Finding a great value these days requires some research. Whether you're shopping for a new phone, cable plan, restaurant reservation, you will mostly likely rely on customer reviews and word-of-mouth. With wine, you want to have the best experience, at whatever price you pay, at the time you drink it.
Bordeaux is one of the largest wine regions in the world and has thousands of producers. Navigating the Bordeaux business is hard and requires a great deal of experience and negotiating to make deals with the finest Chateaux, negociants (brokers) and importers.
Ray Jacobs is the Tenzing Wine and Spirits Import manager and works with Trade Development. He has many years experience importing wines from France at every price. From a small grower in the Côtes du Rhône to Château Petrus in Pomerol.
Ray takes a yearly spring trip to Bordeaux to taste the wines en primeur (futures) and make decisions on the wines Tenzing will purchase in advance or upon release.
Keeping the relationships with the top, classified estates is important, but finding the best values is the hardest challenge. Everyone wants a wine that over delivers.
Here are two estates that outperform any competitor in their category
Chateau Taillefer is the first major estate you see as you enter Pomerol from the west, as you exit the highway or enter the region from Catusseau. Chateau Taillefer is also one of the oldest properties in the Pomerol appellation dating back to at least 1785. The chateau was built in the early 1800’s. Chateau Taillefer is historic for another reason, it is the first property purchased by the Moueix dynasty. Antoine Moueix bought the estate in 1923. The 11.5 hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Taillefer is planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. This represents a continuing change in the vineyard as Chateau Taillefer has over the years removed the substantial amount of Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyard. The property continues replacing much of their Cabernet Franc with Merlot. This process is being done slowly, to maintain the average vine age at close to 30 years of age. The terroir is sand and gravel with deposits of iron in the soils. In fact the iron in the soil is where the estate found the inspiration for its name from, as Taillefer comes from the phrase to cut iron, which is a reference to the iron in the terroir. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,000 vines per hectare.
2010 Chateau Taillefer Pomerol 12 / 750 Login to view pricing
Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré is the second wine of Châteaux Léoville Poyferré in St. Julien. The Léoville estate goes back as far as 1638 and is located in one of the best terroirs in the Médoc. Very close proximity to the vineyards of the first growth Château Latour, the Léoville vineyards are on fine gravel, suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cuvelier family purchased the estate in the 1920’s and have created quite an outstanding portfolio of wines.
Their knowledge of the Bordeaux market is stemmed as wine merchants way back in 1804. Today, they use the expertise from consultants Michel Rolland and Emile Peynaud to manage their wines and work with old vines, averaging 35 years. The 2011 blend of the Pavillon is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. The grapes are hand harvest in small baskets and sorted before crush.
The vinification starts in stainless steel vats and then aged in one and two-year old French oak barrels.
2011 Pavillon De Leoville Poyferre Saint Julien 12 / 750 Login to view pricing