(2017) I have previously enjoyed the 2009 vintage of this Cru Bourgeois wine from the Médoc, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, that has good, intense fruit event nine years on, currant and plum and a spicy richness. In the mouth the ripeness is apparent, a hint of lush, sweet red berries, but then classic left-bank firmness of tannins and the stripe of acidity give the finish a taut, if very slightly lean appeal.
(2017) From a very good vintage for Bordeaux, this Merlot-dominated blend is bright and perky, the bold and juicy fruit to the fore in a buoyant, youthful style. In the mouth, more of the same with rounded Merlot softness driving the picture, fairly straightforward stuff, but good balance and nicely quaffable stuff.
(2017) Is this the best value in the selection of FromVineyardDirect wines I've been tasting? Arguably yes, because it's a truly lovely Bordeaux made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and coming from the fabulous 2010 vintage. With 14% alcohol the wine is plush and rich, heaving with black fruits, edged by spices and cedar, but such a deep pool of blackcurrant. Rich and full in the mouth, the copious fruit is matched by smooth tannins, elegant cherry acidity and a nice fleetness of foot in the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) This Right Bank wine is dominated by Merlot (85%) plus Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, from an appellation not far from St Emilion. The bit of bottle age has given nice tertiary development: a hint of truffle and green pepper, a bit of classic Bordeaux bloodiness, but the fresh blackcurrant fruit is to the fore. In the mouth it is supple and has a savoury fruit and spice character, good generosity but a tight, sinewy finish where the acid and tannin balance gives freshness. Very appealing.
(2017) A 60/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, made in concrete vats, there's a smooth, classy aroma, all supple dark and savoury berries with a hint of spice and basil. In the mouth it's driven by ripe fruit and underpinned by a bit of serious structure: tannnis are grippy, the acidity fresh like plum skins, and that gives a cool, elegant length in the mouth adding to the sense of this being still quite young, and very nicely made.
(2017) A classic left bank blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this opens with a fresh cherry aroma, a little hint of graphite behind, but mostly driven by a ripe, forward fruitiness. In the mouth it is savoury and lean, a sinew of tannin binding the fruit, rounded by some older oak character and a nicely fresh acids. This is a rather tangy, nicely juicy style, not complex, but balanced and would drink beautifully now with rare roast beef or lamb.
(2016) FromVineyardsDirect's co-owner, Esme Johnstone, has many connections in Bordeaux, being the ex-owner of Château de Sours, presumably helping him unearth this 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from organically-farmed vineyards close to St Emilion. It's an approachable and easy-drinking style of claret, plenty of buoyant fruit and a firm touch of graphite, there's a bit of sinewy grip that develops, but all smoothed by the gloss of the fruit and its quite creamy texture.
(2016) Delightful earth and cedar character here, the sweet fruit ripeness and fruit concentration is terrific, but the cedar and supple, creamy tannins impress. It really is a very complete and harmonious wine - Pierre Giles says everything from 2010 could have been Grand Vin, so in theory, this could be too.
(2016) The second wine of Lamarque shows lovely bold, fresh red fruits, but it has good structural elements and very qood spice and freshness. Up-front fruit making it so easy to drink. Ocado stocks this wine, and online is showing the excellent 2010 at time of review.
(2016) Charming nose for this second wine of Cartillon, a really plush and forward cherry and plum, even a touch jammy, but delightful. Small spice and toast notes. Soft and juicy on the palate, very pleasing stuff with juiciness and soft structure. An approachable Bordeaux at a modest price, and I scored the 2011 and 2012 exactly the same.
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