The 2014 Cru Bourgeois du Médoc wines were released on September 20, 2016. These are specially-selected Bordeaux wines, priced around $25, so run – don’t walk – to your local wine shop.
Bordeaux wines often come with a mystic and an assumption that they are uber expensive.
Because many are. Wines from the Chateaus which fall under the First Growth classification, created back in 1855 by then Emperor Napoleon III, can be thousands of dollars per bottle.
But there are hundreds of vineyards — or Chateaus as the French refer to them — making wine that are overshadowed by crème de la crème of Chateau Lafite - Rothschild, Chateau Latour or Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
So the French came up with a simple classification to help us plebeians. So simple, that all you have to do is look for a shiny sticker on the bottle.
Cru Bourgeois du Médoc Classification
“Bourgeois” typically means the middle class. But “Cru” generally represents the best. So think of the Cru Bourgeois (pronouncer here) as the best of the middle.
And by middle, we mean affordable — but no means does that mean mediocre quality.
The history of the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc (which is on the left bank of Bordeaux) dates back to the 15th century but the first official Classification was created in 1932.
Even better, they created an authentication sticker for the 2010 vintage. So now all you have to do is look for it on the bottle. And if you find it, you know that:
- The bottle has been through a strict quality selection procedure.
- It passed a blind tasting by an outside party.
- It has an average price of around $26.
- The wine typically has been in the bottle for a year or two so most are ready to drink.
- And the chateaus must reapply annually for that fancy sticker.
So you basically get a baseline warranty, says Crus Bourgeois du Medoc's president Francois Nony.
The wines are mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot so now all you do is pick a blend you like and enjoy.
So for this year’s release, 278 Chateaus were selected vs. 251 last year. 2014 was a great vintage thanks to the exceptional Indian summer.
30 million bottles will be shipped around the world — that’s 10 million more than last year.
So look for the sticker. The 2014 wines are en route so be patient too. Or try a Cru Bourgeois from earlier years now that you know what to look for.
Try these wines while you wait for the 2014s.
Chateau Larose-Trintaudon Haut-Medoc 2010, Medoc, Bordeaux, France $25
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
Chateau Greysac 2011, Medoc, Bordeaux, France, $25
65% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot
Chateau Loudenne Haut Medoc 2011, Medoc, Bordeaux, France, $24
55% Merlot, 40% cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Caberbet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.