The Bordeaux area of France is located in the South West portion of the country, right off the Atlantic coast, creating a very unique and bountiful oceanic environment ripe for grape growing.
The Bordeaux area is known for its highly prestigious and sought after red wines, as the area produces mostly red wines around 85% according to the Bordeaux Wine Bureau. The Bordeaux area is the world leader in producing the most Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties along with the Cabernet Franc and Merlot grape varieties, and is only second in world production for the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety. This extensive production of such a great variety of grapes creates blends that are extremely complex but balanced nicely to not overpower or under whelm. For a great refresher course in how Bordeaux wines are mix, along with information on the unique qualities of each grape variety and what they add to the wine, visit this link.
Below are my Top 10 Bordeaux Red Wines along with a link to purchase a bottle for yourself, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I will warn you, I have mixed the listing to include some of the greatest red Bordeaux wines from both ends of the price spectrum. For the higher priced wines, I always suggest teaming up with other wine lovers perhaps have a wine tasting night that you all can kick in on along with some great food to really pair the flavors up with. But most of my current favorite’s center around the terrific growing climate years of 2004, 2005 in the Bordeaux area and most of them come at reasonable prices.
Chateau Latour 1982 – The 1982 season was also a wonderfully rich growing season for grapes of great depth and complexity. Chateau Latour exhibits these fantastic characteristics along with a very strong bouquet, rich in berry and dark current flavors that are full body but balanced. Just a great wine overall that will be remembered as much for its characteristics as it is for its price of $1500 per bottle.Chateau Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estephe 2004 – I love this wine perhaps the dark stone fruits and currents mixed with a subtle licorice note and the smooth rich body that retains itself in the mouth creates something heavenly. Starting at around $90, this is a must try for the vintage year. Petrus 1982 – Another fantastic Bordeaux blend of the ages, full body, extremely rich and fruity with strong berry flavors, this is just as good as Chateau Latour. With a price tag of around $3000 the wine may not be as accessible, but if you get an opportunity to try it you are in for an experience.
Chateau Kirwan 2004 – A more reasonable wine at around $50 a bottle, I would keep this young, very dark fruit almost plum like color wine bottled up for another 5 – 10 years before really enjoying. Because of that alone I put this at number 4 on my list, buy it today and in 2020 it will be worth 2-3 times as much if not more, and you’ll have a gem in development for a date with the future.
Chateau Ausone St. Emilion 2004 – Another Bordeaux blend masterpiece, this one is around $600 a bottle but is delicately blended with rich berry and current flavors, but sophisticated with hints of flowers and minerals, a strong bouquet and a light finish on such a strong wine that seems to be the trademark of excellent wines produced during the 2004-2006 vintages.
Chateau Pontoise Cabarrus 2005 – A great Bordeaux blend that is strong in tannins, young and fruity with longevity to be fantastic for drinking from now until 2015. A very good year for Bordeaux blends this one does not disappoint especially for $15.
Chateau la Mission Haut Brion 1982 – An almost surprising bouquet combined with dark long lived flavors and a strong tannic finish makes this a unique and enjoyable Bordeaux blend, starting at around $1100.
Alios 2006 – Topping the Bordeaux Wine Bureaus Top list of affordable Reds, starting at around $16 this young, well balanced, rich berry driven wine is a great buy for today but also for 4-6 years in the future when it will develop to its full potential.
Chateau la Bonnelle 2005 – Starting at $40 this young Bordeaux blend can be enjoyed now until 2015. Well balanced like many other reds from this vintage, Chateau la Bonnelle is the perfect match to almost any meal.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1995 – For a wine older than the new stars of the area from 2004 and 2005, this off for the vintage 1995 Bordeaux blend is still developing and will be at its peak sometime in the next few years, which makes it an intriguing purchase, and is still reasonable at $125 per bottle.