Château Le Barrail Médoc 2009 (£7.11 Tesco)
Firm, fruity young wine, with plenty of blackcurrant and damson favour, and a slightly briny edge, but structure of smoky oak and hard tannins just a bit OTT. B(-)
Château Prieuré Les Tours Graves 2006 (£9.99 Majestic)
More of that savoury/briny character, benefiting from extra maturity, with smoky, cedary notes to the relaxed plummy, figgy flavours, medium bodied but full-flavoured, with a refreshing finish. B+
Château Fourcas Dumont Listrac-Médoc 2005 (£15 Tesco)
There’s a soft plummy warmth here, but this feels just too developed for a Médoc wine from such a good vintage – maybe the bottle wasn’t as fresh as it could be? B??
Les Allées de Cantemerle Haut-Médoc 2005, (£16 The Wine Society)
This is more like it. Has vibrancy and bounce, warm and juicy but also with freshness, spice and a slightly savoury edge to liven up the authoritative plummy berry and blackcurrant fruit, still feels young, fresh and exciting. S
Château La Louvière Pessac-Léognan Rouge 2004 (£24 Bibendum, Philglas & Swiggot)
Feels old before its time, with no bounce & life, and the fruit having lost its freshness and passed into the leathery/figgy spectrum; not helped by the drying-out effect of brettanomyces. B(-)??