Red Bordeaux is one of the world's great wines; it exists at price points from everyday to some of the most expensive bottles on the planet. And all points in between.
Most red Bordeaux is a blend with either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot dominating; in simple terms, Left Bank Cabs have more grippy tannin and Right Bank Merlots gain their texture from acidity
With flavours of plum, cedarwood and bramble fruit in their youth, Bordeaux wines have the ability to age, becoming more mellow and hedonistic. They are very much food wines, matching best with red meats, roast chicken or meaty fish.
Here are four red wines all from the Right Bank of Bordeaux where Merlot dominates.
Château Monconseil-Gazin 2018, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (£9.75, The Wine Society)
Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend from Blaye, just across the river from the Médoc.
forest fruits, plums, cherries and raspberries with sous bois earthiness and spice; fruit-forward and approachable; fresh, supple and easy-drinking with ripe, gentle-yet-firm tannins.
An easy-drinker, match with pizza, herby sausages, burgers or roast chicken.
Lidl Saint Emilion Grand Cru (£11.99, Lidl)
Bramble fruit, spice, savouriness and length; good underpinnings, with firm, fine tannins.
Improves with extended aeration and will age.
Good; may need some aging.
Match with roast beef now and darker game in a couple of years.
lighter, fresher and more opened-up, with ripe fruit, spice and gentle tannins. Very well made with decent structure; elegant and focused.
Thoroughly enjoyable - drinking nicely now.
Match with midweight dishes, such as pork rillettes, salami or roast chicken.
89 points from Richard Bampfield.
Chateau Barbe Blanche St Lussac- Emilion, 2016 (Daniel Lambert)
Part-owned by the Lurton family and based in a satellite region of St-Emilion.
Merlot blend with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon; lifted plums, black fruits fruit, cassis and complex, spicy oak; substantial, supple and inky with generous fruit, minty herbs, mushroomy-woodsy undergrowth and toasty oak. Firm yet fine and well-integrated tannins.
Improves with aeration and will age further.
Match with robust red-meat dishes, such as venison steaks
Chateau La Petite Roque Cotes de Blaye 2018 (Daniel Lambert)
The second wine of Monconseil-Gazin, above.
Cherries, coffee grounds, raspberry leaves and spice; fresh and juicy with dark plums and blackberries, some spice.
Easy-drinking and thoroughly enjoyable.
Match with pizza, salami or herby sausages.
Chateau Barbe Blanche St Lussac- Emilion, 2016
Some new-wood aging and a goodly proportion of Cabernet Franc have produced an elegant, balanced wine. Blackcurrant fruits and firm tannins are now well integrated to give a wine that is both fruity and attractively structured. Drink now.
ROGER VOSS RATING 89
90-91 / 100 by James Suckling.
A warm, richly layered, full-bodied red. Aromas of cassis, smoke and oak with a smooth finish.
90/100 Natalie Maclean
Chateau La Petite Roque Cotes de Blaye 2018
Decanter Bronze medal