A delicious everyday red from an organic family estate in one of France’s most prestigious regions.
Producer: Vignobles Hubert
Region: Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux, France
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec
Medium Body, Easygoing
Flavors: Ripe red fruit, warm spice, earth
Pairing: Burgers, pork, charcuterie
Deep red plum and stewed dark cherry notes are at the core of this well-integrated wine. The nose is fruit-driven as well, and the palate shows pleasant earth and warm spice complexity. “The fruit tastes very alive,” Sommelier Carl York said. He prizes the Grolet for its moderation in all things: “It’s medium-bodied, with medium tannin, and medium acidity,” making it a great go-to for an array of weeknight dinners. Try it with everything from burgers to spaghetti bolognese.
Although Bordeaux is probably best-known for its legacy estates and collectibility, Sommelier Carl York insists that there are terrific everyday wines to be found on the storied banks of this river-hugging region.
“Côtes de Bourg and some of the more basic Bordeaux appellations probably offer some of the best values in the entire world of wine right now,” he said.
At around 60 hectares (or roughly 150 acres), Chateau la Grolet isn’t a small estate, but it is family-owned and well-known for its commitment to organic production among a sea of commercial vineyards who favor quantity over sustainability.
“These people have been farming organically for decades,” York said. “Before it was ‘cool.’ The wines are super humble, and they taste absolutely fantastic.”
Bordeaux’s maritime climate is famous for turning out ripe blends of primarily red grapes (though some white wines are made, as well as highly coveted sweet wines). The Left Bank subzone (to the right of the Garonne River) is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Right Bank is Merlot-heavy. La Grolet is situated in the Côtes de Bourg appellation along the Right Bank, meaning its wines are comprised primarily of Merlot.