It’s probably one of the most tradition-bound events in the trade calendar each year, as well as where one can still find the stereotypical wino; ruddy face, red trousers and all, likely moaning about the huge rise in prices since “the good old days of the '80s where one could find good claret for just pounds, dear boy.”
We ourselves used to dabble in it but stepped away a few years back. We realised it’s not a healthy scene. The barrel samples are often enhanced, and not a reflection of the final blend. For some reason journalists haven’t recoiled and still think this is acceptable, even if they moan about it occasionally. Mostly consumers lose money, as is well reported by leading journalists like Jancis Robinson MWC and Tim Atkin, MW, and by Decanter and Liv-ex, who measure these things.
Instead, we wanted to seek out smaller producers and sell great wines that punch above their weight and over-deliver. And hey, we don’t take ourselves too seriously either.
The Gelineau Grand Vin De Bordeaux for example, with hints of cedar and graphite, is proof that there's still great value, and great quality wines to be had from Bordeaux. It drinking well now (perfect with steaks and burgers) and absolutely brimming with quality.
Plums, sweet berries and a little cassis, almost summer pudding like, with gentle cedar-y notes and a little cinnamon bark. There's something a little familiar and comforting in this wine, with its lightly spiced, blackberry loaded palate, fine, powdery tannins and graceful structure. It's the sort of bottle you pull from the rack that's sure to cheer you up after you've walked home from the office and been caught in a downpour. Really smart for the money too.
Jane Anson, Decanter magazine’s highly regarded Bordeaux correspondent and author of recently released 'Inside Bordeaux' described 2018 as “an exuberant vintage.” There's an exuberance to this wine, but in an understated and attractive way.