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Planet Bordeaux II: More French wine you can afford

BordeaixAnyone who says the French don’t understand social media or the importance of cheap wine need to note the Planet Bordeaux promotion that has been going on for the past couple of years. Almost all of the wines I’ve tasted as part of the campaign have been well made – several even better than that – and have cost around $10. Plus, we got to tweet about them.

Friday night’s Twitter tasting featured six whites and two roses. The Twitter conversation was quite lively, as these things usually are, I wasn’t able to add my curmudgeonly wisdom after the first couple; my Internet connection has been spotty for the past month or so, and it was up and down on Friday. Still, the wines were impressive – more, after the jump:

Planet Bordeaux features wines from the lesser known parts of Bordeaux that don’t get much attention from the Winestream Media. The whites were mostly from Entres deux Mers in southwestern Bordeaux, which produces tanker load after tanker load after tanker load of white wine made from a combination of savuignon blanc and semillon (and sometimes muscadelle).

As such, it doesn’t have the best reputation; call it the Lodi of Bordeaux. But, like Lodi, it also doesn’t necessarily deserve the reputation it has. Many of these wines showed why:

Chateau Ballan Larquette 2011 ($9, sample): Easily the most impressive wine of the evening, and headed for the 2013 $10 Hall of Fame. Pear and green apple fruit, some spice, and a long finish make an Impeccable cheap wine. The catch? Distribution may be limited to the western part of the U.S.

Château Lamothe de Haux 2011 ($9, sample): Nothing really wrong with this simple but tasty wine that had hints of white grapefruit, but since we tasted it after the Larquette it seemed lacking.

Château La Verrière 2011 ($10, sample): Made in the modern style, so it resembled New Zealand sauvignon blanc more than traditional white Bordeaux. Again, nothing wrong with it, but I prefer the French style for French wine.

Château Thieuley 2011 ($10, sample): A juicy dollop of berry fruit in the middle of the wine, which probably came from the sauvignon gris used in the blend. Different, and not necessarily for everyone, but interesting.

Cheval Quancard Réserve 2011 ($10, sample): White Bordeaux aspiring to white Burgundy, thanks to six months of oak aging. The most unique wine we tasted, which I probably liked better than most of the others.

Michel Lynch 2011 ($11, sample): The most disappointing wine of the evening – thin and uninteresting.

Dourthe La Grande Cuvée Rose 2011 ($9, sample): Dourthe’s wines are always dollar correct, and this was no exception. Pleasant, dry rose in the French style, and you can do a whole lot worse.

Le Rose de Mouton Cadet 2011 ($10, sample): All the Mouton Cadet wines have a certain tart character, and this was no exception – almost unripe cranberry.

One Response to Planet Bordeaux II: More French wine you can afford

  1. Hi Jeff,
    happy to know you enjoy #planetbordeaux wines, and specially our Ch Ballan-Larquette.
    We currently work on a wider distribution, and we are looking for outlets in “on-trade” business in all states but CA, AZ, WA.
    Importers welcome ;-)
    Sorry not to be online last Friday, but was to catch a plane early on Saturday morning to go to the #vinocamp #Savoie (vinocamp.fr)
    Thanks for your very precise comments !

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