Try Côtes de Bordeaux this Christmas

Wines | 3rd December 2015 | By

Our recommendation for Christmas wine… Côtes de Bordeaux.

History

The Côtes de Bordeaux appellation was created in 2009, when Blaye, Caddilac (then premier Côtes de Bourdeaux), Castillon and Francs grouped together to market their wines under one common identity. Since then, their exports have doubled and a strong following has formed around these terroir driven, usually Merlot led, wines of the Côtes.

Today there are nearly 1000 wine producers farming 11,000 hectares across the right bank of the Bordeaux region. Combined, they are responsible for producing 10% of Bourdeaux wines, of which, 97% are red wines.

The Côtes also bottle a small amount of high quality white wine, concentrated in Blaye and Francs appellations, and typically made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.

Which wines are best?

2013 was a very good year in terms of quality for Côtes de Bourdeaux wines, especially for the whites, as they escaped the negative effects of late rains in September. The best of them, have a bright, clean fruit flavour, offer exceptionally good value and are best consumed over the next few years.

2012 is a better vintage for Bordeaux reds, especially, for the often underestimated right bank varieties. The acidities are lower than in 2011 and the fruit a little more fleshed out. Left for a few years, while the tannins soften, these wines will become highly potable.

 

Our Top 4 from Côtes de Bordeaux:

Whites

Grand Vin de Château Haut Bertinerie, 2013
Average price: £16.00 per bottle
When to drink: Between 2015 – 2019
Grape varieties: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
This wine beautifully illustrates what can be achieved in less than 10 months of ageing. The wine has roundness and depth of flavour with fresh lilting citrus notes.

Château Monconseil Gazin, 2013
Average price: £12.00 per bottle
When to drink: Between 2015 – 2019
Grape varieties: 80% Sauvignon Blanc 20% Semillion
Aged for less than 7 months in traditional oak barrels, this delicate, floral take on the vintage variety has touches of citrus.

Reds

Château Bel Air la Royère, 2012
Average price: £11.00 per bottle
When to drink: Between 2015 – 2020
Grape varieties: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10%Malbec
Nine months produces a very attractive budget Bordeaux. Spicy nose of cloves and herbs that is generously rich in colour.

Château Peyredoulle, 2012
Average price: £11.00 per bottle
When to drink: Between 2015 – 2019
Grape varieties: 85% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot
A modern wine, very fragrant with lots of spices, dark cassis and blueberry fruits. Unoaked, clean finish.

If you’d like more recommendations from Food & Beverage Manager, Fernando Moreira, send him an email!

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Fernando Moreira

Fernando is Food & Beverage Manager at The Castle Hotel in Taunton, Somerset

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