2016 Jacquet Bordeaux
Brilliant Return of a Bordeaux Value Champion
True, Bordeaux is not a name synonymous with value but gosh darn it, we like these wines, and we hunt high and low for winemakers who are making terroir-driven exceptional values. And that’s why when several years ago Veronique Barthe crossed our paths, we were most excited.
Over 200 years ago Veronique’s ancestors came to the area of Bordeaux known as Entre deux Meres, or the “place between two rivers” – basically, the middle ground between the Right Bank’s Pomerol and Saint Emilion, and the southern area of Graves and Sauternes. While being a high-quality wine region, the Entre deux Meres was passed over in Grand Cru Classe rankings, largely because other regions had a greater commercial interest. Therefore, it remains mostly unknown under the large category of “Bordeaux.”
But Veronique is a hard-working woman, and as such she has grown her little empire into something mighty impressive. She now owns not one, nor two, but four different Bordeaux chateaux (estates with vineyards really, some of the “chateaux” are aluminum-sided bars with tanks in them), all with the goal of making wines “for enjoying and sharing.” And wow, does she nail this one out of the park:
Its brilliant ruby color opens the drinking experience with a burst of joy. Immediately following is a siren call of black cherries, high-toned notes of pomegranate and touches of ripe cranberries, with hints of woodsmoke and graphite. It is instantly appealing, instantly recognizable as Bordeaux, and immediately generates a smile. The palate follows through in similar fashion, with a juicy black fruit character, sparks of minerality, and a long, velvety finish. Equally at home with a simple grilled steak with garlic and rosemary butter, or a carved cote de boeuf topped off with foie gras.
Simply put, while we love Bordeaux, it often isn’t cheap. But Veronique has offered us a smashing hit with this wine, making her our new French hero.