The Bordeaux Supérieur wines of Château Pescaud
The Bordeaux Supérieur wines of Château Pescaud

Supérieur Value in Bordeaux with Château Pascaud

300 Words (Or So) on a Rare $15 Wine with Distinction

3 min read

Fifteen dollar wine. That used to be my average price point for a good bottle, back when I was in my twenties and drinking wine only on the weekends (my wife and I were just starting out, so the budget was a little different back then). We were pleased to peruse the Spanish and Chilean wine aisles, and we drank pretty well. But since that time, two things have happened: naturally, wine prices have inched up with inflation, and secondly, my tastes have gotten a hell of a lot more demanding (have you noticed?). To find a $15 wine to write about these days is sadly uncommon.

The Bordeaux wine industry is so consumed with categories and classifications that a great wine from outside that system often doesn’t get its due.

Enter this 100% Merlot wine from the Avril family in the Bordeaux Supérieur AOC. I was recently given three vintages to taste side-by-side — 2020, 2019 and 2018 — and I was impressed with the level of balance achieved for the price. The Bordeaux wine industry is so consumed with categories and classifications that a great wine from outside that system often doesn’t get its due.

The Bordeaux AOC is a general, regional appellation that pertains to estates that are either not inside a village-designated appellation, or they don’t meet the parameters. To qualify for the supérieur you need to meet standards for lower yields, higher alcohol and longer aging (nine months for red wines). Château Pascaud lies near Fronsac, but not entirely within it, which may explain the price (certainly the high level of quality does not).

The wine has nicely integrated oak, with black plum and peppercorn notes throughout, and as it ages, some of these dimensions get more leathery and smoky. I’m including the latest release here, but the 2018 (oldest vintage tasted) suited my tastes the best. Here you have a rare $15 wine that you could pad a starter’s cellar with very easily.

2020 Château Pascaud Bordeaux Supérieur

2018 Château Pescaud Bordeaux SupérieurBordeaux Supérieur AOC (Bordeaux )
Grapes: Merlot (100%)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Opinion: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
Food-friendliness: Limited
Value: Exceptional


A beginner might like … playing with the spicy and smoky attributes of Merlot. Not all Merlot wines give off this sometimes captivating trait, but here you have it in spades. Ideal territory for grilled and roasted meats, although I do think it might overwhelm lighter far.

A wine obsessive might like … holding on to this wine for another three to five years, even if its not in the price range we’d typically associate with such a wine.


Note: These wines were provided as a sample by the winery’s public relations firm. Learn more about our editorial policy.

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