Bordeaux For Your Easter Lamb!

FILED UNDER: Food and Wine Recipes, Holidays, Know Your Bordeaux
Image via Simply Chic Events

Image via Simply Chic Events

Come April, wine sales in the US see a spike thanks to the one/two punch of Passover and Easter. Why? Both religious holidays are an occasion to celebrate food amongst friends and family. 

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

Whether you’re hosting or dining, here’s a pro wine tip: there’s no better wine pairing for your Easter entree than a Bordeaux red blend. Depending on your palette, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends make the perfect compliment to a roasted lamb or brisket. See our recommendations at every price point below and if you can’t find the following wines at your local shop, simply ask your wine clerk for a Bordeaux blend fit for your wallet!

A Price We Can Get Behind!

$10 – $19

Château Le Bernet 2009 / Graves / 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec

A simple, sweet wine with soft tannins, dusty minerals and a nice, light profile containing notes of raspberry, vanilla, oak and herbs.

Pair with: Hangar Steak; Mashed Potatoes; Pasta with Tomato-Based/Meat Sauces; Roast Lamb with Spring Vegetables

For the love of Cabernet! 

$20-30

Château de Rochemorin 2010 / Pessac-Leognan / 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot

A smooth, oaky wine with notes of mint, cherries and licorice with a delicate nose.

Pair with: Blackened Chicken; Carbonara; Filet; Lamb; Pork Chops with Red Pepper; Smoked Meats

High End Without Breaking The Bank? Try A Saint Emilion Grand Cru

$40 – $55

Château Abelyce 2006 / Saint Emilion Grand Cru / 100% Merlot 

A mature and developed wine with a floral character, containing notes of oak, spice, plum cassis, fig, cedar and bay leaf. 

Pair with: Braised Beef; Cheeses; Dry-Aged Beef; Filet Mignon; Flank Steak; Lasagne; Ribeye Steak; Roast Lamb

 

 

Wine Riot Kicks Off in NYC! [EVENTS]

FILED UNDER: Bordeaux events, Know Your Bordeaux

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We’re thrilled to be participating in the most badass wine party in the world, Wine Riot!

Wine Riot 2014 nationwide tour kicked off for us last weekend in New York City at Center 548 in the heart of Manhattan’s Art Gallery District. Over three thousand wine revelers had the chance to taste their way through 200 wines from across the globe. To celebrate our third year anniversary at Wine Riot, we printed a limited edition series of Yoleaux tshirts that were a huge hit with festival goers! Attendees had an opportunity to win shirts by simply posting their tweets and photos, capturing the spirit of #BordeauxLife.

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We had Le Wine Buff, April Bloom along with Laura Burgess of laurauncorked.com and Adam Teeter of vinepair.com, on hand to pour and educate wine tasters on the gospel of Bordeaux. On top for the reds was Chateau Bernadotte 2006, a Haut-Médoc red featured in Eric Asimov’s inaugural Wine School series, while an Entre-deux-Mers from Chateau Martinon 2010 reigned supreme for the whites. But, as the saying goes, there’s a wine for everyone, and all our Bordeaux found at least a handful of palettes to please; just ask Howard from Eat To Blog or Being Baxter

Check out the full list of wines poured at Wine Riot NYC below and flick through some pictures from the event on Flickr. Next stop: Chicago. See you soon, Windy City!

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Carmes de Rieussec 2010, Sauternes, $17 / Semillon (92%), Sauvignon Blanc (5%), Muscadelle (3%)

A ripe, flashy style, with a big core of pineapple chiffon, creamed peach, apricot and tangerine notes matched to a creamy mouthfeel. Goes great with blue cheese or spicy food.

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Chateau Bernadotte, 2006, Haut Medoc, $23 / Merlot (51%), Cabernet Sauvignon (46%), Petit Verdot (3%)

A classic style with notes of licorice, roasted herbs, cedar, and black currants. Medium-bodied with fine ripeness as well as moderate tannin. Enjoy it with a stew or a grilled red meat.

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Chateau Robin 2010, Castillon-Cotes de Bordeaux, $21.95 / Merlot (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%)

A toasted, polished style, with friendly mocha and roasted vanilla notes allied seamlessly to creamy cassis, plum and blackberry fruit flavors.

 

 

 

 

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Chateau Lauduc Classic, 2012, Bordeaux, $13 / Cabernet Franc (75%), Merlot (25%)

Juicy nose of ripe berries with red currant, and crisp clean palate with vibrant acidity. Pair it with seafood, cold soups, or fresh salads.

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Chateau d’Archambeau 2011, Graves, $14.95 / Sauvignon Blanc (70%), Sémillon (30%)

Beautiful bright yellow color with golden green shine. Complex nose with citrus fruits, white flowers, and hazelnut, seasoned with a fine and discreet woody aroma. Delicious with grilled fish or white meat.

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Chateau Martinon 2010, Entre-deux-Mers, $11.95 / Semillon (60%), Sauvignon Blanc (30%), Muscadelle (10%)

Beautiful golden dress, intense nose of white fruit, apricot, citrus and exotic fruits. A very aromatic mouth, fleshy, excellent length, good balance. Delicious with grilled fish and smoked herring.

Brisket Meets Bordeaux

FILED UNDER: Buying & Choosing Wine, Food and Wine Recipes, Holidays, Know Your Bordeaux
Image via Epicurious

Image via Epicurious

Whether you’re celebrating the Jewish high holiday of Passover, or simply a red meat lover who likes to get in the spirit, we’ve got the perfect pairing for your Passover. 

Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays with a festive focus on food. While certain foods such as leavened bread are forbidden, other traditional dishes include matzo ball soup, haroset and the all important centerpiece: Beef Brisket. 

When it comes to wine pairings, Bordeaux blends were made for briskets. Depending on your taste, find a Cabernet or Merlot predominant blend that works for you. Those who prefer a fuller bodied, tannic wine might prefer a Cab, while those with a slightly sweeter palate might reach for Merlot. Try to find one of the selections tailor blended for Brisket, below, or simply ask your wine store clerk for a Bordeaux blend! Happy hunting, Happy Passover! 

Château Rauze Lafargue 2010 / Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux / 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc / $10 – $19

A tart wine with supple tannins and notes of herbs, cherry, cedar, cigars and plum with a charred character, a sweet mid-palate and a short finish.

Vieux Château Gaubert 2009 / Graves / 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon / $30 – $39

An earthy, full wine with a silky texture. Its herbal, and plum notes comprise this well-balanced, structured wine and its mature savory quality. 

8 Things to Know About AOC Bordeaux & Bordeaux Superieur

FILED UNDER: Appellations, Know Your Bordeaux, Wine 101

14.4.11 Bordeaux

It’s no surprise that the namesake AOC of the world’s most famous wine region accounts for more than 50% of wines produced in area. AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur represents the best in value and range that Bordeaux has to offer, from reds to whites, Rosé and Cremant. Here are 8 things to know about Bordeaux’s most convivial, wallet friendly AOCs: 

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1. AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur are distributed over the whole of the Bordeaux wine region and covers more than 55% of the Controlled Appellations of Origin territory. 

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2. There are actually 7 designated AOC’s that cover the world of Bordeaux wines, affectionately referred to as Planet Bordeaux. They include AOC Bordeaux Red, AOC Bordeaux (Dry) White, AOC Bordeaux Rosé, AOC Bordeaux Clairet, AOC Bordeaux Superieur Red, AOC Bordeaux Superieur Sweet White and Crémant de Bordeaux.

3. Red Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur wines are made primarily from three grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The red wines of these AOC’s generally contain more Merlot as they tend to be concentrated on the Right Bank. All authorized red grape varietals can be used to make Bordeaux Rosé and Clairet.

4. For whites, the main varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle. 

5. The British were among the first consumers to appreciate red Bordeaux, which they called Claret. The word is still used in the UK and has become a synonym for red Bordeaux. 

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6. Bordeaux Clairet refers to a dark colored rosé or light colored red wine. 

7. In order to qualify as AOC Bordeaux Superieur, wines must be aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months, generally contain higher levels of sugar and must naturally reach at least 10% alcohol level compared to the 9.5% requirement of AOC Bordeaux. 

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8. Generally, AOC Bordeaux reds are fruity, easy to drink and meant to be enjoyed young while more complex reds can be found within the AOC Bordeaux Superieur umbrella. 

Find one at a wine shop near you! 

 

 

Need A White Bordeaux Refresh?

FILED UNDER: Know Your Bordeaux, White Wine, Wine 101

White Grapes

A toast to the season’s wines: whites from Bordeaux.

Spring beckons with silver-throated birds, heralding the warmer months ahead. Nature’s paintbrush dabs the evening skies with spectacular hues of peach, fuchsia and lavender. Fresh aromas of orange zest figs, pears and baked apples waft through the air… scents and sensations evocative of white wines from Bordeaux.

Perhaps it’s a cue to fill your glass with finesse and character, and sip upon these delicious reflections. Perhaps it’s the call of your wine cooler in quest of a spring renewal. Or perhaps it’s your insatiable curiosity simply looking to be slaked…

Image via WineFolly

Image via WineFolly

Bordeaux whites: Two styles. Many nuances.

Whites from Bordeaux are made in two distinct styles: The dry Bordeaux blanc, which speaks the language of wine with a crisp, wry wit. And the renowned sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, which seek a more intense relationship with your palate.

Every year, about four million cases of white Bordeaux wine are produced, accounting for about 10% of all Bordeaux wine. Bordeaux’s high-caliber whites are on par with their globally sought-after reds. And, while some of these whites are of legendary repute and age-worthiness, the majority of Bordeaux’s whites bring value synonymous with quality to your wineglass. These wines are approachable, accessible – and ready to drink when you are.

Is your palate all set for a tryst with Bordeaux whites? An insight into the grapes behind the wines makes your journey of taste more expansive…  

The grapes behind the stars.

One of the four primary grapes in the AOC-labeled white wines of Bordeaux is Sauvignon Blanc, which exudes a crisp, lively character redolent of apples, melons, and peppers. But just when you think you’re well acquainted with this grape, its versatility can make you do a double take. Often referred to as the “chameleon of grapes,” Sauvignon Blanc when blended with Sémillon makes wines that are opulent, honeyed and creamy with complex notes of fig, pear and tobacco, and a silky mouth feel. (Much like a soprano’s voice with a rich, velvety timbre.) The other two grape varieties are the intensely floral Muscadelle, and Ugni Blanc (a primary grape in Cognac) with a fruity, aromatic palate.

The wine and the wallet.

While finesse and age-worthiness are to be much celebrated, it’s heartening to discover the lighter, more affordable side to the Bordeaux white. Whether you seek crisp acidity, creamy richness, a clean palate, or an elegant nose, you’ll find a distinct echo of this quality terroir well within reach. Bordeaux whites are so versatile, they make for an easier, more relaxed conversation between the wine and the wallet. 

Meet the Châteaux.

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The white wines of Pessac-Léognan assume a variety of styles – from light and fruit-forward to floral, spicy and mineral. While several chateaux in this region are known to craft white Bordeaux wines with flair, those from Château Haut Brion are considered the most prized, showing sublime character, concentration and complexity.

Nestled between the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers, Entre-Deux-Mers showcases a diversity of wine styles – from the dry whites of Sainte-Foy and Graves de Vayres, to the white dessert wines of Cadillac and Loupiac. The predominant grape in this region is Sauvignon Blanc, with Sémillon and Muscadelle adding structure and depth. Highly regarded for their white wines are Château Bonnet and Château Turcaud. Other top estates are Domaine de Courteillac, Château Grée-Laroque, and Château Rauzan Despagne.

While many of these estates bring high-quality offerings that are accessible to the everyday budget, some other stunning values that come to mind are Château de l’Emigré, Château Marjosse, and Château Graville-Lacoste, and Château Graves de Liron.

14.4.1 Sauternes

The most celebrated sweet Bordeaux wine known for its stellar vintages hails from Château d’Yquem. The estate is famous for Sauternes, a dessert wine made with grapes affected by an amazing fungus called Botrytis cinerea or “noble rot” – as a result of which the wine shows tremendous aromatic complexity.

Château Climens, Château Coutet, Château Guiraud, and Château Raymond Lafon also produce sweet whites of exceptional quality.

Image via utahcitylinks.com

Image via utahcitylinks.com

Pairing: What sings best with Bordeaux’s whites? 

While goat cheese, wild salmon, oysters, shrimp, and salads can play a duet in the mouth with Sauvignon Blanc, unconventional pairings such as sushi and ceviche can be as delightful as jazz. The whites from Sauternes and Barsac sing romantic interludes with blue cheese, foie gras, roasted white meats, and, of course, fruit-based and exotic chocolate desserts.

Ready to glean the top picks of the season and explore their values? Start browsing now.