From Portfolio Manager Wil Bailey: “At The Wine Company we have historically tread very lightly in the Bordeaux arena.  Too much emphasis on scores for our tastes, astronomically high markups due to a plethora of middle men, bidding wars on the top wines from the top vintages, discount bins for the wines/vintages not hyped by the critical press.

As our model is finding excellent, consistent, interesting wines which offer superb value vintage in and vintage out, it just seemed Bordeaux might not be the best place to spend our time looking around.

But Larry observed a little more than a year ago that it seemed we were really missing some opportunities in Bordeaux.  If we COULD find a small set of producers offering wines to us directly with consistently excellent quality and value we could be heroes (just for one day, and I, I would be King, and you, you would be my Queen, and nothing, nothing could keep us… sorry, a little, involuntary David Bowie digression).  In any event it seemed to Larry that instead of being a region to avoid, perhaps Bordeaux was the perfect region in which to prove our mettle.

With that gauntlet in mind we are extremely happy to present to you the wines of the Despagne family at Chateau Tour de Mirambeau.

The estate is located in the district of Entre Deux Mers, although as that specific appellation is only allowed on the label of white wines, the red wines here are classified as AOC Bordeaux.  The Despagne family has been growing grapes on the Mirambeau property for over 250 years, but it was only in 1969 that Jean-Louis Despagne devoted himself fulltime to making estate wines.

At under $15 retail the Reserve White and Red are exactly the sort of value we have been looking for in Bordeaux. The White is 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon, and 20% Muscadelle.  It’s so much more interesting, floral, and juicy than the other (largely lean and green) Bordeaux Sauvignons around this price that we hope it changes your whole perspective on White Bordeaux in general and gives renewed credence to this historical blend which seems to have fallen to the wayside of Sauvignon Blanc blended with yet more Sauvignon Blanc.  The Red is 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc.  Only 20% of this wine ever sees any barrel at all which seems to work perfectly for the naturally smoky, plumy nature of this tasty little overperformer.”

To find the wine at Minnesota retailers, please contacts us and we’ll lead you in the right direction.

Chateau Tour de Mirambeau
Reserve Blanc

40% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillion, and 30% Muscadelle

Chateau Tour de Mirambeau
Reserve Rouge

80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc

Chateau Tour de Mirambeau
Cuvee Passion
Bordeaux Reserve

Same blend as the reserve rouge, plus aged for seven months in new oak

 

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