What to drink this week
Bordeaux 2014: the Left Bank
This vintage is looking better and better value, believes Harry Eyres
There’s a lot of buzz about the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux at the moment. The assembled corps of leading British wine merchants and a select band of scribes—not the easiest bunch to impress—returned from Bordeaux in mid April full of enthusiasm for a year in which the growing season started miserably. It was saved by a great, hot late summer and the main problems growers encountered were associated with drought. Many are rating 2016 more highly than 2015 and these will certainly be wines to consider for your cellar in due course, but, in the meantime, I want to return to a less-hyped vintage that can offer some real bargains for relatively early drinking.
Why you should be drinking them
A good to very good vintage followed by two very good to great ones, 2014 is looking better and better value. The guess is that 2016s in the classic Bordeaux mould will shortly go into their shells; 2014s are already approachable. I recently shared some Right Bank (mainly Merlot) picks, but now’s the turn of the Cabernet-dominated Left Bank.
What to drink
Saint-estèphe, in the northern part of the Médoc, did especially well in 2014 because it avoided most of the September rains—the wines have real concentration. A great pick is Château Capbern 2014 (£132 per dozen in bond; www. laywheeler.com), which has deep colour and a big, earthy character —very typical of the area. More elegant and fragrant, as you’d expect from a Margaux, is La Réserve d’angludet 2014 (right, £20.95; www.fromvineyardsdirect.com) and at a higher level is the dense, suave and magnificent Château Calonségur 2014 (£380 per six in bond; www.frw.co.uk).