Mar 05, 2021Chris LaBranche


Château Vrai Caillou Bordeaux, France Bordeaux Rouge 2018 Ah, Bordeaux. There is perhaps no French wine region that is better known or more poorly understood. It’s long been the epicenter of great French reds, yet it’s often overshadowed these days by hipper regions like Burgundy and the Rhône. Perhaps it’s the Sideways effect–no one wants to drink Merlot anymore! Bordeaux may overflowing with superbly expensive, sought after reds, but it’s large size means that it can still offer considerable values once you drive a few miles outside of the most cherished villages. Château Vrai Caillou’s Bordeaux Rouge is just that–responsibly farmed, well-made Bordeaux for the table at a great price.


This classic Bordelais rouge represents a blend of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Franc (40%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). It is fresh and elegant on the nose, with notes of violet, cracked black pepper, and ripe red plum. On the palate, it toes the line between intensity and concentration, highlighting flavors of bright red cherry and tart raspberry, framed by subtle notes of baking spice. The tannins here are pronounced yet silky, making this wine a pleasure to drink. It is especially delicious paired with our recipe for Mushroom Stew.


Château Vrai Caillou is located in the Entre-Deux-Mers (between two seas) subregion situated between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers that feed in to the Atlantic. Not unlike the great châteaux, there is a long and storied history at the estate, where the Pommier family has held these vineyards since the mid 1800s. It may be a humbler terroir, but they have maintained a commitment to quality and sustainability for decades. This, their entry-level red, is especially unique not only for its value, but in that it doesn’t see a drop of sulfur throughout the winemaking process, showing that not all sans soufre wines are overtly funky.

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