Estuary flows from the Atlantic Ocean. As you travel by boat down the Gironde you will come to a split, the split forms two rivers: Garonne and Dordogne. Traveling down the Garonne River the Médoc region is the first region; in reality it is a peninsula. Médoc is home to some of the most famous wine villages in the world: Pauillac, Margaux, Saint-Estephe, and Saint-Julien; with some of the world most famous chateaux, such as Lafite, Latour, Mouton, and Margaux.
The peninsula has been formed by the two rivers carrying mineral rich silt and gravel over a millennium to the Gironde and Atlantic Ocean. The sandy, gravel terrain are beautifully suited for growing slow ripening red wine grapes. Of the three districts of Médoc, Haut – Médoc is by far the most famous. It has arguably been the most prestigious wine district in all of France since the 18th century. Haut- Médoc accounts for two-thirds of the Médoc peninsula and produces more fine wine per acre than almost anywhere else in the world.
Médoc is strictly a red grape growing region. Because it is located on the left bank of the Garonne River the dominate grape grown in Médoc is Cabernet Sauvignon; other grapes include Merlot, Cab Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec, and Carménère. Médoc produces 5 1ers crus, all of which are located in Haut-Médoc .
Sadly my wallet would not allow for me to share with you a Chateaux Lafite or Mouton-Rothschild, and believe me after a week at En Primeurs 2015 I am used to Grand Cru Bordeaus. However, I did find a couple of lovely Bordeaux’s for this article.
Chateau Le Bourdieu 2010 Médoc AC: This Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend poured a striking garnet in the glass; aromas of red fruit including cherries, raspberries, plums, and currants are met with dried herbal notes, red licorice, baking spices and tobacco with a touch of vanilla on the nose and mid-palate; really nice texture, elegant yet firm; well-structured, round acidity and dusty tannins, with a long, spicy finish; really delicious representation of an inexpensive Médoc; recommend this one for sure.
Le Haut-Médoc de Giscours 2012: This wine was crafted of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot from 18 – 25 year old vineyards adjacent to Margaux; dark garnet in the glass; aromas of black fruit including cherries, berries and plums were met with notes of baking spice, dark chocolate, balsamic vinegar glaze, and dried rose petals; well-balanced with nice structure but not textured or layered; medium body, round acidity, dusty tannins, medium finish; a nice Bordeaux, easy to drink but in no way representative of some of the stunners from Haut-Médoc but a lot less expensive; fermented in stainless steel, aged in 100% French oak barrels – 20% new, 80% 1st & 2nd use for 12 months; 13% ABV.
Though my recent week in Spain did not allow me to prepare a meal to serve with these two wines I do have a few delicious recommendations:
Is it obvious I like Medoc with steak?!
Let’s see what the rest of the French Winophiles found in Médoc:
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla brings us To the Médoc with Herbed Lamb Chops
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm presents The Ozarks meet Haut Medoc??
Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva goes for Banking on Bordeaux
Jeff from Food Wine Click offers us Left Bank and Lentils
Jill and John from L’occasion will share Why We are Drinking Now: A Médoc Beauty
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the terror in Nice on Thursday night.
My Song Selection: I could listen to this song while sipping these wines all night.
Get your own bottle of wine from the Médoc and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!