Ch de Seguin 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur

15 Jul 2011 by Jancis Robinson

From €8.45, £8.95, 89 Swedish krone, HK$115, $16.99.

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As I am always banging on about, some of the best value in the world lurks at the base of the pyramid of quality in Bordeaux, a very long way in terms of price below the much-talked-about classed growths. The only problem with the basic Bordeaux appellation is finding the best examples among the thousands of wines produced within it. The Bordeaux Supérieur appellation is similar but encompasses specific plots - nearly 12,000 hectares or 30,000 acres worth! - with rather older vines. Yields are limited to 50 hl/ha (as opposed to 55 hl/ha for AC Bordeaux) and the wines must be aged for at least a year.

Many of the wines at this level can be a bit fruitless and tart but the voluptuous, superripe 2009 vintage provides salvation. This is a vintage that is generally much easier to drink young than most Bordeaux vintages so I strongly recommend that you seek out lesser 2009 bordeaux in general. This particular one seems a steal to me. Like so much red AC Bordeaux and AC Bordeaux Supérieur, it comes from an estate in the pretty Entre Deux Mers region, in this case one near Lignan which has been much extended by its Danish importer owner (who also has interests in Romania), making it one of the bigger wine estates in Bordeaux. Lutte raisonnée practices have long been followed (good) and the grapes are picked, as is usual at these sort of prices, by machine (less good). The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon grown is quite respectable and the wines tend to be less dependent on Merlot than many of their peers.

There are two cuvées above this, Cuvée Prestige and Cuvée Carl, but this is the basic one (the skinnier 2007 is illustrated) with only low-key oaking, which I reckon is quite good enough for fruit with this amount of muscle and glamour. I would happily drink this 13.5% wine any time over the next three years - with food preferably. The tannin is still in evidence but it's well balanced by the sumptuous fruit. I gave it 16 out of 20 for what it's worth.

I'm delighted to see that this wine is relatively easy to find at modest prices around the world, including chez Jeroboams in the UK and the Swedish liquor monopoly Systembolaget.

Ch de Seguin also makes a white and rosé whose current vintages I have not tasted. When searching for it, please note this property is quite distinct from Pessac-Léognan's Ch Seguin.

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