Affordable Bordeaux Tasting
Presented by Patrick Adank
The Oxford Wine Company, 165 Botley Road, Oxford, OX2 0PB
This November has seen our cracking offer of 10% off Bordeaux wines as well the very popular 'Affordable Bordeaux' tasting, showing the imbibers of Oxford that Bordeaux wines aren't the unapproachable, unaffordable wines so many see them as. I myself am ashamed to say that I haven't given Bordeaux wines the time of day, thinking they weren't my style being too pricey and too tannic for my preference. How wrong was I!
The tasting was hosted by Le Grand Chais's Patrick Adank, a very charming young Swiss man whose family grow their own wine in Switzerland. Having travelled to many places learning about wines and currently studying in Bordeaux we couldn't have asked for a better host to take us through the selection of six carefully chosen wines - all representing great value for money.
We kicked the evening off with Chateau Haut-Mouleyre Sauvignon Gris 2015. Sauvignon Gris is a very close mutation of the more famous Sauvignon Blanc. The main difference is that Gris has a darker, pinkish hue to the skin while producing more aromatic and richer wines due to a higher natural sugar content in the grape. Being from Bordeaux's most recent top vintage, the grapes had benefitted greatly from optimal weather. This expression reminded a lot of those present of a new world Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of grapefruit and even a hint of vanilla. Different but tasty.
The first red of the evening was Chateau Trois Moulins Haut-Medoc 2012. The weather in '12 was much better suited to Merlot and as such the blend in this wine is 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot certainly shone through with a spicy plum and red fruit flavour prominent with a pleasant herbaceousness following. A good length in the wine left you with some oaky vanilla on the palate and wanting more.
Chateau du Cartillon Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc 2012 was next up, and what a stunner. 71% Merlot, 19% Petit Verdot (yes, that much) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon gave this wine such great complexity that it was met by plenty of "oohs" and "oh wows" around the room. Displaying deep dark fruit flavours mingled in with damson, coffee and a touch of spice with tannins so well integrated this Bordeaux is sure to convert the non-believers out there.
Moving over to the Right Bank, our next wine was Chateau Sergant, Lalande de Pomerol 2014. 82% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. 2014 has been reported as one of the best post 2010 vintages in Bordeaux and this was obvious from our next wine. Lighter tannins than the left bank wines, more prominent oak flavours and a real richness in the fruit meant this wine was a real pleasure to drink with the consensus being that this didn't need any food and was easy to drink on its own. Very elegant and rounded.
On to the last red of the evening with Chateau des Combes Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014. 83% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. This was right red to end on with deep, dark flavours of blackberries, coffee and dark chocolate the high tannins in this wine would benefit from an extra 5-10 years careful cellaring, but even in its youth this is wine to be taken seriously and is a serious bang for your buck!
Our final wine was Chateau Pechon Sauternes 2014. Everything you could ever want from a Sauternes. Mouth coating flavours of honey and apricot balanced out with the perfect amount of acidity makes this surprisingly refreshing. There was no way this was going in the spittoon.
Those who came knowing they enjoyed Bordeaux wines left with some new favourites and those who came uncertain about Bordeaux (myself included) left with a new appreciation and love of this world famous region safe in the knowledge it's not all about the Grand Cru Classé reserved for the super wealthy.
Thomas Fowler, Botley Road Shop Manager