Wine Tasting Video: Merlot-based reds from Bulgaria & Bordeaux

Prestige de Calvet Bordeaux Rouge Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (£10-50-£11 Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons)
Quite simple, but has a friendly roundness, with juicy crunchy plum, blackcurrant and blueberry flesh and a touch of toffee. But a daft price. C+

Château Brassac Bordeaux Supérieur 2009 (£11.99 selected Co-operative stores)
A year older, but this is more serious, with a heart of warm plummy dark fruit plus a hint of tar. Could easily be kept another 2-3 years. B+
(PS tasted this earlier in the year, but found it more friendly and juicy this time round, and the oak had calmed down too)

Château Cèdre d’Arthus, Bordeaux Supérieur 2007 (£12.50 Private Cellar)
More tar here, plus some fresh tobacco, has a pleasant leathery maturity, but while it’s gentle character is quite appealing, it lacks a little stuffing. B(-)

Chateau Laroque St Emilion Grand Cru 2006, Bordeaux (£25.99 Waitrose)
Dumb to start with, but uncoils to reveal a dark plummy core, notes of coconut, spice and cedar, and gentle but persistent tannins. Young and promising, rich but refreshing. S

Domain Bessa Valley Enira 2008, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria (£9.95 Waitrose – for the 2007)
Riper and brawnier than the Bordeaux quartet, but not OTT, has fleshy ripe plum, red berry and pomegranate, but still some freshness B+

Domain Bessa Valley Reserva by Enira 2007, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria (N/A in the UK)
Smells more subtle than the regular Enira, but once you taste it, you notice a slight alcoholic burn, However, the juicy, plummy berry and cassis flavours, plus some nutty coconutty warmth from wood ageing are decent enough – think Cabernet from Rioja! S-

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