Bordeaux has a thousand faces, with its right and left banks, Saint-Emilion, Pessac-Léognan, and Sauternes, grands crus classés and crus bourgeois, from humble classics to large formats. France’s finest châteaux and their precious produce await in this gorgeous and surprisingly eclectic selection.
Saint-Emilion and Pessac-Léognan
What do Angélus, Cheval Blanc, Figeac and Canon have in common? They’re all located in the Saint-Emilion appellation, a prestigious area of Bordeaux’s right bank that has recently been the object of much interest due to shifts in its classification system. Its flavourful cuvées are characterised by a sumptuously silky mouthfeel.
If we cross the river, we find another sublime appellation, the large and diverse Pessac-Léognan. This left bank subregion is home to such signatures as châteaux Smith Haut Lafitte, Carmes Haut-Brion, Carbonnieux, Olivier, and Haut-Bailly. Wine from this appellation tends to be balanced and supple, enjoyed for its red fruit and liquorice leaning profile.
Be generous with a large format
As well as the classic 750ml bottles, Bordeaux is a region that brims with bigger formats, which don’t only have the advantage of being ultimately shareable, but also tend to age better and gain value more effectively. Included in our selection, we have wooden cases, magnums, double-magnums, imperials, jeroboams, and even nebuchadnezzars in stock. Just a few examples are imperials of 2010 Château Belle-Vue, 2016 Cheval Blanc, and 2015 Château Gloria, jeroboams of 2010 Château Meyney and 2017 Château Le Puy, and Yquem’s 2005, 2009, and 2011 vintages in the gigantesque nebuchadnezzar format.
Beyond the big names
Bordeaux isn’t all about grand crus classés, these historic wines that make its reputation but are not easy to open at the drop of a hat. With this in mind, take a look at the incredible 14-bottle cases of 2019 crus bourgeois exceptionnel: Château d’Agassac, Château d’Arnauld, Château d’Arsac, Château Belle-Vue, Château Le Boscq, Château Cambon la Pelouse, Château Charmail, Château Le Crock, Château Lilian Ladouys, Château Malescasse, Château de Malleret, Château Paveil de Luze, and Château du Taillan. Why make such a big purchase? 1: what could be better than such a complete case of these wines to appreciate their quality for yourself and compare them, if you are still a little reluctant to commit? 2: the 2019 vintage is simply amazing, « the best Bordeaux vintage since 2010 » according to Le Figaro. 3: a case like this makes for a magnificent gift, either for yourself, a special someone, or your tasting club!
Go for the second wines of your favourite châteaux, and you’ll be amazed at their quality. They can also be enjoyed earlier than their older siblings: Blason d’Issan, Haut-Bailly II, Les Fiefs de Lagrange, and La Sirène de Giscours are our new allocations. Plus, the wines of Haut-Marbuzet, Phélan Ségur, Sociando Mallet and Poujeaux are often mistaken for grands crus, which says it all.
You can also go for signatures that are completely different from the typical Bordeaux that we tend to expect. Château Lavergne Dulong is one of them, with its organic and biodynamic bottles in the shape of Burgundian flasks. The team’s favourite, the silky smooth nectars of Closerie Saint-Roc, are made in harmony with the general ecosystem of the property. Similar in its alternative approach, Château Valandraud was one of the first « garage » wines to be classified.