Long considered to be the second wine of Château Calon-Ségur, it is in fact produced from its own vineyards in and around its more prestigious neighbour. This is a perfect example of a fully mature claret from what was considered to be a lesser vintage. After decades of highly alcoholic fruit bombs, it is reassuring to find Bordeaux going back to its roots. There is nothing clumsy or chunky about this wine – instead it is light, balanced and utterly refreshing with a spicy element and a touch of smokiness. Worth decanting for an hour or so before drinking.
The Margaret River has long been my favourite Australian wine region and with wines like this Shiraz, it’s easy to understand their appeal. The techniques used at Rocky Road are more reminiscent of the Northern Rhône than western Australian – and it’s biodynamic to boot. It has hints of what antipodean wine makers call “sweaty saddle” but is better referred to as old leather aromas, with some traces of eucalyptus. Still youthful but the tannins are fine and virtually hidden by the satisfying red fruit flavours. Drink now or keep.
This Château has undergone a renaissance since the Anglo-French Sichel family purchased it in 1990. Better known for their négociant business and involvement with famous Bordeaux properties such as Châteaux Palmer and d’Angludet, it heralded a more serious approach to the rustic wines of Corbières and Minervois. This has superb balance and a lightness of touch, despite its full-favoured depth and alcoholic strength. The triple blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan gives it characteristics of both the Northern and Southern Rhône despite it being produced in the Languedoc. A perfect accompaniment for red meats and stews.