(2020) This second-growth from Pauillac was last tasted five or six years ago. It's still youthful, decanted off the sediment for an hour or so, showing classic pencil shaving, blood and deep black and red fruit aromas, a wonderfully evocative bouquet. On the palate it has masses of fruit depth, always savoury, gamy, blood and iron-oxide-streaked, with terrific structure: the tannins here are still firm and commanding, the juiciness of the acidity is keen, and the overall balance is excellent. I'd say this is still on the upslope, is still chewy and firm, and will be brilliant with some lamb or rare roast beef.
(2020) Solid ruby at the core but tawny towards the rim, this has a mellow, currant and sweet plum flesh nose, that undertow of game and sauvage quality is there, a firm graphite note still discernable. No sign of the slightly more animal character of a couple of bottles drunk many years ago. Lovely sweetness on the palate: pure blackcurrant and savoury, plum skin and bitter orange, tannins still spicy and taut, acidity balanced and gastronomic, and the wine drinking really well. I'd guess this is at, or has just peaked, and is for drinking now. Really very good indeed - complete mature Bordeaux experience.
(2020) Fronsac is an unheralded but usually reliably good Bordeaux appellation on the Right Bank, where Merlot is the principal grape planted from Bordeaux's famous five. This is 60% Merlot with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It's proper old-fashione claret in a way, with a streak of bloodiness and game on the nose, solid and sweet black fruit, but also a little ash and earthy sense of austerity. In the mouth it has lovely balance, walking the same line between solid fruitiness and that backbone of tannin, spice, cedar and savoury acidity, with really quite a long, gastronomic finish. Mixed six price is £18.99. Watch the video for more information and food-matching.
(2020) From the Bordeaux Right Bank appellation Côtes de Castillon, this is 95% Merlot with the balance Cabernet Franc. From an obviously ripe and rich year, it's a big bear-hug of a wine, 14.5% alcohol a testament to the ripeness and glorious sweetness of fruit here, yet it is not a wine that feels over-extracted or clumsy. Aromas are the essence of cassis and plum, some pencil-shaving finess in the background. Mouthfilling, creamy and voluptuous black fruit floods the palate, with creamy-soft tannins and a nice stripe of sour plum acidity to give freshness. It's plushness might not suit lovers of more austere, traditional 'claret', but I loved this personality-packed wine.
(2020) With the alcohol pumped up to 15%, this is another succulent and lush Merlot-dominated Right Bank style, but once again those limestone soils ensuring it retains some elegance and freshness too. Like the 2012 there is a plush depth of black fruit sprinkled with a little exotic spice, but it feels a little fresher and more taut at this stage. A deep pool of mulberry and plum fruit has a firm cherry skin edge of acidity - firmer than the 2012 again - and the grippy tannins suggest this needs a few more years, in a wine of great substance and depth. £24.99 as part of a mixed six at time of review.
(2020) Well, all of the wines tasted from Veyry are very good and the chance to buy three vintages a nice way to cellar a 'vertical' from this estate, but I have to say that for me this 2016 is pick of of the bunch. Heady, intense, sweet and ripe, it is very much typical of the wines of this property, but as well as the concentrated, spice-touched black fruits, spiked with incense and mint, there is terrific racy structure, black cherry acids pert and taut, creamy but persistent tannins, and the weight of blackcurrant fruit is sweet and polished through to the finish. It's a hedonistic and sumptuous style, and very, very delicious. £24.99 as part of a mixed six bottles.
(2020) From a great Sauternes vintage and one of the very top estates, expectations were high, but were fully met. I've tasted a few 2001s recently, and would say this is the pick of the bunch. From a half bottle, this retains a bright, golden hue whilst some cellared at the same time are considerably darker. On the nose there is lusciousness, with barley sugar and marmalade, but something brighter than pierces through, maybe somewhere between preserved lemon and salt, but it gives a distinctive, agile aromatic character. In the mouth, full glycerine-rich sweetness and unctuous texture, between nectarine juice and honey, but again that focus, that needle-sharp accuracy to the acidity, the edge of bitter orange, and such lovely length and balance. A fabulous Sauternes which is drinking so well now from the half bottle, but will certainly age further.
(2020) From the Côtes de Castillon, neighbouring Saint-Émilion 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) From a legendary vintage, this second-growth Margaux is absolutely exemplary classic Bordeaux: only 12.5% alcohol and a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, at 33 years old the colour is surprisingly dense and ruby at the core, the broad rim only just fading to pink/amber. Heavenly, pure classic nose of pencil shavings and truffle, a little dried blood note and plenty of black, small berry fruits. There is perfume to spare here, from the gamey to the floral. Decanted for half an hour or so, it is clearly a wine just edging towards the downslope, the tannins a little dry, a bit of brick dust character, but is gives such pleasure and is such a terrific wine. Balancing meatiness, elegance, firmness and yielding softness so well, it has sweet fruit on the mid-palate but does dry just slightly towards the long finish, suggesting it should be drunk up soon to enjoy this gorgeous wine at its best.
(2019) Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and aged on the lees in bottle for 11 months before release, there's an attractive peachy-pink hue here, and good moderately small bubbles. On the nose some hawthorne and blackcurrant and a pastille/confectionery brightness. In the mouth there's a flattering sweetness to this, emphasised by its relatively soft acidity that gives it copious easy-drinking, summery charm. Down to just over £10 at time of review, that's the target price for this excellent party fizz.