Bordeaux for Tonight - 3 Spring Reds to Drink Now

Paige Comrie

Looking for the perfect wine to pop open on a Tuesday night? Bordeaux certainly won't be the first that comes to mind. But a handful of oustanding producers are stepping off the beaten path -- crafting award-winning Bordeaux blends at affordable, everyday prices. Check out our top three recommendations for this spring below.

Château Gaillot Fournier, Bordeaux 2015

About the Producer -

For three generations, the Zanon family has cultivated and developed the vineyard at Château Gaillot Fournier. Located in Entre-Deaux-Mers, a charming region east of Bordeaux that’s known as “French Tuscany'', you’ll find their 17 hectares vineyard thriving in the sunshine. The vineyards are planted primarily to Merlot, with small amounts of Malbec and Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, with the vines averaging around forty years of age.

In 2018, the château was purchased by father and son Jacques and Pierre-Jean Brunet in order to perpetuate the quality of their wines and deepen their connection to terroir. It's an outstanding brand with a strong history and a bright future.

About the Terroir -

The vines at Château Gaillot Fournier are located on hillsides, well exposed to sunlight for optimal ripening. Aged between 30 and 60 years old, these vines produce wines of intense concentration and deep complexity. The Zanon family practices sustainable agriculture, where they strive to respect the environment and intervene as little as possible into the growing practices.

Entre-Deux-Mers, the region where the vineyard is located, is a large wine sub-region of Bordeaux in southwestern France. Its name translates literally as "between two seas", although the seas in question are in fact rivers – the Garonne and Dordogne, which respectively form the area's southern and northern boundaries. These provide a cooling effect to the vines.

About the Wine -

Château Gaillot Fournier is a Tuesday night Bordeaux. Classically styled and big on quality, it’s not meant to be a stuffy wine you hold onto for years, but rather one that becomes your regular go-to bottle. A generous blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, you’ll notice the complexity and depth this wine brings to the table. Fruit-forward with notes of dark red cherry, luscious blackberries, and delicious, mouth-watering cranberries, you’ll be challenged to decide if this is a wine you want to sip solo, or pair with a juicy steak. Or, you know, maybe a simple cheeseburger from a drive-through. The choice is yours.

Presidial by Jean Luc Thunevin, Bordeaux 2016

About the Producer -

Jean-Luc Thunevin is one of St. Emilioin’s most respected winemakers. His vision of super small-production and super-high quality wines paved the wine for the new Bordeaux types, starting the whole “garage” movement back in 1989. Garage wines are incredibly small-production wines from tiny parcels of vineyards that are tended to with extreme attention to detail. Think backyard gardens vs. the typical sprawling vineyards. In 1989, when he purchased that initial plot of land, it was considered to be the “wrong side of the tracks” in St. Emilion. A few years later, however, Jean-Luc, proved the establishment wrong, delivering beautiful, high quality wines with intense depth. His Presidial proves Bordeaux can be enjoyed any night of the week.

About the Terroir and Vineyard Practices -

Jean-Luc leans into natural wine production, favoring commitments over labels, such as no herbicides or insecticides, and employing cover crops. If you dig into his company practices, many are based on the environment, including not only what’s done in the vineyard, but social policies and high-standard working conditions for employees.

Working against the norm, Jean-Luc aims for small production in the vineyard. Sourced from properties on the Right Bank of Bordeaux, these vines grow in clay and limestone soils and are over 30 years old. The landscape is mostly flat, leading to even ripening in the vineyards.

About the Wine -

With undeniable quality and an unexpected approachability for Bordeaux, Presidial boasts explosive fruits in the glass. Aromas are overflowing with raspberry and blackberry, followed by a hint of roses and just a dash of tobacco and cedar. A blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is full on the palate, but soft and smooth, with well-integrated tannins and a lively finish. Pair a glass of this with food to really feel it come to life -- this bottle is perfect for backyard BBQs. Our go-to? BBQ beef ribs and a creamy potato salad.

Château Puy Galland, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 2016

About the Producer -

Bernard Labatut is the third generation to work the vines at Château Puy Galland and is preparing his 29-year-old son to soon take the reins. Family and tradition are at the heart of everything the family does, going so far as to hand-sort grapes from the vineyard themselves, ensuring everything that ends up in the bottle has reached optimal ripeness (and therefore optimal quality). Bernard is dedicated to quality, which additionally has led to him working with oenologist Jean Philippe Faure, who works at winemaker-to-the-stars Michel Rolland's oenology firm.

About the Terroir and Vineyard Practices-

Located in the green, rolling hills of Bordeaux’s Right Bank in the Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, Château Puy Galland is home to 50+-year-old vines that thrive in the right bank clay-loamy soils. Climates are warm and the amazing area produces some of Bordeaux's best hidden gems -- amazing wines for amazing values.

Grapes are grown with an organic approach, utilizing canopy management systems and green harvests to produce better quality, riper grapes. Bernard, the third generation at Château Puy Galland, ages the wine 12 months in second-year oak barriques to maintain balance between fruit and tanning, yielding an approachable, everyday wine.

About the Wine -

Touted by winelovers as the perfect “Bordeaux for tonight”, this wine certainly lives up to its hype. There is a round, substantial, and almost fleshy dark-fruitiness to this wine. Classy, with a dash of brooding elegance, you’ll note a refined blend of black cherry, cassis, and dark cocoa. Authentic and richly flavored, this fruit-driven Right Bank Bordeaux delivers craveable, mouthwatering flavors. Berard Labatut suggests pairing his wine with foie gras, but we’d recommend an easy weeknight pairing of grilled pork chop or an indulgent mac’n’cheese.

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Paige Comrie is a Certified American Wine Expert and holds her WSET3 Advanced Certificate in Wine. She's passionate about helping connect consumers with great bottles of wine, and inspiring people to live the "wine lifestyle". This phrase, to her, means elevating the everyday, enjoying the little moments, and taking time to sip and savor everything life has to offer. In addition to wine and food, Paige also writes on the subject of Social Media and Digital Marketing, specifically focusing on the wine industry. Follow her on Instagram @winewithpaige

Napa, CA

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