Château la Tulipe de la Garde 2012 from Sainsbury's
2012 was not a great vintage in Bordeaux - cool and wet, it was a year where the wines are light early-drinkers and where a gentle hand in the cellar was needed.
This Tulipe de la Garde, a Bordeaux Superieur, makes a virtue of necessity; from a year in which it was simply not possible to make substantial age-worthy wines, it feels light, fresh and deft with a little pleasantly lingering oak on the finish.
There is good blackberry and cherry fruit, a supple freshness and no rough edges at all - it's a balanced, enjoyable, textbook, easy-drinking old world Merlot.
Match the freshness of this wine with pate, chicken or mushrooms.
The marketing is at least as interesting as the wine itself - Dutch winermaker Ilja Gort, who sports a beret and distinctive facial hair, has his image emblazoned on the cork along with the slogan "Life's too short for bad wine", whilst the back label proudly lists the various awards the wines have won and invites me to subscribe to the chateau's newsletter.
It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Gort has a background in advertising and seems to have listened carefully to iconic British adman, John Hegarty, on the subject of promoting wine.
£10 from Sainsbury's (reduced to £7.50 from November 19th until December 31st); provided for review.
For more on Gort, see his YouTube video here.
Other related articles
Tulipe 2009 - a good year
Tulipe 2011 - another difficult year
Andrew Barrow is enthusiastic about Gort's communications skills, Simon Woolf less so.