Let's Talk Bordeaux

Bordeaux wines are one of the most famous wine blends in the world and along with that distinction boast some of the heftiest price tags.  Even the newest vintage of First Growth Bordeaux wines such as Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton Rothschild sell for an average of $1,000 and up.  What many people don't realize is that many smaller producers are creating beautiful, well balanced Bordeaux wines that are absolutely wonderful at just a fraction of the cost.  I had the pleasure of exploring some of these a few weeks ago with the incredible wine maker and consultant Olivier Dauga; whose love of loud shirts and rugby was only surpassed by his passion for creating approachable and affordable Bordeaux wines. Here are four of my favorite from the evening:

Chateau Macay 2011 Classic-  This wine has a gorgeous clear garnet color with bright, aromatic dark fruit flavors and subtle hints of spice. It's a soft elegant wine perfect for just about any occasion.
Price- $20 

Chateau La Pirouette 2011- This wine is a classic Bordeaux blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot aged 12 months in new oak barrels.  It has a dark cherry complexion with a big red fruit aromas and well structured balance of spice, oak and cherry.
Price- $25

La Pommeraie De Brown 2012- This wine pours a beautiful scarlet red with purple tints and strong aromas of wood, tobacco and chocolate.  It's big and round; best paired with something earthy and rich like a mushroom lasagna or slow braised short rib.
Price- $34

Chateau Brown 2012- Much deeper purple in color than it's counterpart the Pommeraie with a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot.  The aroma is licorice, earth and smoke with flavors of both black and red cherries with a round silky body.

Price- $45