Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wine of the week - Christmas Special III - Bordeaux (Red/France)

Hi all,
10 days left until Christmas! This week, Christmas dinner part three: a roast beef. To go with it, an easy-drinking good value Bordeaux 2007 from Chateau Méaume @ £7.99.

What it is
Red Bordeaux Supérieur from Chateau Méaume, located only 15kms from Saint Emilion and Pomerol areas. Made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What to expect
Appearance: Deep ruby colour
Nose: Subtle mix of vanilla, ripe plum and a touch of cedar.
Palate: Very soft and smooth from start to finish: very fresh, fruity attack (plum juice flowing), soft texture with darker fruit flavours building up gently before medium tannins let go softly. Fine balance between fruit and acidity.
Score: 8/10 (wine shown)
You’ll like it if you like: plums, vanilla, lighter fruity reds (e.g. Bardolino, Valpolicella, Tempranillo), other ‘softer’ Bordeaux e.g. Margaux, St Emilion, Pomerol.
Have it with
The Christmas Roast beef: a beautiful Red wine glazed roast beef. Yum!
Where to find it
1) Majestic - £7.99 (when you buy 2). Excellent value and very difficult to dislike.
2) Sainsburys - £7.49 (1/2 price) Lussac Saint Emilion. Probably a bit fuller but decent alternative for the price. Similar offer in Waitrose.
3) Tesco - £13.79. Chateau Lapelletrie Saint Emilion 75Cl. Merlot dominated.
Did you know
> Bordeaux produces a fair amount of wine with about 700 million bottles a year. 89% of Bordeaux wines are red but you can find some gorgeous dry whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon), sweet whites (Sémillon) and even Sparkling.
> The first wines from Bordeaux date back from 48AD when Romans established vineyards for their occupying soldiers.
> Bordeaux is an ideal place for growing vines: its soils are heavy in calcium, its climate benefits from the drainage of the Gironde, Garonne and the cooling, tempering influence Atlantic Ocean.
> Claret is an English term to describe the Red Bordeaux. The term is derived (deformed?) from vinum clarum or clairet, a dark pink wine exported from France to England in medieval times. If Claret has become synonym for red Bordeaux, Clairet is sold as a rosé and still exists in Bordeaux.
> ‘Bordeaux Supérieur’’s authorised yields are lower vs. normal Bordeaux. This should normally result in a further concentration of sugar and flavours in the fruit.
> Cabernet Sauvignon, the star grape of the Bordeaux region, is now proven to be a crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The crossing happened naturally in the vineyards that planted both in the old days.
> Best recent vintages in descending order: 2005, 2009, 2001, 2003 and 2008.
> Chateau Méaume has been British-owned since 1980!
Bordeaux is a very very vast topic so very happy to answer any question on the topic!
Otherwise, try
Cheers! Santé! Salud! Salute!

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