What to drink this week
2014 Bordeaux: the Right Bank
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.