The Dialog Wines Blog

Value in Bordeaux – “If you can’t ride the White Horse, ride the Black Horse.”

 Published on: Saturday, February 18, 2012

Attention Bordeaux lovers! If you have been purchasing Bordeaux wines the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that the prices are getting a little tougher on your wallet. For most of us, it’s an unfortunate reality of the wine business that quality, affordable wines, from this world-famous wine region, are becoming more difficult to find. What’s really unfortunate is that many people, who are more recent wine enthusiasts, may never gain an interest in Bordeaux wines because they’ve never had an opportunity to experience value in the region.

Now for the good news.

On a trip to Bordeaux last year, we met Ferdinand Mahler-Besse of the well known, family owned negociant, Mahler-Besse. Looking as though he could have just swung in on a chandelier, Ferdinand was well-spoken, polite and a true wine professional. A distinguished gentlemen if I’ve ever met one, we later decided that Ferdinand must have been the first cousin of King Louis XIV.

Ferdinand took us through a tasting of his family wine estates. Most were quite impressive. However, it was the Cheval Noir Estate that caught our attention. Cheval Noir, owned exclusively by Mahler-Besse, is a small 6 hectare property located on Bordeaux’s right bank in St. Emilion. There are three wines from the estate, each falling under a different wine appellation: Cheval Noir Bordeaux, Cheval Noir St. Emilion and Chavel Noir Grand Cru. For value, we particularly enjoyed the Cheval Noir St. Emilion.

As expected, the 2009 is an excellent vintage. 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine has notes of plum, red berries and that familiar Bordeaux wet soil, earth and spice aroma. Elegant and medium-bodied on the palate with soft tannins, Cheval Noir is ready to drink tonight but could be aged for another 5 years.

An exceptional value for wine enthusiasts of all levels, Cheval Noir St. Emilion is now available to you at a price of $24.99. Our first allocation is 28 cases and you can find your bottle(s) in the French section at your local Liquor Store. Like my colleague said “if you can’t ride the White Horse (Cheval Blanc), you ride the Black Horse (Cheval Noir).”


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