bargain wine of the week: Château la Grange Clinet 2014 Grande Réserve

This week’s budget wine comes from Bordeaux, the region at France’s seven o’clock: mostly south, very west.  While this chateau is not technically coastal, the entire area has “maritime influence”, especially as la Gironde cleaves the continent where it meets the Atlantic.

Bordeaux is known for its blends. Unlike, say, Burgundy, where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are likely to stand as single varietals in a bottle, les Bordelais are alchemists, painstakingly curating recipes to maximize signature styles and take advantage of whatever each vintage offers.

This sweetheart of a wine retails around $15, and it’s like a mini tour of what to expect from a Bordeaux. It’s balanced, elegant, with nothing standing out to make it a single note experience. This is not a particularly fruity wine, if you’re used to jammy or “fruit forward” stuff, but it is really satisfying to drink. It is also not a giant wine, and it stays interesting and enjoyable over the course of an evening. Or morning. 🙂

The exact proportions are a closely held secret, but le Clinet is a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend. 

The single caveat I maintain is that the taste changes after a few days open, even if you use a wine preserving system, which I do. Perhaps this is my own fault, after storing it cool, then taking it out to come to room temp, then cooling again, then bringing it back to room temp. Wines don’t like large or repeated swings in temperature, and maybe I tested la Grange Clinet too much.

Thirsty Cellist score: 8/10

Pros: Complexity, balance, subtlety. A little bit of everything in a very easy to access package. 

Cons: Gets a little weird after the third day open

Recommendation: buy it, try it, finish the bottle in one sitting (share with friends!), or save the remainder for deglazing a pan.  

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