Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A NICE, UNCOMPLICATED BORDEAUX
For a brief refresher, Bordeaux is divided into two distinct regions, with regards to red wine, thanks in large part to the Gironde River, which flows almost through the middle of Bordeaux, fed by the tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The Left Bank of the Gironde, which consists of the communes of the Medoc (Pauillac, St.-Julien, St.-Estephe, Margaux, etc.), is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, while the Right Bank is home to more Merlot-dominant wine from Pomerol and Cabernet-Franc dominant wine from Saint-Emilion.
The estate of Chateau d’Aiguilhe is found in the hills alongside the right bank of the Dordogne River, on the border of the Cotes de Castillon and Saint-Emilion. This “right-bank” producer focuses on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as is fast becoming one of the top producers of the Cotes de Castillon AOC. The Cotes de Castillon is a region in Bordeaux that is synonymous with value, and the second label to Chateau d’Aiguilhe, the Seigneurs d’Aiguilhe 2006, is no exception.
80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, this red claret is a drink-now red, with lots of red plums, blackberries, dark cherries and hints of spice that I automatically thought of when making pizza tonight. French wine with Italian cuisine, you say? This would be no different than serving a nice California Merlot with the same dish. It worked really well, with the soft, suppleness of the Merlot-driven wine with the tomato sauce, fresh basil, spicy pepperoni and doughy crust of the pizza.
I love vacations when they are kept simple and uncomplicated, and pizza with the Seigneurs d’Aiguilhe was all I could have hope to get out of a casual meal at home with the wife. I brought this wine into the store because 1) I knew this was a ready-to-drink Bordeaux 2) yes it did get some nice press from Parker, but most importantly 3) I could sell this wine for $17.98 a bottle. Very cool to get the customer a very-pleasing red Bordeaux for under $20 and it not taste like blackberry Kool-Aid. Give this nice claret a try with your next meal at home, or just sitting on the back porch with a fire lit and watch the night sky with friends, lovers, or both.