Skip to main content

Valentine's Wine Time

amples From the Bernard Magrez Portfolio of Wines

 Grand Crus Classés Bordeaux reds are Valentine's Day perfect -and relatively speaking-are good values vs the trophy red Burgundies.

THE Highlight:
Grand Crus Classés Bordeaux Reds  from the esteemed Bernard Magrez collection included our favorite-and imo-well priced 2009 blend from Chateau Pape Clément.

This "urban" winery-  dates back to the 13th century(!!!!!)..and is in the Pessac Leognan appellation not far from the center of the Bordeaux region.

What we tried-the 2009 vintage-is terrific...a hand picked, earthy intoxicating aromatic blend - with a wonderful elegant finish- a complex fusion of deep fruits, leather, smoky-lovely pepper hints (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc).

Many foods including  Asian...would pair well.

Priced in the USA around $170+

FYI: this jewel in Magrez portfolio-has white gloved employees de-stemming berry by berry on a sorting table-  so as not to damage the delicate grape skins.

BONUS: Want more of the luxury wine experience???? The beautiful grounds of the  Chateau Pape Clément hosts a posh five suite hotel-filled with antiques, decorative hand made textiles and a private art and music collection. Think dedicated chef and butler-sleeping like royalty (pre Revolution, of course) spacious accommodations named after Bernard Magrez's cuveés.

Like many countries-with wine production, France has its own classification systems...including Grand Crus Classés -established in 1855 to signify the prestigious Chateaus producing Bordeaux wines. More Info

Another palette wise pleaser for a happy occasion-  just might be the approachable Bleu-Mer labelled bottles of sparkling wine.
Bleu-Mer Sparkling wine:
Sauvignon grapes yield a delightful fresh, fruity+ fine bubbly sip, with production following the "Charmat" method...bubbles created when the grapes are stored in closed steel or metal tanks.

Another Bleu-Mer Sparkling is a fruity -sweeter- bubbly wine- made of 50% Cinsault + 50% Grenache-yielding a light pink color.

Traditionally-these kind of wines are served as an aperitif or with deserts...but imo these approachable young  bubbly wines pair well with most brunch favs -that are non-spicy. And perfect clink the glasses wine option too.

Red wines from Spain and Uruguay- are ready to drink NOW-both with wonderful characteristics of their growth area's soil + climate.
AND pair well with many types of foods.

Spain's Rioja wine region produces very popular  reds made from the Tempranillo grapes that are excellent values, often found in by the glass wine lists because they're reasonably priced-and easy pairing with a slew of entree dishes-appetizers-creamy spreads, and cheeses.

Marqués de Oro has a characteristic (in a good way)-ripened fruity berry taste (and beautiful rich color) -the limestone clay +alluvium soils + ideal weather in this 2016 release- yields a wonderful sense of place in each sip and balanced tannins.

Manually harvested from 35 year old vines-the wine is aged five months in barrels. Approachable and ready to drink!
 ( online price $18 -importer Cépaé Wine)

Like it's famed wine area neighbor Argentina- Uruguay shares ideal weather +soil for Malbec like reds-but with the Atlantic ocean breezes-it shares characteristics with Bordeaux too.

What we sampled was a delightful blend of Cabernet Franc 8%, Merlot 12% and the  rich spicy native Tannat grapes 80% -the latter is starting to earn its own spot of plummy acclaim-in the USA.

Of course this Gaucho land offering goes great with steaks but this smoothly deep ripe-bold balanced tannin red wine- bearing the name of owner Bernard Magrez-is very approachable -to pair with anything from bar nuts to heavier a big Malbec would.