Chateau Tessendey, Fronsac 2014

New and casual consumers of French wines are often confused as to the lack of obvious varietal information typically set forth on a French bottle, which instead labels the wine by region.  The fact that the Champagne region of France produces classic sparkling wine is obvious, but less clear are the varietals of wines that typically are grown in regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Provence, for example.  The other thing that is usually presumed about French wines is the off-putting costs of the product.  However, clever wine sleuths know that French wine bargains are available, even with Big Reds, when one knows where to look.  Earlier this week I happened upon such a bargain from the Right Bank area of the classic Bordeaux region, Chateau Tessendey Fronsac 2014.  A classic Right Bank blend of primarily Merlot with a healthy dollup of Cabernet Franc, the Chateau Tessendey 2014 is drinkable now as a cocktail wine or as an elegant pairing to a roast pork tenderloin or lamb chops, but it has the structure to lay down for a few more years as well.  The Chateau Tessendey 2014 has a mouthful of berry fruits and currants, with a classic Bordeaux earthiness and a long, bone-dry finish.  Wine Enthusiast Magazine agreed and bestowed a strong 91 rating on this Big Red to boot! If this description sounds like a French wine that will put a serious bruising on your Visa card, then we have a nice surprise for you!   This Bordeaux beauty retails for $18, but careful sleuthing can yield a $15 price on the internet.  This represents a great way to dive into the world of quality Bordeaux wines in general and the Right Bank, Merlot-driven varieties in particular at a bargain-bin price point.   What are you waiting for, sleuths?!

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  1. Aimee MacFarlane

    Drinking this tonight. Delicious. Tastes like a $60 bottle.

  2. Met your beautiful wife in BISTRO 22 Edmond ok and would live to see you two in here one day soon!

    – Salli

    • Len Musgrove

      Thank you for reaching out, Salli! We’d enjoy that very much. All the best, LM

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