If you’re looking for restaurants that give equal consideration to petits châteaux, satellite appellations and other such offerings pickings can be slim.
Fortunately, there are a number of restaurants and wine bars around the world where the Bordeaux selection on the wine list should more than satisfy the Bordeauxphiles among you – even those who can’t afford the top crus classés.
So, where should you eat out if you want to take advantage of the best of Bordeaux? At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, the first place Bordeauxphiles should head is Bordeaux itself.
La Tupina has long championed the region’s wines. There are plenty of top-end bottlings, but the range of modestly priced bottles is stunning, starting off with Château Doms Graves 2014 and Saïkouk Médoc 2015, both a steal at €30.
Meanwhile out among the vineyards, the wine list at the relaxed Café Lavinal in Pauillac combines a selection of the Left Bank’s finest with second wines, bottlings from lesser-known properties and regional blends produced by Jean-Michel Cazes (Lou Janou 2012, for instance, is €80-worth of Merlot from Canon-Fronsac, Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaux and Cabernet Franc from St-Emilion).
Best for value: Bordeaux wine bar L’Univerre has an outstanding repertoire of local wines starting at €25 for a Canon-Fronsac 2012.
Any Parisian restaurant worth its salt will have a halfway decent repertoire of Bordeaux.
Although Taillevent itself arguably has more Bordeaux overall, it’s Les 110 that offers the greatest opportunity for experimentation, thanks to a rotating, by-the-glass line-up of 110 wines. Given that Les 110 has four pages of Bordeaux listings, it has plenty of opportunity to show the region off to good advantage.
Best for value: In Paris, Le Petit Sommelier has a mighty list, but mark-ups are reasonable. At the lower end there’s a vertical of Domaine de l’A, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, with prices ranging from €79 (2013, 2014) to €125 for the highly rated 2010 vintage.
This featured as part of World’s finest Bordeaux wine lists, in the Bordeaux supplement 2019, free with the Decanter July 2019 issue.