By Rick Riozza

It’s time to have some fun again with Bordeaux wine.

A few years ago I wrote, “Once upon a time, Bordeaux was a fairly serious topic. Major wine producing history kept it well respected and all business-like—sometimes, even wine-snobbery crept in (imagine that). But things are a little more balanced, now that our wine community continues to enjoy a younger crowd.

And—once upon a time, every wine drinker in town had a strong opinion on Bordeaux. You either loved it! or, you decided not to get into it—being happy with California or Burgundy wine. Again, a broader base of wine enthusiasts, continue to erode the need to be locked into this group or that.

The new wave of vino lovers simply see Bordeaux as yet another area of interest to taste and enjoy. They certainly wince and are amazed that so much high-end Bordeaux can sell for 500 bucks a bottle or more, but they’re not afraid of trying an inexpensive Bordeaux.”

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And speaking of “inexpensive”, back in the day, there were a slew of us baby boomers who joined in the Bordeaux Brotherhood and enjoyed a fanciful Mouton wine at the table. For a good everyday pour, it’s hard to beat the Mouton Cadet wines. The brand grew out of the famous Mouton Rothschild estate, known throughout the world for great first growth Bordeaux wines.

Mouton Rothschild is one of the world’s most expensive wines. In 2006 at an auction organized by Christie’s in Beverly Hills, a lot of 12 bottles of Mouton Rothschild 1945 sold for $290,000, and a lot of six magnums of the same vintage for $345,000.

Besides being a First Growth Bordeaux, Mouton-Rothschild is known for its labels. Each year since 1945, the label for each vintage has been illustrated with the reproduction of an original artwork specially created for Mouton by a contemporary artist of the time, such as Picasso to Basquiat.

But knowing the market, the famed vintner Baron Philippe de Rothschild wanted to deliver a wine that brought the richness of a great Bordeaux to a mass audience—at affordable prices; so he created Mouton Cadet in 1930. Obviously the grapes for these wines don’t come from the legendary Rothschild estate, but they come from nearby: the north of the Blaye region and the Entre-Deux-Mers.

Enter now, some new vintage Cadets on the Bordeaux block: Mouton Cadet Blanc 2020 and Mouton Cadet Rosé 2020 both bottles sell for around $13. Freshly delivered to US shores from the renowned Rothschild family vineyards, these wines call Bordeaux home and offer an accessible (and affordable!) sip to the world famous wine region. With a unique sourcing from 453 partner winegrowers in the best terroirs of Bordeaux, these bottles are a stellar expression of French terroir and history.

Mouton Cadet Blanc 2020 is a Sauvignon Blanc dominant blend with a bit of Semillion and sprinkle of Muscadelle. Its pale buttercup yellow hue looks great on the beach and in backyards alike. The citrus and ripe peach aromas tease flavours of lime, nectarine and kumquat. The finish, escorted by a tingle of acidity, is long and pairs well with summer seafood, like oysters and scallops.

Another wine review states: “The Bordeaux Blanc is equally refreshing, full of fruity aromas and flavors. It is a pretty pale yellow in the glass, citrus fruit aromas with hints of peach. On the palate you get lime and peach flavors with notes of apricot. The finish is pleasant and lingering. It is a balanced and rounded wine.”

The blend is 76 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 22 percent Semillon and 2 percent Muscadelle. This wine should be served well chilled.

Mouton Cadet Rosé 2020 is Merlot based with Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon blended in for refinement and structure. The lychee-like deep pink colour perfectly matches the intense berry and grapefruit nose. The palette is punchy with a full red berry flavor that refines into an elegant lingering finish. Top summer pairings include charcuterie or sushi.

The Rosé is a beautiful peach color in the glass, with aromas of red fruit. The first sip opens with red fruit flavors such as raspberry, strawberry and cherry. The finish is round and pleasant.

Another wine reviewer has said, “The Rosé tasted like a Bordeaux, not a generic wine you sometimes get in this price range. It was fresh and uncomplicated, yet true to the region. The vines grow in diverse soils, which include clay, limestone and gravel, revealing different aspects of the grape varieties used to compose the Mouton Cadet Rosé.”

The blend is 77 percent Merlot, 16 percent Cabernet Franc and 7 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wine you can share with friends on a warm fall evening or take in a picnic basket on family outings, or even a tailgate party. It should be served chilled. Cheers!

Rick is your somm-about town and is looking forward to tasting & reviewing wines you or your company may be marketing & pouring. Contact him at winespectrum@aol.com.

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