A really good, affordable Bordeaux - amazing value

I’d just come back from a long run, and was tucking into some lunch. Fiona suggested setting me a blind tasting challenge. This is dangerous.

In the blind tasting challenge, she picks a wine at random from my racks (I have about 400 bottles in the home, ranging from fairly serious to cheap samples) and serves it to me. I have to guess where it is from, and what it is – a task made more difficult by the fact that I don’t have a clear idea of what I have stashed away. And she doesn’t have any idea of whether the wines are cheap or expensive, so this sort of game can end up badly if something serious gets opened before its time, but the risk sort of adds to the excitement.

Well, the wine she brought out in a glass was red. It smelled very elegant, and quite ripe. Serious, actually. I said old world, I said France, I said Bordeaux. Correct. This is where I got a bit worried, because this was really supple and elegant, and tasted expensive. Could it be a special bottle?

This is why blind tasting is so fun. The wine in question was a £7.25 claret from The Wine Society. Alas, this vintage, the 2010, is now out of stock, or I would have bought a case. It’s a really good supple, elegant, ripe Bordeaux showing great balance. I am not surprised that it sold out.

However, if I had known in advance that this was a £7.25 Bordeaux, I am pretty sure I would have rated it lower. Information matters so much: it affects how we process sensory information, even at a subconscious level. This is one of the wines that suffers from preconceptions, because people don’t expect cheap claret to be much good.

5 comments to A really good, affordable Bordeaux – amazing value

  • Hello,
    I would love to introduce you to some wineries with the same value for pleasure/money at this one !
    YES, Bordeaux is (will it be the case in the future ?) is the best area for good value wines..
    The problem is to find them.
    Best regards,
    Frederic Borliachon

  • Cheap Bdx is getting better and better. It’s just that it doesn’t have “media coverage”. Let’s be honest, nobody gives a damn about it, it’s just a stupid preconception

  • I had a similar suprising experience with the 2009 at 6,84 euro. Any idea who is behind it ? Or just an example of good craftsmanship ?

  • Hugh

    Should therefore all tasting where you are marking the wine be blind?

  • I agree with you about La Grave de Bertin. I have been drinking it since the 2009 vintage and just finished a case of the 2010 and was most disappointed when I couldn’t reorder another — but the 2011 is now in stock.

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