So last Friday we headed to Bordeaux (alone, not with a 15-year-old school girl) and opened a couple of lovely bottles. Along with something else (but more of that later), we opened the Château Grand Bertin Médoc and a Château Haut Grelot Blanc Sauvignon Semillon (so-vin-yon semi-on) which are both from the very complicated Bordeaux region. Wines from this part of the world are subject to very strict regulations (as most regions in France do, fussy buggers!!) so I will try my best to keep the ins-and-outs of it all quite simple. A “Dummies guide to Bordeaux” if you will.
Château Gran Bertin De Saint Clair Médoc – 2007 – produced on the very most northern tip of the Left Bank (see map) its close proximity to the Atlantic gives the area a comparatively mild climate with high rainfall. It is generally believed that the nature of this region’s wine derives from the increased amount of gravel in the soil, that allows the heat to be retained, therefore encouraging ripening. Most Médoc wines are made using a Cabernet based blend, this particular wine is blended from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.
“A rather rich and lively nose, refined with good solid hints of cassis, cedar and cocoa. Fruity and rich on the palate with a mocha-ish finish, resolved tannins, though not fully”
“This wine drinks incredibly well alone or try pairing with a roast beef or lamb, or if the sun ever allows, would work perfectly at a BBQ”
Château Haut Grelot Blanc Sauvignon Semillon – 2009 – This wine comes from the Right Bank area of Blaye (map again) which is directly across the River Gironde from Medoc. This region is blessed with a hillier geography, up to heights of 70m above sea level, than that of Medoc which allows it better exposure to the sunlight. Again another blend, 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillion and 5% Muscadelle.
“Pale straw yellow in colour. Grapefruit, gooseberry and herbs blend elegantly on the nose. On the palate, crisp and intense citrus fruits, a generous weight and perfect balance of acidity.”
“this a beautiful standalone wine, or if you want to team it with food try seafood, chicken or (as I did) cheese and crackers”
We had a good response to these two wines at the in store tasting last week, and some very positive feedback to my blog, for which I was very pleased/flattered. These wines are both fantastic wines, as I mentioned they both work as standalone wines, but then can also be teamed up with dinner to enjoy on a whole other level. Most people’s reactions to this week’s wines were shock at the price. Being from Bordeaux, notorious for being associated with high quality and price, however the Château Gran Bertin Médoc is just £13.99 and the Château Gran Bertin Médoc is just £9.50, absolute bargains!!
As I mentioned earlier, not only did we open these two fantastic wines this week, we also got the opportunity to sample a brand new product. As some of you may know, and for those who don’t, we have the pleasure to stock an absolutely fantastic local product, Leventhorpe Wine. Grown just outside of Temple Newsam, here in Leeds. Ex-chemistry teacher George has a wonderful little operation, which I had the pleasure of visiting last week. Now some of you maybe a little shocked (I know I was) to learn that grapes can be grown in Yorkshire but, as George informed me, vineyards have pretty much been grown wherever the Roman Empire settled, and as I have seen, and in fact tasted, it is possible to produce wine this far north. Anyway, last week we took delivery of the Leventhorpe West Riding Red, which is a blend of Triomphe, Regent and Pinot Noir. As it has just been bottled (and only 1000 bottles) it has been recommended that if you snap a bottle of this up (for just £10.99) it could definitely benefit from sitting, or as wine experts call it “left to cellar”, for about 6 months. But at the moment it has almost a purple hue to it, with a blueberry jam nose, and rich berry fruits carry through onto the palate which balanced tannins and acidity to the finish. Our friends up at The Hummingbird in Chapel Allerton will be stocking this wine so head up there if you fancy giving it a try before you buy!
This Friday we will be heading to South America, more precisely Chile, where we will be trying 2 wines from the Vina Casablanca range, the Vina Casablanca Cefiro Cabernet Sauvignon and the Vina Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. So make sure you get down from 5pm this Friday.