Won't blow your wine geek socks off, but it's a nifty little red on the cheap.
The avalanche of sturdy and well-made Bordeaux blends has been tumbling into the U.S. for the last few years. Match that rise in quality and availability with surprisingly low prices and you have a trifecta for wine drinkers.
Chateau Roquefort is one of the three chateau-designated properties under the direction of Frederic Bellanger. These vineyards are situated on elevated soils on an escarpment in the Entre-Deux-Mers, that prosperous are between the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers that define and divide the region.
The wine is a solid Merlot-Cabernet blend, 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The supple wine of black and red fruits is structured for middle term aging and suited for current drinking, with a delicate undertone of vanilla-oak spice (only 2/3s of the wine is subjected to limited oak aging) and a refreshing fine-grained minerality.
It is moderate in body, quite quaffable, nicely structured, and quite impressive for a suggested retail price of only $8. Not bad for a winner of the Challenge du Vin Medaille d’Argent in 2012 (and, it should be noted, the Chateau Roquefort Blanc 2011 was similarly honored.)
Note: Don’t confuse Chateau Roquefort from Bordeaux with the similarly-named Chateau de Roquefort in Provence. The one in Provence makes fine wine, mind you…but it is an entirely different creature, a splendid rosé.