The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Chateau Roque Le Mayne- Castillon Côtes De Bordeaux-2014- Lidl- £8.99

Bordeaux Blend – 14%

Bordeaux is a funny thing indeed, the wines from prestigious Chateau or producers can command thousands of pounds for just one bottle. Names such as Pomerol, or Le Pin, or the mystical Cheval Blanc are considered to be almost sacred, yet are they really that good? Well that’s a difficult thing to comment fully on. Certainly Bordeaux commands a substantial reputation for wine making. Historically the area has been at the forefront of wine production and quality since the mid to late 17th Century. However, as a consumer it’s sometimes difficult to navigate the often bewildering Appellation system, or fully justify the price tags for what is essentially just another wine.

For those unfamiliar, the area of Bordeaux is in the South West of France on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, this location offers a moderate maritime climate, which benefits from the warming effect of the Gulf stream, meaning spring frosts are rare and the growing season can be a little longer than elsewhere.  Essentially Bordeaux is a region of two halves, divided by the river Gironde. On the left bank you have Graves, Medoc, and Margaux, on the right you have St Emillion, Pomerol and the recently created Cotes de Bordeaux. Each site has specific Terroir which is utilised by the producer, but in general the soils are gravel and a mix of clay and sand.

Thankfully it’s not difficult to find to find something decent to drink and not have to trade a vital organ in order to bankroll it. There has always been a trend in my humble opinion of creating wines which are overly complex. They may well last for 50 years and go on improving over this time, but can you really wait that long? Of course wines are a subjective thing and because of this I leave it up to you the reader to decide if a Pomerol is better or worse than a St Emillion. However, one thing is for sure, of late the trend has shifted and although there is still a plethora of producers making exorbitantly priced wines with the most overly complex aromas and flavours, there is a demand for fruit driven wines with the subtle nuances of the classics but without the price tag.

Chateau Roque Le Mayne- Castillon Côtes De Bordeaux-2014 – is just one of these. A right bank blend using Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. On the nose this wine is clean and fresh, with a wonderful clear ruby colour. There is a deep intensity, with a swirl revealing the presence of tears on the glass. The nose is pronounced with dark fruits and spice. There are notes of blackcurrant, Vanilla and plum, even a hint of cinnamon and spice, with just a faint hint of cedar. A quick slurp confirms this with a beautiful medium to high level of acidity, and medium to high tannins, although these are beautifully integrated and silky on the palette. There are notes of fresh Blackcurrant and a wonderful streak of Cassis on the finish, which is long. This wine is Excellent and certainly one to look out for. It’s wonderful for the Autumnal season and pairs perfectly with roast meats such as Beef and Lamb.

Why not try it for yourself – Bon Weekend!

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