It’s oh-so-fashionable now to bash Bordeaux wines as slick, unaffordable and made only for investors. But they’re not. This attractive, fruit-scented 2010 Château Saintongey Vieilles Vignes, with lovely taste notes of cherries and herbs, has just enough structure and tannin to make it excellent with roast lamb on a cold night and costs only $15.
A worthy, everyday Bordeaux at the right price
No, this wine isn’t one of the region’s fancy crus classés that require a decade or more of cellar aging to be at their best. Château Saintongey is a simple Bordeaux rouge for everyday drinking from the vast area south of the city of Bordeaux called Entre Deux Mers.
Elin McCoy’s Wine of the Week
2010 Château Saintongey Vieilles Vignes
Region: Bordeaux, France
Grapes: 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc
Serve with: Roast leg of lamb or roast duck
Chateau Saintongey is part of the company’s mid-range and vintages of this wine have won plenty of medals in France, the U.K. and the U.S. It’s the kind of attractive inexpensive Bordeaux red that the French enjoyed with Sunday dinner a couple of decades ago and that turned up on wine lists at French bistros in the U.S.
The “vieilles vignes” (old vines) are 25 years old. The terroir is clay and chalk. The owner keeps production costs down by using mechanical harvesting and ages the wine in barrels for only six months.
When critics and sommeliers dismiss the world’s biggest and most famous fine wine region as boring or passé, I wonder how many of the region’s wines they’ve actually tasted. In my opinion, there’s no reason to disregard Cabernet blends just because we’ve all discovered how good wines made from trousseau are.