Bordeaux Wines that deliver from Sip to Swallow
By Martin Isark
It is sad state of affairs that supermarket shoppers are palmed off with immature bottom rung Bordeaux red wines that do little to seduce the wine drinker away from the easy drinking, fruit-driven Cabernet, Merlot & Malbec wines from the New World. Surely this is the wrong way to introduce the drinker to the delights of Bordeaux.
Similarly, if you are trying to convert the popular music buyer to purchase and enjoy Opera, then it has to rock-up on listenability. Nobody wants to listen to performance of Puccini’s Turandot if the tenor’s performance of Nessun Dorma is off key. It’s not rocket science!
Spain’s Rioja region has shown it can be done! Their Rioja wines don’t have the cache of Bordeaux’ Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Mouton Rothschild… but everything that they sell is deemed ready to drink. Not so with Bordeaux wines on UK’s shelves, that will often require several years of cellaring to reach their full potential. Not surprising then that the New World & Rioja wines score so well with the ‘Pull It Off The Shelf’ supermarket punters, especially, when most will drink their wines within 48 hours of purchase.
Sure, Britain’s Traditional Merchants sell Bordeaux wines that are ready to drink, but they are selling to the converted. Spain’s Rioja mantra should be way forward for France’s Classical Bordeaux!
Below are three wines from Chateau l’Esperance, Blaye, Cote de Bordeaux. Johan Jonck the owner, is one of the new band of owners that are selling their wines when they deliver the terroir of the region. Not before. Of course the best have the potential to improve if kept, but if you pull the cork tonight it will deliver… from sip to swallow!
2010, Chateau l’Esperance, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux, France
This wine is a great introduction to the wines from Bordeaux’s Blaye. It delivers the typical smells of the best claret on the nose, it is palate friendly, and has a swallow that demands another mouthful. Score 10/10. tasted by Martin Isark, January 2018
2010, Chateau l’Esperance Cuvee Trois Freres, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux, France
This deep ruby Merlot wine is 14.5 percent blockbuster! The pronounced blackfruits, spice & liquorice notes combine with the ripe acidity and Bordeaux’ benchmark tannic grip. Want a well -crafted claret that drinks well on its own and can also trade punches with the most flavoursome of food? Grab it! Score 9/10 . Tasted by Martin Isark, January 2018.
2011, Chateau l’Esperance, Cédres Cotes de Bourg, Bordeaux, France
This well-crafted, Merlot wine is the colour of deep ruby, presents aromas and flavours of damsons, cigar boxes. These notes come threaded with ripe acidity and are finished with a chewy tannin lick. A serious flavoursome food wine. Score 8/10. Tasted by Martin Isark, January 2018