Bordeaux produces some of the absolute greatest wines known to man, but in recent years many of these have become less accessible due to the rising demand and cost of these prestigious wines. The top wines from Bordeaux have always been justifiably expensive but in the last 10-20 years after the move to enprimeur sales and having become a Veblen Good in the Asian markets, it has been more difficult to get your hands on the top wines.
More to the point is the difficulty of getting aged Bordeaux that is ready to drink now. With the enprimeur futures system you need to purchase the top Classed Growth Bordeaux wines site unseen while they are still in barrel because the demand for them is so high that they often sell out before bottling. Couple this with the fact that when supply is fixed and demand rises, so do prices. Therefore many people are in the position of not necessarily wanting to spend increasingly vast amounts of money on wine they won't be able to drink for 10-20 years.
As these bottles find their way onto the auction blocks at Sotheby's or Christie's in New York and Chicago they continue to demand unpredictably large sums. If purchasing is done strictly for investment this isn't a problem as values seem to continue rising, but it is quite a ticket for wines you won't be drinking for at least a decade. Luckily we work with Companie Medocaine, one of the finest negotiant houses in Bordeaux and they have released to us an inventory of their Grand Crus, with selections back into the last 3 decades. This is an excellent opportunity to get your hands on some of Bordeaux's most exclusive wines that are close to being ready to drink without an auction house bidding war. The Chateaus we have on offer include Chateau Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild, Lafite, Haut Brion, Latour, Cheval Blanc, Pichon de Longueville (Baron and Comtesse), Lynch-Bages, Petit-Villages, Angelus, Cos d'Estournel, Montrose, Suduiraut and Yquem...to name a few of the superstars.
But something that gets lost in the shadow of these outstanding Grand Cru wines is the plethora of great Chateaus that were not Classified in 1855 and make incredible, age-worthy wine for a fraction of the cost. Moreover, many of these wineries are owned by the same families who own the top classified Growths and produce very high quality second wines under a different label: Château Les Ormes-de-Pez is owned by the Cazes family who own Château Lynch-Bages; La Fleur de Boüard is owned by Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, the co-owner of Château Angélus; and Chateau Pibran is owned by AXA Millésimes under the direction of Christian Seely along with top Chateaus like Pichon-Longueville Baron and Petit-Villages, and the list goes on. These secondary wines can be 1/10 of the price of their bigger brothers, and are worth every reasonable penny.
But because of all the press the First Growths get along with their prohibitive prices, we can often forget how much incredible wine Bordeaux actually produces outside of the top 10 or 20 Chateaus. On offer is a long list of various vintages from a mix of the First Growths mentioned as well as many great value houses. For more details and the complete offer please request a price list via the 'By Request' page above.
I filmed this tasting with Paul Pontallier, General Director of Chateau Margaux at Lifford Wine Agency's office in 2010 for my old blog Behind The Wine. It has some great Q&A insights of the inner workings of one of Bordeaux's most famous Chateaus.