Monday, 28 July 2014
Technical ignoramuses as we are, it has taken us all these years to work out that there is a figure beside each post which shows the number of hits there have been. Our little blog is not aimed at a mass market to say the least. Our main purpose is to have an aide memoire to help us recall our experiences as the more we drink the less we remember.
Slotovino posts typically get low double-figure hits which is fine by us. A good number of hits are are probably from us anyway. However our sole mention of Bordeaux stands head and shoulders above any other topic we have covered with 725 hits. The nearest most visited post has half that.Why should this be? We were not particularly proud of our Bordeaux post. In it we revised our attitudes (upwards) to White Bordeaux and Bordeaux Clairet (a well overdue correction we thought) and did some personal musing over our last visit there 47 years ago. Hardly of universal interest.
Bordeaux is vast of course. Bigger than the combined vine-growing areas of some entire countries but it has a quality imbalance. The vast majority of produce is under-achieving in spite of recent progress. 47 years ago, there was no Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur worth drinking as far as we could tell. Now there seems to be at least some good wine to be had from those denominations.
Thanks to a long-time Slotovino correspondent we were set the task of finding a good Red Bordeaux for around the £10 mark at under 13% recently. Our friend had had no luck in this quest so we gave it a try and for what it is worth here are the results from a very limited survey; originally 12 bottles (with one breakage so 11 bottles in the end) from 2 main sources - The Wine Society and Laithwaites plus one each from Amathus and Berry Bros. & Rudd. Why these suppliers? We thought they would know their Bordeaux and the first two were expert in finding value for money wines.
Chateau Mouret, Graves. 2010 (Berry Bros £12.25) 12.5%
Our expert writes:
a good mix of purple colour, very fruity and utterly dry, an energetic
wine which makes for great drinking. I cannot find a source for it on the
net, strangely - but if it is in the price range you indicated then it
is a good buy indeed.
Other wines he particularly liked:
Reserve Bordeaux Special 2011. (Wine Society, £7.25). 12.5%
When one sees the words reserve and speciale one is well prepared for a
mediocre wine. However this is really lovely - intense, dark,
blackberry and other things, I taste cherry (maybe because it is cherry
season now and I just picked a good few kilos of tarry black
heart-shaped cherries yesterday). Wine experts may say hint of licorice
or anis or some such thing about these kind of wines. what the nose
promises it keeps, and the aftertaste is balanced and very pleasant.
The only thing preventing it from being spectacular is that it is a
tiny tad sour - but this is really nitpicking. I would buy this for
sure. I had it with a pasta of grano saraceno in ground turkey and
tarragon. Really nice.
Chateau Le Ferreau Belair, Cotes de Bourg 2008. (Laithwaites £11.99). 12.5%
The first wine I tried was and is an instant hit: Chateau Le Ferreau
Belair, 2008. It is very well balanced, has a perfect mix of fruit and
wood and tanins. I firmed it up a bit in the fridge since the heat wave
made the apartment and the wine a bit lax, so that is why perhaps the
wine tasted a bit younger and fresher than 2008. I am keeping the bottle
and will keep it as a good contender for my house wine.
La Chateau vieux Tuquet Bordeaux 2011. (Amathus, £7.90). 12.5%
This one was heftily objected to by two guests, who claimed it is too
dry, to tannic, and not 'tasty'. I attribute most of this to the fact
that this one is anything but an australian shiraz or some such. I then
opened them a 14.5% nebbiolo which I had here and that kept them happy,
while I happily had the Vieux Tuquet all to myself to finish. I liked
it, it does have immense tannins, and has a tad an unpleasant sour
taste. But when squatting on the tongue there is a moment of French
glory, a berry and chocolate (perhaps) mix. Dry and straight but with
poetry. I would drink this again for sure, but it is a bit too extreme
for popular use I'd say.
This is all for the moment. Now Bordeaux lovers, do your worst and let's see those numbers take off!