Bordeaux is one of the world’s most notable wine regions producing some of the world’s greatest wines. Wealthy oenophiles pay thousands of dollars for classic bottles at auction Bordeaux. Wine lovers by young bottles to age for that future special occasion that can only be celebrated with Bordeaux. Even neophytes who are only learning about wine know Bordeaux is a wine to be coveted. However, it is not uncommon for wine lovers of all degrees to misunderstand that all Bordeaux is expensive, only meant for special occasions and celebrations. In truth, Bordeaux can be an affordable wine that turns even a simple weeknight meal into luxury.
Are you familiar with Côtes de Bordeaux? For starters it is a Bordeaux lovers best friend because it is a region that produces lovely wines at value prices. It was created in 2007 by uniting the terroirs of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs, and Sainte-Foy under one umbrella, creating its own distinguishable brand. Côtes de Bordeaux is located on the right bank of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, accounting for up to 10% of all Bordeaux wine production. These are well made wines crafted from small family wineries with all the standards you expect from Bordeaux; however, they incorporate modernity and embrace the idea of opening and enjoying any time with food, friends, laughter, or sipping alone with a good book or movie, no need to cellar for years before they are ready to be enjoyed, but age worthy if one prefers.
Faced with increasing competition, the Côtes de Bordeaux express their strength and their difference around a clear and consistent message: Bordeaux, Heart & Soul. ~ Côtes de Bordeaux
Côtes de Bordeaux wines are high quality wines. The five clearly identified regions are located on hillsides allowing each region to benefit from strong sunshine, good rain run-off and soil drainage. With each region either located on the bank of the Garonne or Dordogne Rivers they all receive quality climate influence from the rivers. These small to medium size growers focus on organic, and even some on biodynamic, practices in the vineyards. Like all Bordeaux, these wineries produce blends from the five Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec), with a Merlot typically playing the dominate role. Côtes de Bordeaux also produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle. Their wines are crafted in the traditional Bordeaux methods by artisanal producers with a focus on preserving the environment while crafted the highest quality wines possible.
Not only are Côtes de Bordeaux wines delicious, approachable, and affordable, their modern styles allows them to pair well with a variety of cuisines, occasions, and seasons. In the fall and winter serve at a room temperature of 70 F, in spring and summer add a slight chill for additional refreshment. I have included some pairing suggestions. For more great pairing recipes visit the Côtes de Bordeaux web site.
Blaye: This region is known for its high humidity that re-enforces its maritime climate. A young and vibrant appellation, easily approachable wine makers crafting easily approachable wines; dynamic, modern, and outstanding.
2014 Château Haut La Valette Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux ($8): Deep ruby; medium+ aroma of lively red berries, dried roses, forest floor, baking spice, tobacco, black pepper; enters palate with juicy fruit that quickly transition to bitter herbs with a spicy finish, pronounced dusty tannins, high acidity, earthy, complex, long finish.
Pair with grilled mushrooms and Hoison sauce for a delicious vegetarian dinner.
Cadillac: Located on the banks of the Garrone, it lies in a thin strip 60 km long and 5 km wide north of Bordeaux to Langon. It is known for its carefully crafted wines, elegant and subtle, sophisticated, always bottled at the chateau.
2014 Château de Fontenille Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux ($17): 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; medium+ ruby, medium aromas of bright tart red fruit, violets, sweet tobacco leaves, baking spice, white mushrooms, warm vanilla; energetic on the palate, dark fruit and dusty earth, medium+ body, tannins, and acidity, long earthy black pepper finish.
Pair with flatiron steak and peppercorn sauce. Add roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, and cranberries for a fall/winter dinner.
Castillon: Located 45km east of Bordeaux and bordered on the west by St Emilion, it is unique in its array of soils and oceanic towards continental climate. It produces high class designer wines that are easily approachable, at affordable prices; intense and silky with style and flair; fun wines to drink and share.
2014 Château Cap de Faugères Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux ($17): deep ruby; medium+ aromas of sweet red fruit, violets, licorice, fresh tobacco leaves, warm vanilla, baking spice, forest floor, black pepper; crushed velvet mouth-feel; warm spice notes and burnt tobacco envelope red fruit; grippy pronounced tannins, medium+ acidity, long spicy finish.
Pair with a juicy burger with tomato relish to accompany the savory and sweet nature of the wine.
Francs: Located 50 km north-east of Bordeaux, and 10km east of St. Emilion, the regions hosts soils rich in limestone with a bounty of fossils covered in limestone molasse. It is known for well-tempered wines that are intense and expressive, crafted by bold winemakers; a perfect combination of personality and uniqueness that is one of a kind.
2014 Château Lauriol Francs Côtes de Bordeaux ($16): 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; medium+ bright ruby, medium+ aromas of bright red and black fruit, violets, red licorice, baking spice, warm vanilla, leather cedar-lined cigar box, forest floor; silky sultry mouth-feel, like flowing taffeta; juicy fruit on entry gives way to sweet earthy spices mid-palate, ending with rustic earth notes; grippy pronounced tannins, high acidity, full body, long finish. Give it some air for an hour or two and it will relax and deliver.
Pair with chicken and herb salsa verde or another favorite Mexican dish. It is great to have an approachable Bordeaux to pair with spicier cuisine.
Sainte-Foy: Located 65km east of Bordeaux on the banks of the Gironde, it benefits from temperate climate and high quality clay-limestone soils; allowing for wines elegant wines full of character, with red fruit and cherry aromas.
2014 Château Carbonneau Cuvee Classique Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux ($12): 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec; medium+ electric ruby, medium+ aromas of distinct acai berry, cranberry, blue berry, tart cherry, dried pomegranate tea, blackcurrant leaf, dried violets, lavender, fennel, sweet tobacco, warm vanilla, worn leather; juicy fruit and sweet baking spice wrap the palate in a lively and expressive full body wine; high acid and tannins, long spicy finish.
Pair with lamb sausage and tzatziki, Greek potatoes and green beans for an unforgettable dinner.
*These wines were received as media samples. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Côtes de Bordeaux wines are widely distributed. Visit your favorite local wine retailer or online site to explore these wines any day of the week.
My Song Selection: This song knocks my socks off. It is a smooth as a Bordeaux and just like Côtes de Bordeaux perfect for any day of the week.
Get your own Côtes de Bordeaux wines and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!
14 responses to “The Perfect Weeknight Bordeaux to Enjoy Now”
There is nothing quite like a good Bordeaux. When I think of this wine I immediately associate it with a very high price but the wines you have chosen not just sound delicious but they are affordable enough to drink every day. Wonderful selection.
I agree and affordable options make Bordeaux more approachable. Thanks Suzanne. Happy Friday
Excellent Michelle. I recently went to a tasting of Légende Bordeaux wines from the Domaine Lafite-Rothschild estates. Bordeaux Blanc, Rouge, Saint. Emilion, Medoc and Pauillac. Quite nice. Very affordable. I also found that Specs sells them under their private label – Reserve Especial. The private label aspect is very new to me. I will have to research that a bit more! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
How fun. Private label wines are big business. A fascinating aspect of marketing and money making in the wine industry.
I think that Pink Cadillac by Aretha might fit the post? Although these lesser known appellations provide value and a good experience, there’s nothing quite like a solid Pauillac or St.-Julien (my fave). I don’t know much about wine but I know what I like.
Great suggestions. Of course, it is French so not pronounced the same.
Embrrassed seeing as how I’m from a bilingual country. Should have pronounced the word as it’s supposed as I was taught. Pardon, mon erreur. Don’t tell my grade five French teacher.
Oh please! I have had a French person tell me my “French” made their ears hurt. Your secret is safe with me.
Perfect song for these wines. Listening to Coltrane to me is like meditating.
Thanks. I love him too. Music for the soul!
Great piece Michelle once again!! Interesting as I always find young Bordeaux tannin unfriendly. I will now seek out these on your recommendation
Thank you Peter.
Thank you for expanding on each of the areas. The Cadillac I tasted was much brighter than what you describe, and I wondered if it was the nature of the area or of the winemaker. I swooned at your description of the Francs “silky sultry mouth-feel, like flowing taffeta; ” and then continued to swoon with your music pairing, genius!