Wine reviews – By Michael Wolsey
If you watched the soccer friendly between Ireland and France last week you will have witnessed thunder, lightning and torrential rain. The awful weather, the only excitement Irish supporters had that night, has been repeated across much of France in a random way for the last month or so.
Violent hailstorms ravaged parts of the Bordeaux wine region causing damage to hundreds of vineyards and destroying thousands of hectares of vines. It devastated vineyards of Cotes de Bourg and Cotes de Blaye on the right bank of the Gironde river and, further east, in the Gensac and Pessac-sur-Dordogne. It also hit the Pessac-Leognan region and the south of Medoc.
Bordeaux was also hit by storms last year and the region suffered one of its worst harvests, with a fall of 39 per cent, due to late frosts. All this has lead to a jump in prices. They should not have gone up, because last year’s vintage is not in the shops yet. C’est la vie. You can expect more increases nest year and the year after. So if you have a favourite Bordeaux wine this might be the time to stock up – although no wine I buy ever lasts two weeks, never mind two years.
Anyway, here a few Bordeaux reds you might like to try – while you still can.
Chateau Larmande Saint Emilion Grand Cru (€14.99 Aldi). Flavours of dark red fruits and liquorice, perfect with red meat dishes. Very good value for a grand cru.
Chateau Sainte-Marie 2015 (€17.95, O’Briens). Lighter than most of the big reds. A good summer drink.
Chateau Puy Marceau 2014 (€17.95, O’Brien’s). Try it lightly chilled, with lamb or a vegetarian dish.