Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we hot-footed it from Bordeaux airport to our first appointment of primeurs week - a big negociant tasting on the left bank. It’s a useful way to appraise a new vintage as all the major villages are represented under one roof.
We sample a staggering number of wines during the tastings of en primeur week and there is always a treasure trove of beautifully made and very well priced options. There are particularly rich pickings in a vintage with the quality and consistency of 2016. The *Fill your cellar for under £250 a dozen* list is our pick of the bunch. £2k could easily get you 10 cases of superb claret that will bring huge amounts of pleasure in the years ahead
Two of our favourite en primeur value buys are now out, one from each side of the river. Many of our customers have followed these for years and the proof of the pudding is those who bought the early vintages and have drunk them are coming back for more. Both have excelled again with the 2016 vintage.
Almost our last visit of primeurs week in Bordeaux was back to see Stéphane Dief up in the northern Médoc at Saint Christoly. Stéphane has made his usual success of his two wines, Clos Manou and Petit Manou. The Clos Manou has, unsurprisingly, the majority of the Cabernet, (69%) while the second wine is 88% Merlot.