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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
3 Feb 2012

From €4.99, £8.49, NZ$22.41, Au$24.95, 1,524 Swedish krone a dozen

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This is where the real value in Bordeaux lies, in the little, best-tended corners of the least glamorous areas run with dedication and enough cash to make the right decisions.

The Vincent family first bought vineyards in the Entre Deux Mers (the prettiest bit of Bordeaux but entitled only to the Bordeaux appellation for its reds) in 1873. Another parcel was added in 1920 and today the estate in Montignac is run with panache by the brothers Christophe and Fabien, both formally qualified in the academic side of wine production. This generation, as is now so common, has travelled widely outside Europe and has steadily been upgrading the vineyard since the early 1990s.

As you can see here, all the latest tricks are used to maximise exposure of the right number of bunches and they tick the minimal inputs boxes. A sprauncy new winery was built in 2000. The result is that even their most basic red, this wine labeled Merlot in big letters and Cabernet Sauvignon in small to denote the 20% stiffening Cabernet in the blend, is a consistent gold-medal winner.

The 2010 won a gold at the all-important Paris show and is a notably deep crimson. I tasted it just after returning from Southwold to look at all the top and middle 2008s (on which I will be reporting next week). What a joy it was to experience a fully ripe wine! This wine is admittedly fruitarama - not New World but much sweeter than most red bordeaux - and yet it is recognisably Bordeaux with all the appetising qualities that involves. Very clean, bright fruit with just a hint of carbon dioxide, it is all of 14.5% alcohol and I would happily drink it any time over the next three years.

I thought it excellent value at £8.49 from the very worthwhile Real Wine Company in the UK, but it is widely distributed at much lower prices in European countries with much lower wine duties. What a steal this wine is in France! So much cheaper than the equivalent quality would be outside Europe. Sad, though, as it must be quite difficult to make much of a business out of selling at such a low price a wine into which so much effort goes.

Their white wines are very solid, too, as you can see from the reviews in our tasting notes database.

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