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Wine Savor - keep that unfinished bottle from spoiling!


California Wine Club: Don't panic! There's still time


In This Issue

Bordeaux 2000: Beating the system
Chateau Bonnet 2000 Bordeaux
Wine Lovers' Voting Booth: Holiday wine gift choice?
Wine Savor - keep that unfinished bottle from spoiling!
California Wine Club: Don't panic! There's still time
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

Bordeaux 2000: Beating the system

If you follow wine news at all, you've probably heard about the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux. After a lackluster series of vintages throughout the '90s, the summer of the turn of the millennium turned clear, sunny and dry after a damp start, yielding ripe and mature fruit capable of producing the great wines that have built Bordeaux its long-term reputation.

Early critical reports have been uniformly positive, creating a substantial buzz, with the obvious free-market results: The wines of the top producers will be hard to get and unreasonably pricey. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, for instance, is listed for $300 to $400 a bottle at U.S. retailers, 300 to 400 Euros in Paris and 200 pounds sterling or so in London. Even the second tier of Bordeaux won't come cheap, with such reputed wines as Chateau Lynch-Bages commanding $100 and Cos d'Estournel $75 or thereabouts.

And all this for wines that most of us haven't tasted yet unless we've had the opportunity to taste at the producers in Bordeaux: These costly treasures won't even reach retailers in the States until spring.

But you don't have to wait, or take out a second mortgage, to get at least a taste of 2000 Bordeaux. While the critical acclaim focuses on the tip of the iceberg - the top tiers of the historic Bordeaux producers ranked in the Classification of 1855 - this represents only a tiny fraction of all the wine produced in Bordeaux.

There's a lake of comparatively affordable Bordeaux from un-classed properties and from the "satellite" districts that lie outside Pauillac, Margaux, St.-Julien and other sought-after villages in the most desirable parts of Bordeaux.

While wines at this level can be variable, especially in less successful vintages, a rising tide lifts all boats, and my early tastings suggest that even these modest Bordeaux are likely to be appealing wines in the 2000 vintage. What's more, these "lesser" wines have already reached the retail market around the world.

Today's example comes from Entre-Deux-Mers ("Between Two Seas"), a generally lightly regarded region. But it's made by André Lurton, whose wines are reliably easy to enjoy, and in my opinion it's that rare thing from Bordeaux: A wine of real quality at an affordable price.

Chateau Bonnet Chateau Bonnet 2000 Bordeaux ($9.99)

Very dark garnet with glints of amber in the glass. Characteristic young-Bordeaux scents, aromatic cedar and disctinctive curranty aromas akin to the blackcurrant liqueur Cassis. Flavors carry over on the palate, clean and fresh, with firm acidity and soft tannins to give it structure. A pleasing wine, and despite its relatively generic and low-end stature, a good benchmark Bordeaux, suggesting good things for the much-hyped 2000 vintage. (Produced by André Lurton, property located in Entre-Deux-Mers but labeled as simple Bordeaux; chateau-bottled 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot.) U.S. importer: Ex-Cellars Wine Agencies Inc., Solvang, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: Makes a fine marriage with a classic accompaniment, lamb chops pan-grilled with fresh rosemary and garlic.

VALUE: Excellent value. Don't worry about it's low-rent origins; it's rare to find Bordeaux of this quality for $10.

WEB LINKS: André Lurton's wineries are collected on a single Website in French and English. For the English version, click to:
where you can click individual links for each winery including Chateau Bonnet.

Wine Lovers' Voting Booth: Holiday wine gift choice?

This week we address a simple, seasonal issue in the Wine Lovers' Voting Booth. With Santa making his lists and checking them twice as the holiday season nears, the topic du jour is obvious: "What's the top pick on your wine-related wish list for the holidays?"

If you didn't catch this announcement on Friday, there's still plenty of time to "vote." To add your gift choice to Santa's list, click to

Wine Savor - keep that unfinished bottle from spoiling!

Want to keep that unfinished bottle of wine from spoiling? The Wine Savor, a simple, unique, patent-pending product, is the answer. Endorsed by the Sommelier Society of America, Master Sommeliers and wine professionals around the World, the Wine Savor is a simple, cost-effective method to keep that opened bottle lasting longer.

Here's how it works: Simply fold the Wine Savor and insert it in the bottle. It floats on the wine surface and retards oxidation. A package of 10 Wine Savors is $10 and is available in retail outlets, wine catalogs or direct from our friends at

California Wine Club: Don't panic! There's still time

DON'T PANIC! With The California Wine Club there's still time to send a gift that’s FUN and UNIQUE!

Each month your gift recipients will receive two bottles of award-winning wine, hand-selected from California’s best boutique wineries. Each shipment also includes the newsletter "Uncorked" – an up-close and personal look at the families behind the wine. Just $32.95 per month plus shipping!

Special discounts on gifts of 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Ask about their three-day, two-day and next-day air service.

or call (800) 777-4443. Available in the U.S. wherever wine shipping is permitted by law.

Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

The Wine Advisor's daily edition is currently distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:

More Pinot (Dec. 13)

A Pinot Pioneer (Dec. 11)

Wine books: One thumbs up, one down (Dec. 9)

Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:

Last week's Wine Advisor Foodletter: Sort-of Cordon Bleu (Dec. 12)

Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:


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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Monday, Dec. 16, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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