Whether you have time to visit Côtes de Bordeaux in France or not, it’s a wine region that you will find available in your local wine shops and online. This area of Bordeaux is quality driven and produces amazing wines at reasonable prices. Bordeaux, in general, is a wine that exceeds all generations and can satisfy a multitude of palate preferences. As a millennial, we tend to be drawn toward different and undiscovered wines. This allows us to branch out in the world of wine, and explore new styles and countries we have not even traveled to yet. This is not the same for all generations though since Baby Boomers are likely to remain faithful to classic Old World styles.
Today however with so much wine content out there as well as boutique wine stores popping up, there’s a chance Baby Boomers and Millennials are now both branching out to the hillsides (Côtes) of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, Côtes de Bordeaux! This area is made up of five sub-appellations: Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs, and Sainte-Foy. I had the pleasure of stopping in Côtes de Bordeaux, on a recent trip to France, and it was simply stunning. I have been a fan of these wines since discovering them about two years ago, and was so excited to finally see where so many great wines come from!
The region is known for small family-owned estates where old-world traditions meet modern techniques. These wines are approachable and fruit-forward, which make them the perfect introduction wine for novice drinkers. The distinctive terroir and range of distinctions are complex enough for refined palates as well, so there’s no problem breaking these wines out when amongst friends and family this fall and winter season!
I had the pleasure recently to taste four wines from this area, all of which won my heart for several occasions with different types of cuisine. One evening with friends I broke out the 2015 Château de Fontenille, AOC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. This wine retails for $13 and easily paired with flank steak with sides of creamed spinach and roasted potatoes. Typical steakhouse sides I know, but sometimes the girls and I just are in the mood for a little “steakhouse vibe” at home! This wine is lovely with a deep ruby color and aromas of black cherry, tobacco, cedar, and spice. It’s structured and full-bodied with balanced acidity, making it a great wine from start to finish.
While watching the first episode of American Horror Story this season, I decided to enjoy the 2015 Château Hyot, AOC Castillion Côtes de Bordeaux. This one is priced at $15 and is a steal for the quality and elegance. It’s a beautiful deep ruby color revealing a bold nose of ripe fruit and hints of pepper. It has a striking balance, soft silky tannins which help give it a long, lasting finish. It was a lovely pairing to kick off my favorite show and went nicely with the flourless chocolate cake I made!
Two others from the region which I enjoyed on a Pizza Night with friends were the 2015 Château Puygueraud, AOC Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, and the 2015 Château Couronneau, AOC Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux. You will find all the wines from this region completely different from one another, but the one thing that stands out beside the fruit is the terroir in these wines. The Puygueraud is made by the Thienpont family, who is widely recognized for their contribution to the appellation’s winemaking legacy. This wine at $18 is smooth and creamy but has enough acidity to cut through it. It has a tangy back end that gives a more mineral edge and is a fun wine to analyze. If you’re seeking something more fruit driven, then try the 2015 Couronneau at $19. It’s a beautiful wine with a bouquet of ripe plums, blackberries, dark cherries, and violet. On the palate, the wine has a beautiful consistency with good acidity and solid tannin.