While affordable Bordeaux seems an oxymoron, there are ways to get your fix without being part of the three comma club. While most Bordeaux hype occurs with the reds, I find myself a huge fan of white Bordeaux where, outside of the greatest names, there are some wonderful wines for very reasonable prices.
The Values of Pessac-Leognan
Pessac-Leognan is home both to some of Bordeaux’s top reds as well as their top wines (see estates such as Haut-Brion, Chevalier, Pape Clement, and Smith Haut Lafite). While recognizable to those knowledgeable about Bordeaux, the less famous estates here can offer very good prices, especially for their wonderful white wine. This is particularly true these days as quality conscious production has spread from the most famous estates outward.
Chateau La Garde is a good example. Even less well known than the more secondary esates from Pessac-Leognan such as Chateau de Fieuzal and Chateau Oliver, La Garde has been steadily increasing in quality since the take-over by Dourthe. The company commissioned a Pedo-geological study that they used to maximize and arrange for the ideal plantings about 25 years ago.
The white is made with grapes planted in a small 2 ha plot of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon in gravel with clay subsoil. It is macerated on the skins and aged in barrel (15%) new for 9-11 months, with lees stirring.
White Bordeaux, Done Right
This is delicious white Bordeaux with a full range of fleshy white orchard fruits and Sauvignon citrus. I enjoy very much the barrel ageing and lees stirring qualities in good white Bordeaux because they never overwhelm the fruit, aromatics or acidity, but add texture and weight. The La Garde hits all those notes perfectly and is highly recommended. You rarely get white wine of this quality in B.C. for this price.
Excellent and Highly Recommended Value
$45 + Tax at BCLDB