Andrew Manketlow who represents 4 brilliant Bordeaux wines from our portfolio; Chateau Belrose, Chateau Cissac, Chateau Maucaillou Fellatin and Chateau Plantes, visits Hong Kong and talks Bordeaux with the Cellarmaster Wines team.
Andrew, can you describe for us the general style of Bordeaux wines?
The style of Bordeaux wines is very broad; in fact one of the great things about Bordeaux wines is that there are many styles, many expressions of the terroir, many expressions of the fruit and the grape varieties. Bordeaux wines are wines of elegance; they have a lot of complexity, a lot of layers given from the hand of the winemakers.
When we talk about Left Bank and Right Bank in Bordeaux what are we referring to?
The wine growing area of Bordeaux is split into two banks by the river Gironde. On the Left Bank are the Médoc, the Bas-Médoc and Haut-Médoc; the Right Bank is the Libournais and the Bourg and Blaye.
The Médoc has appellations such as Margaux, St-Julien, Pauillac and St-Estèphe; in these areas the soil is particularly made up of gravel and rock deposits which give great drainage and is why you’ll predominately find Cabernet Sauvignon growing on the Left Bank.
The Right Bank has the appellations Saint-Émillion, Pomerol and Fronsac; here the soil is more clay which lends itself better to growing Merlot.
It’s pretty much open; you can drink the wine on its own as its great elements allow you to do just that. It pairs very well with any meat or full flavored dish; cheeses also work very well with Bordeaux wines.
How old do you recommend drinking Bordeaux Wines?
A very broad question but one I can answer. It depends on the wine, wines with top properties 30, 40 even 50 years they continue to develop but wines at the lower end are produced literally for drinking 2-3 years after harvest.
What have been some of the great Bordeaux vintages in the last 10 years to look out for?
Well 2000 was a great vintage as was 2005, 2009, 2010; these were the exceptional vintages of Bordeaux in the last 10 years.
And the feeling around the 2013 Bordeaux vintage?
Very difficult to say, it’s been a late start and it’s just too early to predict. If you look at the 2011 vintage up until a few months before the end of harvest it was looking to be another exceptional vintage like the 2010 but in the end there was a big difference; these things are always difficult to predict.
I will say the Chateau Cissac is my favourite wine, I’ve known it for a very long time; I knew it before I moved to Bordeaux, even before I was in the wine industry and that was 25 years ago. It’s a great wine of great value.
What do you notice about the wine market in Hong Kong? Do you think we have a good selection of wines available?
The Hong Kong wine selection is incredible there is almost everything here you could possibly imagine. I’d say probably one of the best selections of wine you’d find anywhere in the world.
Have you noticed any changes in recent years in the wine market in Hong Kong?
Big changes! 10 years ago there was only a few players, now many people are involved in the wine industry. The passion for wine by local Chinese has become simply incredible; the passion to learn and to understand what they’re drinking has changed dramatically.
You’ll find these great wines at CellarmasterWines.com