Les Talents de Bordeaux 2021 – 9 Wines Reviewed




All photos copyright Paige Donner 2021

Vinum Terra, Bordeaux  2019   Vignobles Boissonneau  1839-2021

‘Immaculate natural wine’ – no added yeast, acid, sugar or sulfur, no new oak barrels, no heavy handed manipulation, biodynamic practices observed in vineyards and cellar 

The Natural Wine whose refinedness defies the label ‘Vin Natur’ 

Merlot, Appellation Bordeaux Controlée , Bordeaux AOP, 15% alc

Sans Sulfite Ajouté – No Sulfite Added /  Organic wine/ Vin Biologique / a pure fruit expression 

Serve at 16°C – 18°C 

Ripe plum, cassis, blackberry, touch of spice and rich earth 

Intense fresh fruit aromas, clean and pure,  for the bouquet ( nez est aux aromes de fruits frais; la bouche explosion d’aromes de fruits rouges, gourmande, bien equilibrée)  For the mouth, it’s well balanced and refined while still offering an explosion of bursting red fruits 

‘Deep color, amazingly fruity and intense; pure aromas, 

Labels are certified Imprimvert, meaning they contribute to the sustainable manufacturing  on the planet

Vignobles Boissonneau

The Boissonneau family has been making wine since 1839, primarily in Bordeaux, though also in the Côtes de Marmandais. Today, the sixth generation of family members run the estate, led by Pascal Boissonneau who runs the vineyards (with the help of his Uncle Philippe) and the winery. Since 2007, the family has been practicing organic farming, and in 2016, all of their 72 acres, in Bordeaux and the Southwest, are certified organic. In addition to making organic wines, the Boissonneau family is committed to protecting the biodiversity of their vineyards with innovative techniques, like the use of specific grasses and the installation of beehives. Within the past few years, the family has also started utilizing biodynamic practices in the vineyards and cellar. 

Chateau Castagnac  cuvée Margot 2019   Bordeaux, Cabernet franc & Cabernet sauvignon   chateau-castagnac.com 

Appellation Bordeaux Controlée   14% alc 

6th generation of winemakers of the family Coudert (6ème generation Famille Coudert, since 1865) 

Certified HVE 3 since 2019 (haut valeur environnementale level 3 )

The family has 60 hectares on the Right Bank Bordeaux that span across 3 chateaux;  Castagnac itself is a 38 acres of vineyards domain 

They are specialists, with a hint of rebel in them, for making wines with no sulfur added yet still matured in barrels. 

spécialistes des vinifications sans soufre. Ils ont développé trois cuvées qui cassent les codes des vins bordelais traditionnels. Ils ont l’audacieuse idée de créer une cuvée élevée en fût de chêne, sans ajout de sulfites, qu’ils appellent “Barrique Rebelle

A wine of the Rive Droite, so nestled just next to and between St. Emilion and Pomerol (other side of Cotes de Bourg) 

Garnet red ‘robe’ appearance 

Blackberry, cassis, blueberry 

Gourmet wine, fleshy, full of black fruits and a complex aroma palette 

Playful wine, smooth and silky despite its robust pedigree  (espiègle et douce) 

Silky tannins (tanins soyeux) even though it is a blend of Cab Franc & Cab Sauvignon 

No added sulfites , aromatic 

Juicy blackberry, mure juteuse 

Serve at room temperature, with grilled steak or lamb roast 

Dourthe N° 1 , 2019 Bordeaux , Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon (the two kings of Bordeaux cépages) , 14% alc. 

Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Bordeaux , French oak barrel ageing, keep for 5 – 7 years 

Suave et de bonne longueur’ 

This is a Grand Vin Bordeaux at very reasonable prices. 

Intenses fruit noirs (mure, cassis), notes délicates grillées

La bouche ample et généreuse, tanins soyeux 

This wine is the result of the Dourthe estate teaming up with oenologues and winemakers to select the best vineyard parcels for growing the best grapes, to be carefully cultivated and tenderly transformed into wine then aged in French oak barrels. Et Voilà. 

This wine is a pleaser. It speaks quality without the heavy Bordeaux price tag of a wine of substance like this one. 

which give way to delicately toasted notes that end with a nice spicy finish

Generous and ample mouth , silky yet structured ripe  tannins, a successful harvest, light toasted vanilla notes 

Serve at between 15°C – 17°C with duck, beef, stewed, caramelized pig cheeks 

Chateau Les Fermenteaux, 2019 AOC Bordeaux, par Stéphane Hervé  Vin de Bordeaux 

Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Malbec 

Soft tannins envelope this hearty red, full of currant,  blackberry and cherry ( (groseille, mure, cerise

Pairing:  barbecued beef briskets 

Quantity – 950 hectoliters 

Well-behaved tannins, (tanins maitrisé), ripe blackberry jelly, generous fruits, soft texture, classic slightly spiced fruit 

Epicé, typé, fruité / souple fluide tanins polis 

Vin Gabriel 

        Chateau Caminade Haut Guérin   Tentation , Merlot, 2019 

 14% alc.  Appellation Bordeaux Controlée 

Nice complexity, dark ruby robe, round tannins 

‘Fat and velvety body’  nez grillée, supple attack  Structurée 

Balanced, speaks of green olives and hearty meals around the family table 

Mature fruit with no hint of overripeness 

Short Film 


Génissac, the little village where this chateau is located, is neighbors to Libourne, the Bordeaux Right Bank town historical for its role in Bordeaux’s wine merchant business even still today. 

Its site sits just opposite Pomerol and St-Emilion, separated only by the Dordogne River. 

The entire chateau sits on 53 Hectares. 

The terroir is known to give its wines nice structure.  Because of its soils it is recognized as one of the best soil terroirs in the AOC Bordeaux Supérieur

The tannins for their reds are obtained through extraction of the skins and the seeds, with the goal of elaborating a wine that shows both finesse and aptitude for aging. 

   La Mauvaise Réputation, AOP Bordeaux, Malbec  12.5%  Appellation d’Origine Protegée  Bordeaux

Fresh, elegant and fruity – also full-bodied, structured and not a little complexity

Coincidentally, Bordeaux has a couple of businesses that answer to La Mauvaise Réputation. One is an art gallery. And the other is this Wine. 

As a sort of tongue-in-cheek against Bordeaux Bashing, this wine’s label actually translates to ‘bad reputation.’ 

It’s a marketing strategy that works. Probably because so many of us are attracted to that Bad Boy attitude. 

And because the wine stands on its own. 

Firstly, it breaks all Bordeaux rules by being 100% Malbec. 

The winemakers explain that in today’s environment of Climate Change (réchauffement climatique) it is essential to rediscover our grape varietals of yesteryear, which, they point out, for Bordeaux includes Malbec. 

The Color – intense, deep, almost blood red 

On the nose – raspberries, dark cherries and a hint of spice  (framboises, épices, cerises) 

Mouth – deep tannins, juicy, nicely structured 

Casual dining red, Good with bacon cheeseburger, grilled steaks and veggies on the bbq

This wine is made by a Cave Cooperative, Terre de Vignerons – made by young winemakers for their contemporary peers  (Gen Y 25 – 45) ‘according to modern aesthetics.’ 

This wine is answer to many of the underlying arguments bolstering Bordeaux bashing – 

No aggressive tannins

No associated Chateau 

No international celebrity grape varietals

No ancient ancestral  winemaking techniques 

Vineyards managed under the HVE Haut Valeur Environnementale certification 

The label here actually evokes American Prohibition, with a little story on the back label explaining that in NYC during prohibition all alcohol had a ‘mauvaise réputation’ 

*Note – George Brassens, 1952, sang La Mauvaise Réputation to great acclaim 

Chateau Thieuley, Réserve Francis Courselle, 2019, Famille Courselle , 13.5% alc. 

Mostly Merlot (90%) the rest is Cab Franc, Cab Sauv 

Viticulture Responsable,  Terra Vitis certified  (Agriculture Raisonnée


Puissante, structurée, racée, excellent aging potential   (powerful, structured, racy) 

Because summer 2019 in the Gironde was so generous and full of sun, it gave the vineyards great aromatic richness and balance 

This is a 5 ha vineyard, so the production is ‘haute couture’ by Bordeaux standards . Though the family vineyards comprise 84 hectares in Entre Deux Mers

Notes of cedre, cassis, torrefaction, energique, subtile note florale, grande souplesse         ( cedar, cassis, coffee roasting toasted notes) 

Mouth – the grilled notes gives way to a subtle floral note, 

Gentle tannins for a big juicy Merlot red, nicely balanced and full of life, energy  

Chateau Naudonnet Plaisance, Cuvée Mathilde, 2019 

Intense , vigoureux et corsé , classic Bordelais 

Nice play between dark sour cherry, blackberry and chocolate; Entre griotte, mure et chocolat, 

Keep for 12 – 15 years 

Has the fruitiness of Merlot married with the power of cab sauvignon; ample tannins, nice complexity. Smooth in mouth. 

Nice complexity in the mouth, with a structure that harmonises with a fleshy unctuousness and the liveliness of cab sauvignon. 


Entre-Deux-Mers  (they also have estates in St. Emilion and Sauternes). The Mallard family has been in the wine business in Bordeaux since 1870. 

Pair with red meats, grilled meats. Perfect  with duck. 

 Kressmann Monopole Bordeaux, Appellation Bordeaux Controlée, 2019 

 Since 1897

This is one of the original wine brands of Bordeaux (est. 1871, registered since 1897) 

Classic blend of Merlot, Cab Sauv & Cab Franc (7%) 

Red 2019:  Aroma: Cassis Noir, Mure, fresh ripe plums. Mouth:  then notes grillées, toasté, cacao, roasted coffee beans; roundness in mouth gives off vanilla notes. This wine is full of light and vivacity.  A nice finish, present tannins and evidence of barrel aging. 

Serve between 16°C – 18°C,  13% alc.   Taste w/ garlic roasted potatoes and cheese like St. Nectaire. 

The founder of the wine estate, Edouard Kressmann, was himself a reputed oenologue. When he first set up his wine business it was with the business model of doing ‘assemblages’ or blending, of musts from different wine growers/ estates. He enjoyed rapid success, exporting his wines from the famous Quai Chartrons all the way to the U.S. and, of course, England.  Now nearly 150 years later, they are still doing blends, and still from cuvées they find across AOC Bordeaux cultivated by small winegrowers. This ‘assemblage’ business model  is more akin to how it’s done in Champagne, whereby different plots are cultivated, harvested, matured and then blended for unique perfection in order that the flavors and aromas are all revealed to their best expression.  It’s a relatively unique business model for Bordeaux,  but one that has proven very successful for Kressmann. 

All photos here by Paige Donner copyright 2021 / PaigeDonner.info for republish rights.





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© Paige Donner 2021



All photos (where noted) copyright 2021  Paige Donner  FoodWine.photography

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