You may have heard – and how could you not given all the press the wine has received – that the Bordeaux 2005 vintage is stellar. In fact, non-stop chatter among those “in-the-know” has caused most top chateau to sell out before the container-laden boats even hit our shores.  As top collectors gobble them up fast to build impressive cellars that most of us can only dream about where, you may wonder, does this leave the rest of us? No worries. I have a plan. Typically, excellent vintages result in excellent wine at every level. So skip the top tier and look for Fourth and Fifth Cru Classe wines or non-classified wines. While they may not have the aging potential of top growth wines, they offer great wine at affordable prices. In Cellar Door this past week, we sampled two well-made wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux; 2005 Chateau Bel-Air and 2005 Chateau Fonplegade. Here are my notes on the wines:

2005 Château de Bel-Air, Lalande de Pomerol, France ($26):
Located on Bordeaux’s right bank, Château Bel-Air is from the region right next to Pomerol where clay soils prevail. This wine was crafted by the renowned wine consultant Michel Rolland and contains Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Dark berry aromas are joined by spice and a dose of new oak. 

2005 Château Fonplegade, St. Emilion, France ($60):
Located on Bordeaux’s right bank, Château Fonplegade is situated on a limestone plateau making it perfect for growing Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. Full bodied, the wine combines red fruit aromas with an Old World mineral note.

In honor of the 2005 Vintage of the century, we will continue to taste Bordeaux wines in search of the perfect deal. Stay tuned, I’ll let ya know what we find.