A great value blend of Picapoll Negre, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot made in an easy drinking style, with a touch of oak for added structure and complexity. Supple, attractive, raspberry and red cherry fruit with smooth tannins and balancing acidity. A really good quaffing red.
It’s a real pleasure to see such impressive wines emerging from Bulgaria, a country that has lost its way over the last 20 years, but is now back on the right path. This wine is the flag bearer of the new wave. It’s a blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, made by a group of owners that includes Stephan von Neipperg of Château Canon La Gaffelière, and it has a smooth, international feel to it. Minty, fruit sweet and stylishly oaked, it combines flavours of cassis, fruitcake and red berries with a sheen of vanilla oak. Good now, but will age for another five years with ease.
A cru bourgeois that punches well above its weight, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot typifies the best feautures of the 2010 vintage: freshness and concentration of flavour. It’s ripe, yet well balanced with flavours of cassis and plum, a hint of damson and fine, structured tannins. Needs time.
On a deal for the next week, before it reverts to £16.99 after Christmas, this is a well-balanced, aromatic claret that is more focused and refined than many 2009s, but is still pretty forward and full of flavour: with subtle oak, riple plum and blueberry fruit and medium weight tannins. Very drinkable.
Made by the same team that produces the world famous St Julien second growth, Château Léoville-Las-Cases, this is a Médoc that really punches above its supposedly lightweight status. It’s a Merlot-dominated blend with 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot for company. Elegant and well balanced, it shows the poise that is typical of the best 2010s, with subtle oak, sweet raspberry and cassis fruit and well-defined tannins.
A rather old-fashioned blend of Merlot, Grenache and Cariñena that has seen better days. The tannins are drying out the fruit here, leaving a pruney, leathery residue on the palate.
A high-toned blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of structure and tannin. Not the subtlest wine in the world, with flavours that are starting to turn a little pruney. Pricey, too.
Aromatic, grassy Bordeaux style blend with some Grenache and Syrah for added complexity. The tannins are a little firm here, but the fruit is still fresh and sweet, with cassis and blueberry to the fore.
A blend of Garnatxa, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that flirts with high volatile acidity and some green notes but still manages to work. Serious tannins, slightly dry, with capsicum and blackcurrant flavours.
Grassy, concentrated blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cariñena from an ambitious co-operative. The tannins are a tad firm, but this is a serious, cassis-scented red with fresh acidity and a hint of greenness.
A feral, slightly chewy blend of Cabernet, Grenache and Merlot with tannins that are too pronounced for the fruit. A twist of the pepper grinder adds interest here, but this would have been better two years ago.