04 May 2015 - Bank holiday releases!
It may be a bank holiday in the UK, but the Bordelais are keeping up the momentum. With so many public holidays in May, it would seem that the need to ‘get-on-with-it’ has finally been heeded. The ever popular Chateau Talbot has released at £290 per dozen. With most physical vintages trading at £400 per case or more this solid St Julien is a pretty safe bet. Next we have one of our ‘best value’ picks, Chateau Chasse Spleen. Along with Cantemerle this was the class act of the Haut Medoc, Moulis, Listrac tasting. It is a surprisingly sophisticated and classy glass of wine for £175 per case! Something that is less likely to be found in our glass is Troplong Mondot. This bruising St Emilion is never short of alcohol, tannin and extract. It’s not our cup of tea – but each to their own (£280/6).
The wines of Pauline Calvet are perennial favourites of ours. Made from his estate close to the Rocade, and not far from Haut Brion, the wines of Picque Caillou are classy and very affordable Pessac Leognans. The Blanc is made in minute quantities and is often a match for the big names in the commune. At £140 per dozen, this zesty, mineral, racy number is an absolute bargain! Pauline’s red is less consistent, but when it is good it’s very good indeed. The 2014 is spot on with lots of ripe berry fruit and nothing too forced or aggressive - a very honest and well-priced Pessac (£120/dozen).
Finally we have Olivier Bernard’s Chateau Guiraud from Sauternes (£150 per 6). This has received some stunning scores from the critics:
‘A juicy, engaging core of apricot, nectarine and green fig is backed by ginger and spiced apple accents. Orange zest notes enliven the finish even more. Shows solid length, power and precision. 94–97/100’ - J.M. The Wine Spectator
‘The Château Guiraud 2014 has a perfumed bouquet with clear honey, beeswax and honeysuckle aromas that are well defined. The palate is fresh and taut on the entry: good tension and focus here, very harmonious with a gently build in the mouth towards a satisfying marmalade and quince-driven finish. This is a finely crafted Guiraud that will be a class act. 93-95/100’ – Neal Martin, erobertparker.com
23 April 2015 - Great value wines from the Guinaudeau family
We are very proud to be agents for the Guinaudeau wines in the UK. Jacques, Sylvie, Baptiste, Julie and their team are meticulous vignerons who constantly strive to improve all their wines. Chateau Lafleur, recently described as “one of the world’s greatest red wines” by the Wall Street Journal’s Will Lyons, quite rightly takes most of the plaudits. This magnificent terroir produces one of the most unique and mesmerising wines from anywhere in the world. However, the same painstaking level of detail goes into their other cuvees: Grand Village Blanc, Grand Village Rouge, Les Champs Libres and "G", making them not only some of the most interesting wines from the region, but also some of the best value.
Having located the perfect “St Emilion” terroir in the appellation of Fronsac, the Guinaudeaus planted the vineyard using a massale selection of vines from Lafleur. The 2014 "G" Acte 6 is perhaps the breakthrough vintage for this wine. Previous efforts have all been wonderful wines, but they perhaps lacked the sense of identity we found in the 2014. Acte 6 is a staggeringly beautiful example of Cabernet Franc, with a nobility that bears more than a passing resemblance to Lafleur, albeit in a slightly less grand and intellectual fashion. The family are clearly very pleased that their vision and hard work has reaped such glorious results.
At Jacques and Sylvie’s home estate of Grand Village, the wines go from strength to strength. Again, the regal Cabernet Franc aromatics give this a class and presence above and beyond its humble price tag. This may only be ‘Bordeaux AOC’, but this is a Guinaudeau wine, produced with exceptional skill and all the resources at their disposal. This is very real and vital; a proper wine with beautifully delineated flavours that will delight drinkers for years to come. The Grand Village Blanc is a most refreshing antidote to the ubiquitous style of Sauvignon Blanc – it is perhaps the most mineral and refined example we can remember tasting.
Things appear to be moving a bit today. Other notable releases include, Jonathan Maltus’ Le Dome and Teyssier as well as Calon Segur’s sister property, Chateau Capbern (formally Capbern Gasqueton).