Way back in the dim and distant, well a few weeks ago actually, when I penned the first Tipping’s Tipples for YorkMix, I put together a list of wine tips.
It included picking wines from lesser known areas, as I think these usually offer far better value than famous name regions.
Contradicting my own advice somewhat I am now going to recommend you go out and buy some reds from Bordeaux. As I pointed out at the time, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Reds from Bordeaux, or clarets as they are sometimes referred to, in my experience provide plenty of those exceptions.
New names, real class
Sure, you can spend a pretty packet on famous name first growth châteaux wines, such as Mouton Rothschild, Margaux and Latour but I’m talking about names you probably have never heard of.
It has to be said that in amongst the massed ranks of more affordable clarets there are many that fall in to the category of overpriced rubbish – but there are some that show real class.
The good ones tend to be well balanced, elegant, relatively low in alcohol and are a very refreshing change from some of those monster New World ‘fruit bombs’.
The following would all make perfect partners for the Sunday roast, be it lamb or beef. All three however are a little pricier than my normal picks. They are clarets after all!
1. A full-bodied blend
Château Jouanin 2012, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
£9.99 at the Co-operative
The Co-op has Château Jouanin 2012, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, a blend of merlot and cabernet franc.
It is a full-bodied but not over powering example, suggesting raspberry and plum flavours, with some spice, coffee and vanilla notes from some subtle oak ageing.
2. A text-book claret
Château Fourcas-Dupré 2006, Listrac Médoc
£12.99 at Majestic
Stepping up a level there is Château Fourcas-Dupré 2006, Listrac Médoc. It is drinking wonderfully now and has all the markings of a text book claret.
Balanced and still remarkably fresh and fragrant, despite its age, the cassis, cedar, plum and leather flavours therein are underpinned by some fine tannins.
3. A smooth operator
Diane de Belgrave 2009, Haut Médoc
£17.99 from oddbins.com
Or splash out on Diane de Belgrave 2009, Haut Médoc, which is available online from Oddbins (remember them?). Velvety smooth and supple, it shows rich flavours of plum, blackcurrant, spice and tobacco with some polished oak.