Is cheap Bordeaux worth it ?


At least that’s my conclusion after trying some supermarket wines (cheap even very cheap, but no bargains), and a clutch of Bordeaux Superior from a thoughtful retailer in the heart of Bordeaux. The wines chosen by the good retailer were around ¢10, mostly Bordeaux Superior and were better than the supermarket wines but they not great bargains. Many featured modern recipes and not all went right, too much extraction, bitter green tannins and too much alcohol, and disjointed oak sometimes sweet.

These wines around 10 euro will sell for around £12 in the UK and almost $20 in the US. They will be uncompetitive. And there in lies Bordeaux’s problem, they still do produce a lot of wine that isn’t competitive. It’s much better than it was, and better still in great vintages like 2005, but the rest of the world has got better too.

That’s why we read stories of the struggles to sell Bordeaux wine, while classed growth prices continue to climb.

Just a few more euros and there are some great bargains. Some are cru Bourgeois. Lanessan, Tour Haut-Caussan, Reynon, Vieux St.Andre are some that have been reviewed here. These sell in shops in Bordeaux for 11-14 euro, and this seems to be what they share in common, i.e. a big jump in quality can occur over 10 euro. These are the bargains of Bordeaux, wines not often seen in international markets.


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