With eager anticipation we gathered. On the day that marked Back to the Future Day, we were jouneying back before Marty McFly to a time when the height of sophistication was a cheese and wine party. But there were to be no cubes of supermarket cheddar and pineapple on cocktail sticks for us, we were going to do cheese properly.
Chateau Haut Brion (Red) is a fabulous wine, but with older vintages available for very little more it begs the question we were asked this morning “Which major name is going to make their 2014 truly compelling?”
This morning – where France is not on holiday – the 2014 releases continue. The big one is Château Talbot 2014 (£290). We liked the wine, although the balance of all notes suggests a wine that maybe quite a firm style.
Allow us to tempt you with a perfect selection to see you over the Easter break. Of course, you'll be chomping away on a joint of Spring lamb with the family on Sunday, something that'll be washed down luxuriantly by the Château Paloumey 2009 Haut-Médoc - classic Bordeaux, superb vintage, great balance, ripe fruit and class.
This is delicious drinking – made from old vine Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Sémillon (30%). A beautifully crafted white Bordeaux which will appeal to drinkers of even the best wines from the Graves.
Behold a fine trio of French red wines to warm the spirit, all of which will yield the faintest hint of change from a twenty and also make an ideal accompaniment to autumnal cooking:
International Wine Challenge (IWC) Merchant Awards Strictly Come Wine Tasting? On the 18th of July, at the 30th anniversary of the IWC awards, Lea & Sandeman was awarded 'En Primeur Merchant of the Year', All the L&S team are absolutely delighted to have been given this award by such a high-calibre panel, (Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke, Sam Harrop MW, Peter McCombie MW, Charles Metcalfe and Derek Smedley MW) and judged against such formidable competition.
You will have seen our earlier push on Denis Durantou's 'little wines', not to mention the little video about the 2012 vintage. Of course 'little wines' is a misnomer since they are far from little and offer some of the best value in Bordeaux - just at a more accessible price than his 'big wine' l'Église Clinet.
Up in the northern Médoc, around the village of Saint Christoly, it was normal, right up to the 1970s, for farmers to have some maize, some cows, a few pigs – and 4 hectares or so of vines. Part of what is now Clos Manou was a 4 hectare ‘Cru Bourgeois’ called Château Cantegrive.
Regular Primeur buyers from L&S will know that we have been banging the drum for Pierre Taïx's 'La Mauriane' since 2001, and this tiny property in Puisseguin Saint Emilion continues to produce wines of remarkable value, with Pierre continuing to tweak the way the vineyards and managed and the wine is made and aged.
2009 Château du Maine - AOC Graves, Langon, Bordeaux Bordeaux has something like five thousand different Châteaux all making wine – and inevitably you get the full gamut made, in terms of quality. There is a lot to avoid, but also some real gems too thankfully.