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BORDEAUX WINE REGION

The greatest vineyards have of course proved that they will produce great wine whatever the conditions. In a region as renowned and celebrated for its rich history as Bordeaux, twenty years is a mere blink of the eye. However, the changes over the last two decades have been profound. Vineyards have changed hands, new winemaking techniques have come and gone and of course the worldwide interest in the very greatest wines has gone into overdrive.

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1990 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux

Château Margaux

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2011 Château La Mission Haut Brion Blanc

Château Mission Haut Brion

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A candidate for THE wine of the vintage! This has one of the impeccably pure and crystal clear noses I have ever encountered. It is a master class in the balance of intensity and a delicate touch with aromas of iced-citrus fruits in perfect harmony with perfectly pitched toasty, smoky oak. The final notes of lees (just a hint) and...

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2010 Château Haut Brion, 1er Cru Graves

Château Haut Brion

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Case of 6 x 75cl £4,066.08

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Jean Philippe Delmas has produced a massive wine in 2010 (23% Merlot, 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc). Dense, dark purple with a brooding nose of dark berry fruit and cassis. Massively full-bodied with tremendous waves of blackcurrant rolling over the palate with a touch of meaty character but there is still so much being held back. Huge length...

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Case of 6 x 75cl £4,636.08

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Case of 3 x 150cl £4,936.08

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2009 Château Latour, 1er Cru Pauillac

Château Latour

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Case of 6 x 75cl £6,016.08

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Creamy currants and cherries on the nose lure you in. On the palate, the experience truly begins with silky textures, a deep mineral thread, the wine tightly coiled around fine tannins and hanging on an immense, strapping frame. This is perfectly constructed, displaying control, precision, nobility and optimum balance. There are simply no faults here. 20 points 2019-2030+ 91CS :9M...

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2009 Château Latour, 1er Cru Pauillac

Château Latour

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2010 Château Latour, 1er Cru Pauillac

Château Latour

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Case of 6 x 75cl £6,766.08

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A magnificent Latour made from 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Petit Verdot. Incredibly deep and multi-layered, it also shows immense restraint and elegance. The palate is packed full of rich, dark fruit with notes of cassis, blackberries and plums, intermingling with exotic spices, mocha notes and minerals. The alcohol is barely perceptible and textured tannins...

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Case of 12 x 75cl £9,658.56

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Exuding the elegance and restraint so typical of Lafite. At the same time moutfilling and expansive. Well-refined richesse, violets, black cherry berry fruit, mint, liqourice and stones. Grainy tannins. Fine presence. Seamless. Neverending. Takes you to another realm.

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BORDEAUX WINE REGION

Fashions have seen the rise and fall of the garagistes and the influence of the consultant winemaker. However, for all of these human elements, the 1855 classification remains unchanged and, whether it has been the torrid heat of 2003, the gloom of 2007 or the glory of 2005, the greatest vineyards have proved that they produce great wine whatever the conditions.

In the next twenty years, we will undoubtedly see further pressure on supply at the top with prices continuing to stretch credulity. But what of the hundreds of smaller producers, who have struggled so badly in recent times? Theirs is not the good fortune of great terroir and in a fast moving world, it is here that reform is needed most strongly. The EU wine lake has been emptied and the bad practices that it encouraged are happily draining away too. For the consumer, the result must be the guarantee of ever greater quality because whatever the level of classification, if Bordeaux wants to maintain its position as the number one wine region in the world, quality must be at the centre of its plans.

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