As the festive season officially kicks off this month, our minds immediately turn to the quintessential bottle of Christmas claret. The holidays are the perfect season to indulge in a fine bottle of Bordeaux, whether enjoying a warming glass of red, a crystalline white or a sumptuous Sauternes. We have put together a small collection of wines that we feel are essential additions to any Bordeaux lover’s collection, each showing the great heights that Bordeaux is capable of achieving, while also maintaining tremendous value for money.
The white wines of Bordeaux are too often overlooked despite producing some superb examples, both with the potential to be enjoyed in their youth or with a decade or two of time in the cellar. Unquestionably at the top of this list as one of the most sought-after white wines in the world is La Mission Haut Brion Blanc, which in the 2020 vintage should not be missed as emphasized by Decanter as deftly demonstrating, “why this is one of Bordeaux’s best loved white wines.” In the same league we also have the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, a wine which Antonio Galloni found immensely appealing straight out of the gate,” Best of all, the 2020 will drink well pretty much upon release. It’s a gorgeous wine in the making.”Finally, for those seeking the same pedigree of wine, with a more approachable price point, the 2019 Opalie de Coutet is a deliciously dry expression of Mouton Rothschild’s iconic Barsac estate that comes with our highest recommendation.
Moving to the trademark clarets of the region, we have carefully selected a fantastic collection spanning all of our favourite appellations and producers. From the Lafite Rothshild stable, we have their Reserve Speciale Pauillac, truly an indispensable wine to have on hand while entertaining during the holiday season. The 2019 Baron de Brane is “a gorgeous second wine” according to Antonio Galloni from the top-notch 2nd Growth Margaux estate Brane Cantenac, while 2019 Petit Ducru comes with a high recommendation from Bordeaux expert Jane Anson for any fans of its monumental grand vin Ducru Beaucaillou;“It has a clear link to Ducru, you get the shot of sexiness, the feeling that you are being invited in to the party.”The 2016 vintage was one of the best ever in Bordeaux’s recent history, producing exceptional wines across the board, and we still have a few cases remaining of two outstanding efforts from St. Julien, the 2016 Leoville Poyferre and 2016 St. Pierre. Each of these wines encapsulates the incredible intensity, balance and finesse of the vintage no matter what price point you spring for. Finally moving to the Right Bank, we are pleased to have a few last cases of the Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Chateau Fonbel from Ausone’s Vauthier family (a perennial favourite of our team) which shines more than ever in the outstanding 2019 vintage.
No Bordeaux collection would be complete without a few delightful treats from Sauternes and Barsac and we have three terrific options for you today. For those looking for a tantalisingly fresh option, the 2018 Carmes de Rieussec is the perfect pick. For those looking for something more sumptuous, look no further than the 2016 Suduiraut of which Galloni writes, “is fabulous… I marvel at how Suduiraut can deliver so much flavor intensity and yet remain so gracious and classy.” Finally, for the true hedonist, the 2019 Coutet should absolutely not be missed, earning rave reviews across the board from critics like the Wine Advocate who exclaim, “is a thrill ride from the get-go, exploding from the glass with fantastically intense scents of tangerine peel, lime blossoms and lemon marmalade over a core of pineapple upside-down cake, candied ginger, ripe apricots and clover honey plus suggestions of chanterelles and musk perfume. […] Apart from all that, it is pretty darn delicious.”
Everything within this collection is available at the very best price in the market and available for immediate delivery, however with less than a handful available of some wines, we urge you to secure your Christmas Collection cases as soon as possible.