I present Bordeaux tastings all the time but this one, in Baldon Oxfordshire, stood out. We weren’t tasting first growths, or indeed any growths. It was a tasting of Everyday Bordeaux – not a great term really, meaning that the wines are affordable, but I tell you what, I would be happy to drink any one of the 8 wines we tasted every day. They showed brilliantly. And they exposed Bordeaux perfectly in terms of its affordability, accessibility and diversity.
I love it when everything works exactly as it’s supposed to!
Dourthe La Grande Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2012 £8.99 Waitrose Elegant, fruity and fresh.
Vieux Château Gaubert 2011 £12.50 The Wine Society Lightly oaked, a beautifully textured white Graves.
Château Bauduc Rosé 2012 £9.50 Direct from the château My favourite Bordeaux rosé; light, strawberryish and just darn pleasurable. Sadly, 2012 has sold out (and I’ve run out of my stocks, too, dammit!) but look out for the new vintage and, in the meantime, do try the whites and reds which are also excellent. And excellent value.
Château La Brande Le Grand Chai 2010 £12.99 Laithwaites Ripe and fruity, gentle tannins not for keeping but drinking really well now.
Château Le Maine Martin La Nouvelle Génération 2009 8.15euros Not currently available in the UK which is shame because we would have no trouble pronouncing the name, the label is funky (for a Bordeaux) and the wine is delicious, showing well the structure of the 2009 vintage. A model Bordeaux Supérieur. Check out their website here
Délice du Prieuré 2006 The St Emilion Grand Cru property ‘sells’ this as a ‘vin facile de jeunes vignes’ (easy wine from young vines) which is accurate but understates its attractiveness and quality . Peaking perfectly now, I suspect this vintage would be difficult to buy but look out for younger vintages and their top wine – probably would involve a trip to France.
Château Beaumont 2004 A favourite Cru Bourgeois in the UK for its consistency and affordability. I bought this 2004 from The Co-op for about £15 several years back, but The Wine Society have the 2010 for £14.50 – worth buying plenty and keeping a few bottles for a bit.
Château Roumieu 2007 £12.99 from the Co-op. Sauternes and Barsac, as in this case, are arguably the best value of all the Bordeaux appellations. Truly sublime yet totally affordable. Don’t think of Sauternes only at Christmas – think of it any time you whip up a Lemon Meringue Pie or open some Roquefort.
A woman said to me on leaving last night that she had expected to be tasting ‘Bordeaux for boys’; tannic, heavy in structure, low in fruit, powerful rather than elegant. She was surprised and impressed. And delighted that they were at a price she liked. Most Bordeaux is reasonably priced, it isn’t all red, it doesn’t have to be laid down for years. It might just become the next best thing in Baldon.