Esme Johnstone, of FromVineyardsDirect.com, has done it again. He’s managed to snaffle some cracking ‘defrocked’ clarets (and one Sauternes) from some of Bordeaux’s finest estates and is offering them here at remarkably keen prices. These wines are from the same vineyards and same winemaking teams that produce the estates’ fabled grands vins (which sadly I’m unable to name but can give clues to) and boast impeccable pedigrees. I strongly recommend you get stuck in.
We’ve offered the 2014 Pauillac (1) before, that first allocation being snapped up by thirsty readers in a trice. No surprise there, given the wine’s provenance, coming as it does from the leading and foremost icon that exists (geddit?). A classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, it’s richly flavoured with red and dark fruit and is dangerously accessible. £23.95 down from £24.95.
The 2014 Saint-Julien (2) comes from one of Bordeaux’s so-called ‘Super Seconds’, whose 50 hectares of vineyards lie in the south-east of Saint-Julien where famously beautiful stone can be found underfoot (hint, hint). The wine, too, is deliciously eye-catching: soft, smooth and concentrated with a long, almost savoury, finish. £21.95 down from £22.95.
The 2014 Margaux (3) is blended from fruit grown on the Sichel family-owned vineyards (I can’t say which, but you’ll surely know), and is as well made and as well structured as any Sichel wine. There’s richness and ripeness here but silky smooth elegance too. £21.95 down from £22.95.
The 2014 Saint-Émilion (4) has the power, elegance and élan of, well, a beautiful white horse. Made almost entirely from Merlot with the merest splash of structure/colour-giving Cab Franc, it’s crammed full of plush, plummy fruit with hints of damsons and mulberries and a whisper of spice. £20.95 down from £21.95.
The 2015 Saint-Émilion de Quintus (4) is out and proud about its provenance. An intense and concentrated blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon it comes from what was once called Château Tertre Daugay and is now known as Château Quintus, and is part of the Chateaux Haut Brion & La Mission Haut Brion Stable. It’s headily scented and its ripe, dark fruit is sinuously structured. £21.95 down from £22.95.
Finally, the 2016 Sauternes (6), a gloriously tasty sticky from the most famous sweet wine vineyard in the world. It’s lusciously fine and while I’d be the first to admit it doesn’t have the depth and complexity of the grand vin itself, it makes for a lip-smackingly fine glass of wine and a tasty price, too, especially considering the grand vin sells for around ten times as much. £14.95 per half bottle down from £15.95.
The mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.
Jonathan Ray’s Drink More Fizz! (£14.99; Quadrille) is out now.