(2023) From a small family winery on Bordeaux's Right Bank, this is a Merlot-based wine from vineyards operated on the principles of regenerative farming. The estate is also in conversion to organic certification, and this is mostly Merlot, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, grown on clay, silt and limestone soils. It is aged 18 months in concrete tanks before bottling. It has a saturated, dark colour and quite a serious, vinous nose, with plum and spicy black fruits, though there are glimpses of sweet earthiness. In the mouth it is firm, certainly a bit of grip here, but the fruit is silky and the tannins smooth, making for a balanced and quite elegant wine, though with a bit of structure too.
(2022) Yes, you can legitimately say you are serving Eyquem tonight, and just hope nobody notices it is red and dry. From some of the oldest Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Right Bank appellation of CÃ´tes de Bourg, there's a slightly funky, gamy character here at first, then black fruit with high-toned notes. On the palate the oak adds toastiness to the picture, with raspberry-edged dark berry fruit, firm tannins and plenty of substance with its 14% alcohol. At its best with a bit of red meat protein I think.
(2022) An old favourite this, almost pure Merlot (with 5% Cabernet Franc) from the team at the famous Pomerol estate of ChÃ¢teau Clinet, using fruit from surrounding Right Bank appellations. It's a brisk red and black-fruited style, focused on fruit and its tannin and acid structure rather than oak. Ther's a touch of leafiness, a little graphite and cedar, but its a relatively firm, chewy and gastronomic Bordeaux of good quality at a very fair price.
(2022) Part of a range called 'Gentle Riot' in Laithwaites, wines that are "not constrained by traditional winemaking techniques in order to provide a holistic approach to sustainable winemaking," and low SO2 to boot. It is in fact 100% merlot from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. Lots of plum, ripe cherry and plum fruit on the nose, just a hint of something leafy in the background, but very much fruit-driven. In the mouth it has undertones of tobacco and spices, but a surge of thick, sweet fruit powers through the mid-palate. With 14.5% alcohol it is a big-scaled wine this and not for the Bordeaux traditionalist, equally chunky tannins and juicy cherry acidity matching up to the fruit density and alcohol.
(2022) From limestone soils, the aromas are pert, firm and juicy, fresh and forward black fruits and some lifted florals and spices. The palate has lots of cherry and blackcurrant skin tang and cut, plenty of acidity and freshness here, a little bittersweet cocoa note, but very crunchy and fresh.
(2022) A ripe and chunky right bank Bordeaux, blending 50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 10% Malbec. Castillon lies east of Saint-Ã‰milion, with similar soils of limestone, gravel and clay. This has a nicely savoury tapenade character to firm, dark black fruit. In the mouth there's quite an expansive fruit core here, plummy and chocolaty, the tannins are fat and ripe too, and the acidity balances nicely in a very satisfying glass of typically right bank Bordeaux at a knock-down price really. It will also cellar for a few more years for sure. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Made by the winemaking team at Margaux third growth, ChÃ¢teau Giscours, this appellation Bordeaux red is 70% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Now with five years under its belt, there's a gentle pink rim to the ruby colour and very attractive aromas of spiced plum compote, with some classy cedar and a depth of fruit. A very pleasing wine in the mouth too, lots of juicy plum and black cherry, firm tannins and keen cherry-skin acidity give enough bite and structure, against the suppleness of the fruit.
(2021) Sourced from Saint-Ã‰milion and neighbouring appellations, this is made by Johnathan Maltus, perhaps best known for his super Right Bank 'garage wine', 'Le DÃ´me'. This Merlot-dominated blend has smooth, concentrated aroma of plums and blackcurrant, an elegant little hint of Sandalwood spice in the background. It's a big, caressing mouthful of luscious Merlot on the palate, with very sweet and soft tannins, but a little liquorice twist of bittersweetness from the acid, oak and tannin does give a pert, fresh finish too. With 14.5% alcohol it is ripe and full, a bit of a contrast to the Petite SirÃ¨ne, but really rather delicious.
(2020) From the CÃ´tes de Castillon, neighbouring Saint-Ã‰milion on the 'Right Bank' of Bordeaux, and a typical blend dominated by Merlot along with Cabernet Franc. This is a big, ripe, even slightly Porty style of wine with 15% alcohol, very much in the plush and modern 'garagiste' style. Saturated and dark, it is brimming with sweet black fruit, a chocolaty density and yet very good savoury aspects thanks to a little oak spice, firm creamy tannins and good acids. An impressive 'entry level' wine from this producer.
(2019) The colour is deep and saturated, the nose offering plummy aromas, a touch of dark chocoalte and a little highlight of brighter cherry. In the mouth the wine is dense and feels quite powerful, and yet is driven by its fruit and rich texture, both tannins and acidity good, but in the background, giving the wine a creamy sense of richness.