What We’re Drinking: Simon & Château des Bardes





Bordeaux is a tough region to approach for the casual wine drinker. Yes everyone has heard of it and may be vaguely aware of the names of some of the top wines that now change hands at prices so high they can no longer really be considered as consumables. They are more like works of art with top winemakers often venerated like more conventional artists to those in the know. And who am I to disagree. Having been lucky enough to try some of the premier wines in Bordeaux, their creations feel just as far beyond my abilities and even comprehension as a fine painting or sculpture.

Away from such hedonistic pleasures there is an awful lot of Bordeaux produced that is affordable to the more financially restricted. Did you know that Bordeaux makes more wine than the whole of Australia! The problem is once you stray from the top names and the multiplicity of reviews that accompany them, it can feel a little like pot luck (even more so in Burgundy). This is where you need a wine merchant you can trust, like us I hope!

So now I come to the actual wine in question, the Château des Bardes, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2008. St Emilion is certainly one of the better known regions and as a result the variation in quality can be quite marked. I have chosen Ch Bardes for not only its quality but its drinkability. Bordeaux wines are often created to be aged and although they are rarely released with less than 18 months ageing, they often benefit from a bit more.

Château des Bardes 2008 is already four years old and is a style that was made to be drunk young. It is full of fruit and a there is quite a bit of creamy oak on the palate. The acidity and tannins are present but balanced and soft respectively. This is a wine to drink right now. I think it will last another couple of years but I don't see it improving and the palate will edge towards meatier rather than fruitier tones. The 2009 vintage will be along soon and although I have not yet tried it, from the vintage’s reputation I would expect it to be a more serious wine and probably needing a bit of age, so get a case of the 2008 now to drink while the 2009 comes into its own. Problem solved!
 
 

Written by: Simon Robins

Simon Robins is somewhat of a wine expert, not just in the liquid, but planning and analysis, logistics and operations management - having spent eight years working for the UK's largest wine mail order company. 

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