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Spectator Wine

Spectator Wine Vaults

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

There are mixed views — to put it mildly — concerning the quality of the 2013 Bordeaux vintage. It’s not a complete write-off by any means, for there are certainly decent wines to be had that will make enjoyable mid-term drinking. But in the main the wines are pricey, they’re not for keeping and it’s not a vintage to invest in.

Instead, I strongly recommend looking back at the previous fine vintages that are still on the market, particularly at the so-called ‘second wines’ of the great châteaux. This is where the smart money is heading.Such wines are made with fruit from the same vineyards, with the same love and care, by the same winemakers, using the same facilities as their big brothers. And they’re a heck of a lot cheaper.

Pop the 2005 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose (1) in a decanter, serve with a roast and you could be forgiven for thinking you were drinking the mighty Ch. Gruaud-Larose itself. It’s an outstanding wine from a 10/10 vintage. The nose is heavy with tobacco, spice and prunes and, thanks to plenty of Merlot, it’s plump, rounded and juicy. Stunning, it’s £33.63 (down from £35.40).

The 2007 Les Remparts de Ferrière (2) is the second wine of Château Ferrière, a 3ème Grand Cru Classé from Margaux. 2007 was an easy-drinking vintage where the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon flourished during a hot, dry September. There is plenty of fresh acidity here, supple tannins and mature cassis fruit backed by a lovely, moreish, meaty/savoury finish. A gloriously mature claret for just £18.95 (down from £19.95).

The 2009 Les Chênes de Macquin (3) from Ch. Pavie-Macquin in Saint-Emilion is a Merlot-rich blend that’s wonderfully voluptuous, fleshy and rounded, yet balanced and measured too. Another 10/10 vintage, it’s flirtatiously approachable now but will keep for ages. £32.87 down from £34.60.

Finally, an old favourite of mine, from yet another five-star vintage, the 2010 La Réserve de Léoville-Barton (4). Anthony Barton always prices his wines fairly and this is value at £29.93 (down from £31.50). Made from the young vines of Ch. Léoville-Barton and aged for 18 months in oak, it’s dense, intense, concentrated, brooding and powerful. It needs time and will certainly repay keeping for another five to ten years.

Given the lacklustre nature of Bordeaux 2013, these are just the wines we should be snapping up. Hurry, hurry, while stocks last!

Click here to take advantage of this offer (subject to closing date)

All prices are correct at time of publication, but we may alter prices at any time for any reason.

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