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BORDEAUX DEMYSTIFIED

‘the haves and the have-nots’

Bordeaux is the most popular wine region in the world. It is also the largest. It consists of more than 7,500 different châteaux with close to 120,000 planted hectares of vines, making over 75 million cases of wine each year.

Even the most passionate consumer with encyclopedic knowledge of the region’s wines would surely start to run out of suggestions somewhere around the 120 mark. Most of the locally produced, family owned châteaux find it complex to market their wines internationally despite it being of premium quality. For every Lafite Rothschild (the estate was valued at €3.7 billion), there are thousands of châteaux that are on their uppers. Most consumer and media attention is focused on the 50 or so properties at the top of the pile. These are the names that drive the en primeur, auction and fine-wine markets, effectively dividing Bordeaux into two camps: the haves and have-nots.

Of course, some of these wines are very expensive, even in supposed “bargain” vintages like 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. This raises a more interesting question: are there still bargain vintages to be found in Bordeaux? Wines that deliver more bang for your bucks, rupee, ringgit, baht or dollars.

Well, a bargain is not the same as cheap, obviously; otherwise we’d all be drinking Bordeaux Rouge.

The answer is yes — through TGIF Wines.