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Unveiling Bordeaux Gems: Three Under-$20 Treasures

CorkRules | Feb 13, 2024

Bordeaux, the land of prestigious chateaux and legendary wines, can often conjure images of hefty price tags. But fear not, budget-conscious wine lovers! Bordeaux offers a bounty of delicious and affordable options, waiting to be discovered. Today, we delve into three such gems, each priced under $20, guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds without breaking the bank.

1. Ronan by Clinet, Pomerol - $11.99:

This Côtes de Castillon gem is a collaboration between renowned winemaker Jean-Bernard Clinet (of Château Clinet fame) and the négociant house of Dourthe. Clinet's expertise shines through in this blend of Merlot (85%) and Cabernet Franc (15%).

History: While not a historical estate itself, Ronan embodies the spirit of Bordeaux innovation. Clinet, a pioneer in sustainable viticulture, has applied his knowledge to craft an exceptional value wine.

Tasting Notes: Expect a vibrant ruby red color, alive with aromas of ripe black cherry, plum, and hints of spice. The palate is smooth and elegant, offering flavors of blackberry, cassis, and earth, balanced by fine-grained tannins and a lingering finish.

Alcohol: 14%

Critics' Reviews:

  • Jeb Dunnuck: 88 points - "A juicy, charming, and delicious Côtes de Castillon to drink over the next few years."
  • James Suckling: 90 points - "A balanced and well-made Côtes de Castillon with juicy fruit and a touch of spice."

2. Clos du Roy - Fronsac 2019 - $16.99:

Nestled on the Right Bank, Clos du Roy has been producing quality wines since the 1940s. The 2019 vintage is a blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Franc (20%), crafted by the talented winemaker Nicolas Valette.

History: Founded in 1944, Clos du Roy has undergone several ownership changes. Today, it remains dedicated to producing affordable yet high-quality wines.

Tasting Notes: This deep garnet-colored wine opens with aromas of blackcurrant, cherry, and violets, interwoven with hints of vanilla, tobacco, and pepper. The medium-bodied palate is smooth and elegant, offering flavors of ripe fruit, spice, and earth, supported by supple tannins and a lingering finish.

Alcohol: 13.5%

Critics' Reviews:

  • Wine Advocate: 88 points - "A ripe, juicy, and easy-drinking Fronsac with good value."
  • Decanter: 89 points - "A supple and juicy blend with good depth of fruit and a pleasant finish."

3. Château Noaillac - Médoc 2019 - $13.99:

This historic estate, dating back to the 17th century, offers a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur expression of the Médoc appellation. The 2019 blend comprises Merlot (65%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), and Petit Verdot (5%), crafted by the dedicated team at Château Noaillac.

History: Château Noaillac boasts a rich history, having passed through several noble families before being acquired by the Miailhe family in 1998. Today, they strive to maintain the estate's legacy while implementing modern techniques.

Tasting Notes: This deep ruby-colored wine reveals aromas of blackcurrant, plum, and cedar, followed by hints of spice and tobacco. The full-bodied palate is structured and elegant, offering flavors of ripe fruit, earth, and spice, supported by firm yet approachable tannins and a long finish.

Alcohol: 13.5%

Critics' Reviews:

  • Wine Spectator: 88 points - "A balanced and harmonious Médoc with good structure and length."
  • James Suckling: 90 points - "A well-made and classic Médoc with good tannins and a pleasing finish."

These three Bordeaux gems demonstrate that exceptional quality doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Each wine offers a unique expression of its terroir and grape varietals, making them perfect for exploring the diverse landscape of Bordeaux. So, grab a bottle (or two!), uncork, and discover the hidden treasures of this world-renowned wine region.

I hope this article helps you discover your next Bordeaux adventure!

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