An absolute bargain from the Côtes de Bourg, the lesser-known Bordeaux appellation on the other side of the Gironde River from Margaux. In common with other right bank wines, this is predominantly merlot with the remainder cabernet sauvignon, giving it an immediate charm from one of the greatest recent vintages. However, this is a seriously structured wine and is one of the best value Bordeaux I have ever tasted without the jamminess, which blights many cheaper high alcohol Bordeaux. It will easily last another three to five years and will cope effortlessly with any red meat or casserole you place in front of it.
I wasn’t expecting this to be at all noteworthy, given the price for such a temperamental grape variety, but I was completely blown away by the result. Curiously, the fruity and floral elements of this early maturing pinot noir reminded me of Pialade, an eclectic southern Rhône wine made by Château Rayas, the grandest of all Châteauneuf-du-Pape. If only Beaujolais or other early maturing wines had this exuberance. I would be more than happy
to drink this wine by itself – and then order another bottle.
Made by the daughter of well-known local producer Pierre Gaillard, this is a lovely example of a northern Rhône wine, which is more nuanced than its bigger southern Rhône rivals. Located in the Crozes-Hermitage zone, Jeanne says her objective is to make a wine that is “rather supple and fruity”. The syrah grape is less overt than the grenache of southern Rhône and this is a particularly good example of its complexity. Best for current consumption with meat or game.