(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.
(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.
(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.
(2019) Neither is a grape you think of immediately for sparkling wine, but coming from Bordeaux here we have the entirely local blend of Sémillon and Cabernet Franc from the chalk/clay soils of the Entre Deux Mers, and made by the traditional method with nine months ageing on the lees in bottle. Bubbles are moderately small, and the nose offers a nice biscuity character along with soft lemon and green apple fruit. In the mouth it is fresh and zippy, reminiscent of a Prosecco with its easy approachability, but the ageing does add a creamy layer before a smooth finish, framed by soft-ish acidity. An alternative to Prosecco, rather than to Champagne. A party buy - especially if there are discount deals on this for Christmas. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) There's no such thing as a poor vintage of Yquem, such is the care taken over the fruit selection and winemaking in even the worst vintage conditions, but although this 2002 is not rated as a 'top' Yquem, I thought it was absolutely outstanding. Loaded with smoky, dried apricot depths of Botrytis, there's also lovely exotic spice and marmalade/Seville orange brightness of fruit. More of that on the palate too, in an Yquem of great depth, burgeoning with bittersweet flavours that entirely fill the senses, and yet great freshness too, pinpoint and clear acidity leads into an extremely long finish. Marvellous and totally satisfying.
(2019) From an interesting collaboration between the top Pessac-Léognan estate of Domaine de Chevalier and Stephane Derenencourt, this is mostly Merlot with 30% of Cabernet Franc, so presumably from 'right bank' vineyards given that blend. It's a deeply spiced and plummy wine, offering instantly appealing depth of aroma, touched with cedary olive character, but mostly about the plummy Merlot fruit. In the mouth the silky texture, soft creamy tannins and weight of mid-palate fruit flow across the tongue, before a bright finish where pert acidity and a bit of structure pull the wine through to a long finish. Approachable Bordeaux, but more substance than many at a similar price.
(2019) You know, for its price, this really is a particularly good Bordeaux, 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, from chalky and clay soils. Bold purple in colour, there's a refined graphite note on the nose, just a hint of cedar, and plenty of ripe fleshy red and black fruits. In the mouth the pleasure continues, a lovely dark stripe of bittersweet liquorice underpinning plum and pulpy red berries, spices, acid and tannin all harmonious in the finish. It feels as if it will cellar for a few years too. A little star at under £10.
(2019) Classic white Bordeaux from the Pessac-Léognan Cru of Graves, this is Sauvignon Blanc, fermented and aged in barrel. From a very good year - the third warmest since 1900 - with above-average monthly temperatures. The oak is very discreet, giving just a sheen of almond nuttiness to the cool orchard fruit and lemon, a little hint of something like soft, leafy herbs in the background. In the mouth pure and sweet fruit drives this, quite a full texture, a lemon and mint freshness, and tapers to a fine point in the finish. It is a discreet, elegant and understated style with nothing too showy, but beautifully done. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.