Get to know Bordeaux with Crus Bourgeois

Tasting of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc

Tasting of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc

Bordeaux is a fascinating wine region.  Some of the world’s most famous and expensive wines (red and sweet) hail from here. But these mega exclusive and ultra expensive wines are not the limit of Bordeaux.  There are lots of first-rate wines with price tags that you and I can afford.

One way to find top wines that won’t require a loan to purchase, is to look for the logo (below) of the Alliance of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc on the labels of Bordeaux bottles.  This logo is an assurance that the wines have gone through a stringent quality assurance regimen and have been authenticated (important in a market like China were there is a lot of wine fraud). Along with the logo, you’ll also find a QR code that when scanned on your smart phone will take you to a website with further information on the wine so you can know exactly what you’re buying.

Cru Bourgeois Logo & QR Code

Cru Bourgeois Logo & QR Code

Two years after the harvest, a Médoc Chateau can apply for inclusion into the Crus Bourgeois.  It’s at this time that the wines undergo rigorous blind tastings to assure the quality is of the necessary standard. Since the implementation of this procedure in 2009, the number of wines selected has been steadily growing each year.

The interesting thing about the Cru Bourgeois classification is that it changes from year to year – it doesn’t mean once you’re in, you’re in for good.  This is great news for us wine buyers because we know that only the very best wines will be granted the Cru Bourgeois seal of approval from vintage to vintage.

I recently attended a tasting of 191 of the 260 approved wines for the 2010 vintage and participated in a blind tasting led by Bordeaux whiz, Stephen Brook.  The tasting was fascinating. There were seven pairs of wines, two each from the 7 appellations in the Médoc, including Margaux, Haut Médoc and Pauillac. The wines were beautiful. Even at just two years old, they were showing wonderful depth of dark fruit with layers of cedar, espresso and dark chocolate. The tannins were structured and round and overall the wines were as balanced as a Cirque du Soleil performer.

Two blind samples of 2010 Crus Bourgeois

Two blind samples of 2010 Crus Bourgeois

While you won’t find many of the Crus Bourgeois wines under £10 ($20), you will find them ranging from £13-20 ($25-40), which is a relative bargain in Bordeaux.

So don’t forget, when you’re next in the wine aisle, pay a visit to the French section and look out for the Cru Bourgeois logo and the QR code and bring home a Bordeaux.

Here’s to trying something new, learning something new and enjoying every glass a whole lot more!

Tara – Wine Passionista

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