(2019) The first vintage from Adrien Surain, the latest generation of the family to take over the reins of the estate, this is boldly packaged in a Burgundy-shaped bottle, no doubt meant to disrupt the classic Bordeaux scene as much as the name 'Popcorn'. A powerful wine with 15% alcohol, it has an intensely deep and dark crimson/black colour, the nose vinous with black vine fruits and plum, a nicely spicy tobacco edge too. In the mouth it is smooth and dense, but does seem to have a little edge of tannin and acidity to give a touch more structure, a touch more energy compared to the 2015 for example, a twist of liquorice joining the plummy dark fruits.
(2019) Again, 100% Merlot for this vintage, and an appealing nose, the touch of spicy-chocolate to the ripe, dark vine fruits, is there a hint of charred toast there too? Quite plush and ripe on the palate, the tannins a tiny bit grippier than the 2015, giving a crisp edge to the finish, perhaps just a little extra length too with fresh acidity. Enjoyably honest and fruit-forward.
(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 ChÃ¢teau 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.