Dark cherry and plum fruit wrapped in woodsmoke, sandalwood, fresh leather and coffee. There's an autumnal leaf element from the cab franc, sparring with the ripe, sweetly spiced plum of the merlot. Although deep and concentrated and generous, there's a perfumed lift to the nose. The palate is fresh and surprisingly light and supple, with a toasty oak element. Delicious now and doesn't need laying down - but will keep 5 or 6 years. Just over 60% Merlot, and around 20% each Cabernet franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, a perfect match for the ancient gravel and sandy soils layered over a clay and iron-oxide-rich subsoil.
When it comes to Bordeaux finding quality at a decent price has been getting ever harder to attain. Like a lot of wine lovers, I’ve more or less turned my back. There are marvellous Bordeaux-style wines being made all over the world after all. Very occasionally though, there are glimmers of light in this money-benighted region, clarets that tickle you in all the appropriate places but that don't come with a bullying price tag. One such wine is Domaine du Grand Ormeau’s Lalande-de-Pomerol, whose vineyards are on excellent stony terroir, next-door to Pomerol (and indeed a short hop from the deified Petrus), Domaine Grand Ormeau is producing excellent wines without the silly price tags of their over-inflated neighbours.