MCF Rare Wine
Everything I Look For in a Bordeaux
Though I don't peddle Bordeaux all that often in this newsletter, I do love the taste of a classic, well-made wine from this most famous of regions.
Now more than ever, Bordeaux can easily conjure mental images of very expensive wines, created in ultra-luxury settings, mainly for the jet set crowd.
It's easy to think of it solely as a rich person's wine, given the fact that even the Chateaux that were once considered 'modest' now fetch prices well into the triple digits, even on futures.
As amazing as those wines are (or so I've been told), there is still an entirely different side to the region - one where small, 'mom and pop' estates produce fantastic examples of authentic, properly old-school wines that are loaded with both character and value.
(Again, nothing against the other wines, I'm still more than happy to drink an old bottle of 'classified' wine when I can find one at a good price.)
And, to find them, you're not just confined to the 'satellite' zones, either. Take today's wine, a lovely red from the prestigious appellation of Graves, made by Sylvie and Christien Auney of Chateau Auney l'Hermitage.
Certified 'Ecocert' since 2012, this 8.5 hectare estate makes four wines - two whites and two reds. The Graves Rouge 2015, priced at just $25, has just about everything that I look for in an everyday Bordeaux.
Upon my first whiff of the focused, yet highly-expressive bouquet, I was about 95% certain that it was something I needed on my shelves.
Following the first small sip, all I could say was, 'How many cases can I get?'
It was dark, restrained, intensely mineral, wonderfully balanced and, especially for a wine of this price, impressively structured, in terms of both fine acidity and tannin.
Being a Graves, and given its structured, mineral profile, I just assumed that it was predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. It was only a few hours later, when I did a bit more research, that I learned it was 60% Merlot (the rest being 30% Cab, 5% each Franc/Malbec).
While I believe nobody should dismiss a wine based on the grape it's made from, I'll say adamantly that people who'd be inclined to scoff at Merlot should use this beautiful wine as a vehicle for personal reflection. ;)
I should also note that, while I certainly don't promote wines like these anywhere nearly as often as I do wines from other regions, every time I drink a good Bordeaux, I rather enjoy it.
When I encounter one like this, that checks every one of my personal boxes - traditional farming/vinification, focus, balance, restraint, deep complexity and, perhaps above all, outstanding value - I find myself really thinking, 'I really oughtta do this more often...'
When something's offering everything you look for in a wine, why wouldn't you?
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MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011