Three great values from the northern Medoc

Three great values from the northern Medoc
Hot on the heels of our best value St Julien, Chateau Langoa Barton, is one of our must have wines from Pauillac, Chateau Batailley. Like Haut Batailley, this chateau has had a recent make-over. The introduction of a second label, enabling greater selection and subtle changes in wine-making have added a certain polish, but not at the expense of the traditional charm we all associate with Batailley. Like most transformations, it takes a little time, both for the wine and the taster to become accustomed to the new character. The team at Batailley has nailed it in 2017!

For us, the 2017 is more cohesive and interesting than both the 2015 and 2016. We’re not going to say that about many 2017s, but the previous vintages at Batailley, impressive as they were, seemed like work in progress – 2017 is the finished article. It preserves all the qualities of the great Batailleys of the past with greater precision, refinement and depth. It’s a subtle yet noticeable step change in quality. At £196.50 per 6, we expect this to be one of the best buys from Pauillac.

Another big release this morning is Jean-Charles Cazes’ wonderful St Estephe estate, Chateau Les Ormes de Pez. Following on from the exceptional 2016, this is another great wine and offers exceptional value for money. It is Lynchesque with its dark core of fruit and impressive structure, but will afford earlier consumption – it is serious and very yummy.

To conclude the trilogy we have the sensational Capbern. Ever since we discovered the superb 2009, this wine has enthralled us. Situated in the heart of St Estephe and cared for by Laurent Duffau and Vincent Millet of Calon Segur, this wine brims with bright aromatic fruit and cru classé class at a fraction of the price.

Also released today, is the perennial overachiever, Sociando Mallet. Despite its lowly classification, this estate has one of the great terroirs overlooking the Gironde. Some have drawn parallels with the soils of Latour and Montrose in the past. We only tasted this once and it was dark and grand with an ambitious tannic profile. It wasn’t a joy to taste primeur, but this chateau has an impressive track record and much more often than not ages beautifully.