What to drink this week

2014 Bordeaux: the Right Bank

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

There are some trea­sures to be found if you ex­plore this cu­ri­ous vin­tage, says Harry Eyres

‘Some of the best Bordeaux vin­tages to buy,’ a very ex­pe­ri­enced London wine mer­chant, whose judge­ment I trust, once con­fided to me, ‘are good to very good ones that come just be­fore so-called “great” vin­tages.’ Ac­cord­ingly, 2015 has been widely hailed as a great Bordeaux vin­tage—i think it was cer­tainly a great red Bur­gundy vin­tage, but that’s an­other mat­ter— so how about the less-her­alded 2014?

Why you should be drink­ing them

‘We’ve never had weather like that be­fore,’ said one grower of 2014, one of the strangest Bordeaux vin­tages of re­cent times. A warm spring was fol­lowed by dis­ap­point­ingly grey, cool and damp weather last­ing un­til mid Au­gust. Be­nign, sunny con­di­tions then pre­vailed un­til the har­vest, which, in some cases, ran on into late Oc­to­ber. Some very good wines were made, but con­cen­tra­tion was a bit di­luted at many prop­er­ties, so you have to make care­ful choices. Here, I am rec­om­mend­ing a trio of vi­brantly fresh and at­trac­tive, Mer­lot­dom­i­nated wines from Pomerol, in­clud­ing its fringe ap­pel­la­tion of La­lande de Pomerol, and St Emil­ion.

What to drink

La Chenade and Château Les Cruzelles are two ex­cel­lent and great­value La­lande de Pomerol prop­er­ties owned by De­nis Du­ran­tou of L’eglise Clinet fame. La Chenade 2014 (right, £50 per six in bond; www.jus­teri­nis.com) is fra­grant with vel­vety tan­nins. Château Les Cruzelles 2014 (£67.50 per six in bond; www.jus­teri­nis.com) has a lovely, sappy fresh­ness and con­sid­er­able sub­stance. At an­other level, the con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent St Emil­ion Grand Cru Château Canon (£280 per six in bond; www.ig­wines. com) is par­tic­u­larly perky and vi­brant with lovely, choco­latey el­e­gance.

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