My recent blind tasting of 239 bordeaux 2014s (red and white, some of the reds shown in the picture on the right) highlighted quite a few bargains. One of the most obvious was La Chenade 2014 Lalande-de-Pomerol that was a wine of week last year. It impressed the group of 20-odd wine professional tasters to such an extent that it was bettered only by Roc de Cambes in a flight of Pomerols and the like that included Fleur de Gay, Bon Pasteur, Petit Village, Croix de Gay and Nénin. It was £50 for six bottles in bond when we recommended it a year ago. Farr Vintners are currently offering it at £135 a dozen bottles in bond, and you can buy a single bottle from Vinorium at £16.95 or from Lea & Sandeman at £18.50. This luscious wine from Denis Durantou of Ch L'Église-Clinet is still thoroughly recommended and is easy to find in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and throughout Europe. See the relevant wine-searcher link above.
Another exceptional bargain to emerge from the Southwold 2014 tasting was Ch Capbern 2014 St-Estèphe that continues to look exceptionally good and still fully deserving of its score of 17 en primeur. (Those with long memories may remember that the 2009 vintage of this wine, then called Ch Capbern Gasqueton, was a wine of the week in 2010 that continues to be hugely popular according to some quite recent posts in our members' forum.) Overall it was fifth favourite in the St-Estèphe flight, behind Cos, Montrose, Calon and Meyney (another recent wine of the week). It attracted quite a few 17s and even one 18 from a very reputable scorer. The French-based Millésima offer it, and the wine below, quite widely throughout Europe and it seems delightfully easy to find in the US and Canada as well as in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Malta, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, South Africa from under €18 and $21.95. In the UK it is offered by the dozen in bond by both Justerinis and Farr Vintners from £165. Use the wine-searcher link below to find your nearest stockist. It is a veritable steal.
I’m also including Ch La Tour de Mons 2014 Margaux. It is not quite so outstanding a bargain as the two wines above, but has garnered scores of 16 to 17 on each of the three times it has been tasted by us and, crucially, is offered by a range of merchants and (particularly) brokers in the UK – most usefully Tanners of Shrewsbury, who are listing single bottles at £28 each. See Left-bank improvements from a big French bank for details of how CA Grands Crus, owned by Crédit Agricole, has been fine tuning its portfolio of Bordeaux châteaux, including this cru bourgeois whose cellar and vineyard have been redesigned. More than half the blend of the 2014 is Merlot but there are nice grace notes from Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. When I tasted it blind recently I found it ‘rich, polished and exciting with lots of energy. Well layered and vibrant.’ It was fifth favourite overall in the flight of less famous Margaux, with Marquis d’Alesme, which I found rather austere, the group’s top wine of the flight. Tour de Mons is another very well distributed 2014 red bordeaux, as you can see from this collection of minimum prices in various currencies: HK$155, €16.80, 20.83 Swiss francs, $24.97, 3,326 yen, 699 Czech koruna, £28, AU$93.17. That Australian price looks a bit steep, but it can be found for a relative song in continental Europe.
As I wrote on Wednesday this week, the 2014 left-bank reds are looking better than ever – not standouts for a long life but there is no shortage of drinking pleasure, and nor is there any hurry to drink them.