Bargain Bordeaux Hits Big

by Chuck Hayward

Bargain Bordeaux Hits Big

Post by Chuck Hayward | December 14th, 2010

 La Folie's Dejah pours for the masses

Earlier this year, an article in the New York Times by wine critic Eric Asmiov created a tidal wave among his fellow critics, members of the trade and consumers when he declared, "For young Americans in particular, Bordeaux has become downright unfashionable."

Well, those in attendance at JJ Buckley's 2nd Annual Tuesday Night Bordeaux Tasting would definitely have something to say about that. Many of them appeared to be under 35, just like the wines’ prices.

Last year, JJ Buckley and the Bordeaux Wine Council conceptualized an event to promote affordable Bordeaux, and it was a rousing success as customers and friends sampled wines of all types and from all over the region. Given the positive response to that initial tasting, we decided that one good turn deserved another and therefore kicked it into gear to stage a follow-up event.

Chef Roland Passot models his JJ Buckley tattoo

The popularity of Bordeaux among JJ Buckley's customers seems to have exploded, as the tasting sold out in record time, weeks before the event. Held at the famous Michelin-starred restaurant La Folie in San Francisco for the second time, all in attendance had the opportunity to sample nearly 30 wines while being treated to delicious food (an array of cheeses, paté, smoked salmon lollipops, addictive truffled popcorn, and more) prepared by Chef Roland Passot who showed his solidarity with JJ Buckley by sporting his own tattoo!!

And just like last year, I listened in as the discussions turned to everyone's favorite wines and found out that the consensus revolved around two unlikely wines from the Right Bank.

A few of the Bordeaux on hand

The La Vieille Cure from the Fronsac region came from the unfashionable 2002 vintage and but it was right in the sweet spot, showing an excellent bouquet along with a full, well-textured palate with wonderfully integrated tannins. But the star wine of the evening was clearly the 2007 Larcis Ducasse from another unheralded harvest. Once again, winemaker Stephane Derencourt showed his talents by fashioning a pristine, pure red which was seductive and captivating. Mouthfilling with just the faintest of tannins, this approachable St. Emilion proved so popular that it was all consumed before the evening was done! Those vintages may not have been all the rage, but the wines certainly proved themselves to be.

Savvy tasters will keep their eyes out for next year's event which is sure to be a sellout as word  continues to spread about the high quality of affordable Bordeaux.