When one thinks of French wines, Bordeaux comes to mind. A strip of land extending down from the city of Bordeaux, it is an extensive area nestled along the banks of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. Bordeaux produces some of the world's finest wines. The ruling red grapes here are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux is the largest fine wine district on earth. Nowhere else in the wine world is the link between geography and finance so evident, with some bottles of St. Julien or St. Estephe selling for over $1,000 a bottle. Palate pleases its customers with some fine Bordeauxs but within a price range that can be enjoyed by imbibers other than hedge fund manipulators.
We would like to introduce you to two very fine Bordeauxs that will make you think you are right there at the chateau. Our Chateau de Brague 2012 ($16) is a fantastic value. This wine is 80 percent Merlot, with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon making up the difference. The vineyards are located on the right bank of the Dordogne in the vicinity of Fronsec, which produces some of Bordeaux's best value wines. As you sip Chateau de Brague you will pick up red ripe fruit on the nose with a beautiful minerality; dense on the palate with round tannins that make for a fresh fruity finish. Pair it with braised lamb, beef stew or duck.
Our second featured Bordeaux is in a category of its own. Chateau Mangot Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2010 ( $32) is a superb wine consisting of 85 percent Merlot, 9 percent Cabernet Franc, 6 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateaut Mangot's grand cru hillside vines are grown in a clay and limestone soil with the grapes matured for 14 months in oak barrels. With notes of warm plums, stewed fruits, spices, this superb wine is fresh on the palate with fine tannins. A quality wine that ages well, for this price it is wise to buy a case. It would pair well with veal, a beef roast or pork loin.
We look forward to seeing you and giving you a tour of Bordeaux's wealth of wine regions as you leave Palate with one (or perhaps more) of these two fantastic wines that will ease your entry into winter.