Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My last stop on my latest Bordeaux value roundup is a Bordeaux Superieur, which is both an area of the Right Bank of Bordeaux, as well as a classification of quality. By definition, Bordeaux Superieur wines are basic wines that can come from anywhere within the Bordeaux appellation. However, there are delineated areas that are called Bordeaux Superieur.

Got it?

You can find them due east of the subregion of Pessac-Leognan, and due south of Graves. Or you may find it running between the Cote de Blaye and Cote de Bourg and the communes of Pomerol and St. Emilion. More often than not, the wines are primarily Merlot, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Petit Verdot rounding out the blend.

The Chateau La Croix Mouton Bordeaux Superieur 2006 is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, and comes from the area just outside of St. Emilion, part of the stable of amazing wines from winemaker Jean Phillipe Janoueix. It is an impressive claret that shows off its cedary, black currant complexity, making the most of the impeccable fruit delivered by the vineyards of the Janoueix family. It has a good grip on the palate, and demonstrates a great deal of smoky, fruity aromas and flavors.

The interesting thing about Bordeaux Superieur wines in general is the latest controversy to roll out of the French wine industry. The current Bordeaux Superieur appellation is quite possibly soon to become Bordeaux Grand Cru – a confusing moniker to an already near-indecipherable list of names associated with French wines. While the French wine lawmaking body – the INAO – is deliberating the proposed name change, many feel that this is merely a ploy by the French wine industry to shake a few more euros out of the consumers. Whatever the case may be, I am satisfied simply by ignoring the controversy, and enjoying another glass of the Croix Mouton.

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