Posted by Simon on June 11, 2010
Four wines, all made under the guidance of consultant winemaker Olivier Dauga. Based on this quartet, the Dauga style seems to be less flashy, less oaky, less ripe, less malo-in-barrel-y than that of Michel Rolland. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, merely a matter of personal taste, but it was a style that I rather liked. Most opened sample bottles end up with friends & neighbours, but three of these have stayed much closer to home – which explains why I’m supping the Caronne St Gemme as I write this.
Now this is the point at which someone might justifiably say, ‘So why aren’t the marks higher?’ And I find myself temporarily stumped with this question. These were wines that weren’t Page 3 stunnas but which passed the empty bottle test. Should I mark good wines down because they’re not my personal taste – think early Meryl Streep? Should I overscore things that no-one else but me finds attractive – I’m probably alone in thinking ‘Moving’ by The Raincoats is a fabulous album? Aach maan, as the current World Cup hosts would say. I’ll shut up now, here’s the video…
Château Roques Mauriac Bordeaux Supérieur 2005 (£10.99 www.virginwines.com)
Modern but not too flashy, this has quite fragrant leafy tobacco and slightly toasty oak notes on top of dark, tar-tinged berry and blackcurrant fruit, also hints of violet, cedar and brine. Nicely balanced, tasty wine, still with plenty of life. B(+)
Château Cantinot 1ères Côtes de Blaye 2005 (No UK stockists at present)
A softer, sweeter style, with less obvious oak, more mature and gentle but still has richness and juicy plummy flesh plus an exotic almost sandalwood-like character. B+
Château Roques Mauriac Damnation Bordeaux 2006 (£16.49 www.virginwines.com)
Thought the chocolate wafer oak was swamping this, but it calmed down to show its fragrant core, and its heady blackcurrant, redcurrant, red berry and tar flavours, along with notes of hoisin, clove and sandalwood. Think the 2005 would have been even better. S-
Château Caronne Ste Gemme Haut-Médoc 2005 (£13.99 Majestic)
Used to be known for its solid, slightly rustic style, but this, while still firm and showing earthy terroir edges, has a soft plummy character to its classic cassis and cedar flavours, and a polished finish. Nice wine, still good for another five years at least. S(-)
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