Bordeaux is a tricky place.
It’s big, spread out and full of way too many people making entirely too much wine. Piling on, the local food is spotty, downtown traffic sucks big time and parking can be more painful than a root canal.
All summer severe heat and ridiculous humidity pummel Bordeaux while wintertime skies are perpetually overcast with temperatures in the arctic range. It’s not surprising wine buyers don’t go there often. These days they don’t have to. They have apps for that.
Plus all year long aggressive Bordeaux sales reps pepper their email contacts with an unrelenting string of “extremely rare opportunities,” short term offers and ever evolving listings. Pricing, exclusivity, terms and transport are all part of the conversation. Everyone has a lot of wine to “move” so stock is constantly mixed and remixed in response to the “needs of the market.” Bordeaux buying has become an email kind of thing for some companies, including one very well-known local one. But not at Wine Warehouse. None of our Bordeaux wines are bought like that.
When we need new wines from Bordeaux we hit the road and put in whatever windshield time it takes to run down any hot tips and make sure we meet all the hip vignerons who can help us zero in on the best wines, especially new ones with cool stories about land and family.
We feel that you have to go to Château, see vineyards and visit cellars to dial in effectively. We think it’s imperative to taste (and re-taste) wines where they were born. There’s no other way to buy Bordeaux if quality is the goal, just as there are plenty of shortcuts if it’s not.
Over the last few years up and down the west coast we’ve all seen Bordeaux become popular as an everyday wine. Attitudes and drinking habits have changed as many wine drinkers discover natural crossover points connecting comfort zone wines like California Cab and Merlot to unfamiliar but similar wines from Bordeaux.
Along the way trends like the current lower alcohol, “Euro” wine phase resonate well in modern Bordeaux’s wheelhouse where the focus is on the production of balanced wines with good flavors made in a fresh and easy, contemporary drinking style. For merchants like us, it’s about a tidy yet true range of wines from Bordeaux orga-nized with balance and clarity. The guiding principle throughout the selection process is a good one – all the wines have to be delicious first of all, then fairly priced and in good shape.