Simple Pleasure from Bordeaux? Really?
Continuing with this week’s themes of the “life’s simple pleasures”, we turn to a place that might be unexpected: Bordeaux! Isn’t Bordeaux where they make serious wines for collecting, cellaring and aging? Don’t you need to decant these wines for hours and then drink them with the grouse that you recently brought home from the hunt?
Well, Bordeaux is a big place, and today we’re going to travel many miles from the place where those kinds of more serious wines are made. Leave the Medoc and all its Rothschild splendor, cross the city of Bordeaux, and traverse up the Garonne river another 40 kilometers or so.
There, you arrive at the little known AOC known as Sainte-Crois-de-Mont. Remarkably, you will find there the same mix of clay and limestone that makes so many of the Bordeaux upriver so special. You’ll also find vineyards that slope down to the river, facing perfectly south. Some of those vineyards are rich with marine fossils, and produce lovely dry and sweet white wines. But the other vineyards are perfect for producing delightful and inexpensive reds from Bordeaux’s two most famous grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Chateau la Rame has been doing exactly that for many centuries now – at least since the French Revolution. Today’s ownership is committed to sustainable farming and honest, traditional wine-making. They make their red 60% from Merlot and 40% from Cabernet.
While recognizably Bordeaux, it tastes nothing like a Rothschild wine, and even further from a typical blend of Merlot and Cabernet from California. Instead, it is juicy and fresh, redolent of berries and currants. It is one of life’s simple pleasures, and not an expensive one at all:
Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rouge 2019 - $17.99
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