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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Affordable and Bordeaux are not two words that typically go hand in hand. Bordeaux is perceived as intimidating, complex and stuffy. First Growth wines can be found for $500 or much, much more and are the wines collectors seek.
But what about us mere mortals? Is there affordable Bordeaux for us to drink? Yes, actually there are plenty. But what if I told you one of them came from First Growth producer Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) for less than $50. You might say that is the stuff legends are made of but Légende has made it true.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of only four classified first growths in Bordeaux. The Chateau was purchased by Baron James de Rothschild in 1868 and today is run by Baron Eric de Rothschild, the fifth generation in the family.
While the Chateau Lafite Rothschild garners praise and high prices for those who seek it, the family also produces a range of more accessible wines that can be enjoyed every day. These wines were originally called the “Réserves des Barons.” From the “Réserves des Barons” and with the idea to offer classic Bordeaux wines that are affordable and can be drunk immediately, the line of Légende was born in 2002 and became available in the U.S. in 2017.
Charles Krug winery is not only the oldest winery in Napa (established in 1861) but it has been owned by the Mondavi family since 1943. Since then, four generations of Mondavi’s have run the winery. In fact, presently there are three generations still working the day-to-day, including Peter Mondavi Sr. who is turning 99 years old on November 8. To this day, Peter Sr goes to work every day (including Saturdays), walking up two flights of stairs to his office.  He works a full day, with a long lunch break, and even learned how to use Facebook recently! With his motto of “a glass of Cabernet a day”, perhaps we should all heed his advice! And what’s better than a glass of Charles Krug wine. Peter Mondavi Jr.