A youthful, easy-drinking, well-priced Cabernet Franc grown on clay and limestone soils on the Champ de Liveau plateau, this is grassy and refreshing with supple tannins, plenty of the perfume that’s typical of the variety and a twist of graphite. Very attractive at the price.
Excellent value at less than a fiver, this is a savoury, peppery Mendoza Malbec with good acidity, no obvious oak and attractive plum and bramble fruit. Ligther fresher and – crucially – drier than many commercial Argentinean reds.
You don’t get much for less than £3.50 these days, but this Garnacha pink from Bodegas Borsao is very drinkable stuff: dry and pleasantly fruity with flavours of rosehip, cherry and strawberry and vibrant acidity, especially noteworthy from such a warm Spanish region. A chance of celebrate the end of a memorable summer in the UK.
It’s not easy to find really good glugging reds under £5 any more, but the Campo de Borja region in northern Spain would be my first port of call. This unoaked example from Bodegas Borsao is juicy, brambly and full of raspberry and redcurrant fruit. Soft and supple: pure, uncomplicated pleasure.
I am a huge fan of the 2010s from Etienne Grivot’s Vosne-Romanée-based domaine, so the 2009s inevitably suffer by comparison. But this is still a very good wine: quite oaky at the moment, but with excellent underlying sweetness, crunchy acidity and rich black fruits. The oak should intergrate over the next five years.
Yves Confuron’s wines are very distinctive, partly because of his use of stems but also because of his way of expressing his vineyards. Mid garnet/pink, with a stemmy, but highly aromatic nose. Quite traditional in style, with a firm tanninc backbone giving structure to the sweetness of the fruit. Fresh acidity, finely poised.
To me, this was one of the wines of the tasting: a pale, scented, delicately crafted Clos de Vougeot that deserves a slot in any Burgundy lover’s cellar. Aromatic and fine, with well integrated oak, wild berry fruit, sappy acidity and superb texture and balance. Who says the 2009s aren’t well balanced?
Mid ruby/pink. Very youthful, with just a hint of (acceptable) reduction. Scented, sexy, plush fruit on the palate with fine-grained tannins and minerally, lip-smacking acidity. Perfumed, complex and mouthwatering, with a long, tapering finish. An impressive wine that will improve further in bottle.
Showing some development already. On the nose and palate, this is rather old-fashioned in style, exhibiting notes of dead leaves, some meaty reduction and simple tomato skin flavours. A poor show for a Grand Cru Burgundy.
Deep ruby with purple notes. Evidence of over-ripeness on the nose and palate, with some volatility, oxidation and extraction. Pruney and tannic, this is the sort of wine that gives Clos de Vougeot a bad name as a Grand Cru.
Bertrand Ambroise makes some of the best value Burgundies on the market, from his basic wines right up to his Grands Crus. They are characterised by restrained use of oak, subtle, understated fruit flavours and considerable finesse. This is light, perfumed and refreshing, but with complex wild starwberry and forest floor notes, tangy acidity, great poise and a fine, tapering finish.
Very, very pale, almost transparent Pinot. Delicate and very subtle with red fruits, a hint of forest floor and wild mushrooms. Long and refined with grainy, sculpted tannins, refreshing acidity and a long finish. The wine needs a little more concentration perhaps.