This came as a very pleasant surprise. The vital statistics are simple: it’s from the Côtes de Bordeaux Blaye, so the right bank and about 40km north of Bordeaux; it’s Merlot and Cabernet but mostly the former, and 2011 was far from a knockout vintage in these parts.
In the glass it has a very evolved nose, a bit rustic and farmyardy in a Merlot-dominated kind of way (the wine anoraks might get a suggestion of brettanomyces but, you know what? I couldn’t care less). Soft on the palate with decent fruit but still a grown up wine as claret always should be. And at this price it is – to borrow a phrase from one of the grander wine merchants in Britain – good everyday claret. Actually, it’s very good ordinary claret.