Feature

Bordeaux’s ‘secret garden’ of wine

Canon-Fronsac and Fronsac are not as well known as Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, but both have venerable winemaking traditions.

In the French wine region of Bordeaux, the subregions of Canon-Fronsac and Fronsac have long been “overshadowed” by neighbors Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, said Bill Daley in the Chicago Tribune. But these long-established appellations both have venerable winemaking traditions.

On a recent visit, I stood amid “vine-terraced” hills—dominated by Merlot grapes with a smattering of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon—and looked down into the Dordogne Valley, thinking, “This is Bordeaux.” When you sip the wines, you think the same. Here are three bottles from this “secret garden of Bordeaux wine” that are worth searching out.

Château Les Roches de Ferrand 2000 ($17)This “elegant, multilayered wine” is a brick red color, with a plummy, spicy nose and “lovely mouth feel.”

Château de La Dauphine 2005 ($30)This “lively, balanced wine” has plenty of ripe berry and cherry flavors, liberally spiced with undertones of oak, cassia, and cedar. Château Moulin Haut-Laroque 2005 ($25)Subtle, with an “almost elusive smell of violets and damp earth,” this wine is a great companion for grilled steak.

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