Interesting article in the New York Times last week that sadly predicts the future of wine in America as becoming only a dessert wine like Port or Icewine. . It made sense after I read it, how we raise our children from a very young age to have Soda, Dessert as a Treat, Ice Cream, and of course with Halloween being tomorrow CANDY for Trick Or Treating. This breeds young people into sugarholics. When they become 21 their first wine is going to be sweet because even the slightest bit of dryness is not something they have been used to for the last 20 years. Winemakers are or have been seeing that trend and the high volume wines from $7-$300 have been manipulated and produced in such a way to sell more wine….Sugary!! The sweeter the wine gets the more cases they sell.
Why Are Millennials Not Buying Bordeaux?
The first question someone asking me for a recommendation for a Red, White Or Rose wine would be “What are you eating”? I get the deer in the headlights look right there. Much of the American Palate looks at Wine as something you just drink to chill out at home after a long day of work or to watch a movie on NetFlix with but very rarely pairing with food. I can tell you that most of the high end Bordeauxs have lost their old school audience, who used to buy certain vintages and lay them down in a cellar to be aged for 20-40 years. Americans also expect that every wine should just have big jammy fruits and sweetness and heavy alcohol with a full body texture. So with that set of criteria ,price wise and flavor profile, the wines of Bordeaux, France don’t even have a chance. If you are like me and many other Wine and Food Enthusiasts, we do drink wine by itself but mostly we think about having wine with every meal and matching the 2 together. If you want to enjoy the experience of pairing wines with food and you don’t want to wait 20 years to drink a wine, the Bordeaux region produces thousands of wines that you can use as a true quality table wine at Everyday Prices.
Map Of Bordeaux France
If you look closely at the Map you will see Bordeaux almost is like your Heart with a Right and Left Ventricle . If you see the blue shaded area in the middle of the Map going from North to South Bordeaux, it is divided by a River called the Gironde (Gee-Ron) There are many areas on the Left Bank Of The River and these Reds are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and on the Right Bank Of the River dominated by Merlot. Where I took the liberty of circling the map is where I think the Everyday Quality Bordeauxs come from labeled as Bordeaux Superieur. The wine I am reviewing today comes from that area.
2012 Chateau Argadens Red, Bordeaux Superieur
In 2002, Maison Sichel bought a property in Saint-André-du-Bois 60 km south of Bordeaux and renamed it Château Argadens in reference to the noble family which founded the estate in the thirteenth century. A major investment program was launched at Château Argadens to restructure the vineyard, increase plantation density, modernize the winery and build an ageing cellar. Efforts are going on to ensure that this work is carried out with the greatest precision and care, the objective being to allow the quality of the terroir to be expressed to the full.
They produce a White and a Red and that’s it. The 2012 contains 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. All biodynamic and Sustainably Farmed from the highest elevation in that area. From it’s first vintage produced it wins awards and accolades every year but in Europe. In America, I searched reviews online by consumers and all panning the wine with the exception of a few who UNDERSTOOD this is not a Fruit Bomb. It is a Table Wine to have at a meal and it is made well.
Dark Dark Garnet. Just beautiful color to look at. After Swirling and getting a Whiff, It was classic Bordeaux. Mushrooms, Earth, Cedar, Spices, mingling with Dark Wild Berry Fruit and Plum Skins. On the palate it wasn’t a heavyweight but who wants that with an Everyday Table Wine? It had a nice Medium Weight where the blackberry and cherry fruit came on pretty intense followed by some light to medium, grippy tannins. The entire experience changed for me with some room temperature Goat Gouda (My New Addiction), Turkey Meatballs the next night, Even an Oven Roasted Turkey Sandwich. This is exactly what a Table Wine Should Be! The finish did drop off just a hair too soon so I am deducting points for that reason but the terroir of Bordeaux was beautifully expressed and very versatile as you can see with certain cheeses or a meatball.
87/100 Final Summary
Retail cost of this wine is $12.99. That’s right! Bordeaux for $12.99 I can’t think of any area in a Fine Wine Shop that I could take you for a food wine from a 12th Century property where you could get that kind of quality wine for that kind of low price. Remember it’s not a Netflix Wine. It’s not gonna hit you like a 15.5% Zinfandel or Petit Sirah. It’s by definition to me the perfect Everyday Table Wine to enjoy with Friends and Family. There is still value in Bordeaux if you know what you are looking for and if it is for the right reasons. Enjoy this with anything off the grill, some mild aged cheeses or even a Turkey Sandwich. #AlwaysBeCelebrating VIVA LA FRANCE
Grape-fully yours, Larry