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The Bordeaux Bruisers


Tell us what your favourite Bordeaux wine is and why.
Are you a Right Bank lover or a Left Bank aficionado?
Or do you just adore it all.
Latour Martillac started me on my wine journey, so I am deeply indebted to it. First tasted in a tiny local restaurant where the “French” waiter, actually a Brummie who knew nothing about wine, recommended it.
I bought enough of it when the Society began to list it in the 2015 En Primeur offer. Certainly not the best Pessac wine, but for value for money is fabulous.
And I recently found an external source for some mature wine, which makes me very happy.
It is terrific to see that in recent years it has found its form again, “terroir” will out!!
We look forward to hearing what does it for you.


Latour Martillac is a sentimental wine for me also.Back in the 80s when I first became interested in wine I remember drinking the 1961 red and the 1955 white and both were excellent but the white was truly memorable and led to an on-going interest in the dry white wines of Bordeaux. I agree that it remains a great value.


I love a good claret. I have bought some EP so I can enjoy it in years to come as the elegance and complexity from an old claret is wonderful.

Once a year I have a dinner at Hawksmoor (on their Monday night £5 BYO) with a couple of friends of mine that know far more about wine than I can ever imagine to. We each bring a bottle of something special and invariably we end up with at least 2 of the 3 bottles being from Bordeaux.

I found an email following one of our dinners, not written by me I hasten to add, but it captures some of the joy and sometimes disappointment from drinking old claret.

"Boys; firstly what an amazing evening. We drank some great wine in excellent company. Thank you. The telling moment was waking this morning after a good night’s sleep and feeling great. Well done us!

It is also remarkable that we each brought along a wine from St Julien. As instructed, and dealing with each in order of drinking and with thanks to various publishers(!);-

1985 Talbot. Medium to dark garnet colour. Immediately after opening the wine was medium-bodied and lean red fruit/red cherry-driven, but it gained fruit and became close to full-bodied after some aeration. After a few minutes in a decanter the wine offered a layered nose of cherry, black currant, graphite, cedar, tobacco, mushroom, spices, cinnamon and clove. By then, it showed cherry, black currant, graphite, cedar, tobacco, spices, cinnamon and mild balsamic notes on the palate, with harmonious, medium-plus acidity, smooth, well-integrated, medium-plus tannin, a silky mouthfeel and superb length. I really liked this St. Julien for its smoothness and balance. It drank very well from the off, and did not show any signs of drying out anytime soon. Great Bordeaux. £70

1975 Leoville Barton. 1975 was a difficult year producing hard tannic wines. There are some who think that the wines never peaked. This explains the low level of bouquet, particularly after the Talbot which was in its prime. It is a shame that Hawksmoor don’t decant in front of us and we should insist on this in future, but I think that we saw some heavy sediment in this bottle when it came back. Well done to have brought it along without too much shaking as it appeared clear in the glass. It settled down to notes of stewed fruits and, finally, the leathery notes we love so much in mature Bordeaux and had a nice balance if slightly lacking fruit, which is to be expected in this 40 year old wine. The bottom line is that the wine is either past its prime by a few years, or more likely, that it never had a prime at all considering what must have been overwhelming tannins throughout its life. Whichever the case, it was still good to find real life in a 40+ year old wine! £55

1989 Branaire Ducru A firm nose here, with great fruit, but also classic aromas of cedar and pencil lead. This leads to an equally impressive palate, which again has great balance and structure. A lovely, unobtrusive tannic backbone supports some powerful fruit, with harmonious balanced acidity. This is superb stuff, have to bring back! £74

We really should have started with the Branaire, but it was all delicious, and I’m very much looking forward to the next one."


All I know about Bordeaux is that I have more of it in my cellar than my knowledge warrants. Almost all from 2015 and 2016 en primeur from TWS (and some investment cases… but that is a different story). Will be very interested in this thread as it develops. I am expecting to host my brother in two weeks time and got this bottle to share from his birth year:


Safe to say some Cellartracker member did not like it… I get a little comfort from the fact that it was the fastest sellout at The Sampler Wimbledon recent old Bordeaux tasting (according to the store manager, whose opinion I trust). I shall report back…


Another claret fan here, though only just starting to build out a collection, as up until now have just bought one or two bottles at a time or part of a mixed case, and will probably revisit some of the 2016 EP offers that still have stock at launch price over the next couple of months (especially as I will probably give the 17 EP offer a miss)

Also a big fan of taking a bottle of claret along to Hawkesmoor on a Monday evening, having catered for 10 with magnums of Les Tourelles de Longueville 09 a few months ago, and taking a Lacoste Borie 2010 from TWS 09 and 10 mixed case tonight following a Bordeaux tasting at Aquavit, so having a pretty claret focused Monday evening!


As a lover of claret, I love to find Bordeaux style wines from other parts of the world.

I have a few wines in my collection that I am looking forward to drinking in due course.

From NZ the Te Mata Estate Cabernet Merlot Awatea, (I would also love to try the Coleraine which I don’t have);

From Argentina the Bodegas Caro (Barons de Rothschild / Catena) Caro. I bought a case of this and have opened one bottle which was excellent. I’ll be keeping the rest for laying down and enjoying in a few years.

From Italy the Orma IGT Toscana Rosso.

Any other Bordeaux style wines from other parts of the world that anyone can recommend?


I don’t feel like I know much about Bordeaux and its regional differences, but more than half of the wines I’m ageing are Bordeaux. It’s rare that I spend more than about £15 on a bottle of wine, and with the inflated nature of Bordeaux prices that can be a bit limiting. That said, there’s still value to be found and I think the Society has done a good job with lower priced Bordeaux. I’ve tended to buy based on price and vintage, rather than provenance. I don’t remember drinking anything older than a 2003 (although I’m sure I have) and have generally looked to buy 2009 and 2010 where possible. I quite like 2012 and 2014 for drinking now, and have enjoyed a few 2015s as well. Overall, I think I’m more into Left bank wines.

In the ‘cellar’ there are a few that I’m really looking forward to - I have one bottle of 2007 Chateau Le Boscq left, which I’ve really enjoyed in the past. I think that one might go over Christmas. I have a bottle each of the 2009 and 2010 Ramage La Batisse, and like the idea of doing a (very) mini vertical with those. I also bought the 2009 and 2010 mixed case from the Society recently but I’m going to try not to drink any of them for a while. We’ll see how that pans out!


I have found some excellent returns from within South Africa’s Bordeaux blends, and can recommend wines such as Meerlust’s Rubicon, Delaire Graff’s Botmanskop and Anthonij Rupert’s Optima.


I don’t tend to venture too far up the line with claret due to cost, but two favourites, both of which tend towards the fuller bodied end; Caronne St. Gemme (I have ordered a case of 15 en-primeur having found this reliable in less distinguished years) and Haut-Bergey (05 &10 were excellent, a half case of 04 bought more recently less so and quite variable in quality).


I’m a big claret fan, and while liking all, prefer Medoc and Pauillac in particular.

Been drinking Ch Batailley since I visted in the 1970’s

and Ch Tour St Bonnet for almost as long

though I didn’t manage to visit that until only a few years ago.

I buy both annually enpremiere from TWS, and TWS have some excellent clarets at everyday prices.
I’ve been impressed with - and also bought quite a lot of -

and the 2010 vintage of

was delicious and surprisingly rich and full bodied.

TWS mixed cases of clarets are worth getting to try a selection…



To my shame haven’t got round to this 2010, bought last Christmas!?!:cry:



No worries. I reckon that additional year of bottle aging will pay dividends

I bought 2 cases (24 bottles) en premiere from TWS, delivered in 2013 and most drunk now. 2010 was an excellent vintage - I visited teh winery then them and tasted 2010 from the tank. Wish I’d bought more.

Enjoy it this Christmas!


Thanks for the advice - I also have some in reserves and was beginning to get anxious about not having drunk it; just the kind of thing I think this Community is brilliant at providing!


I can only agree.

As an aside, I would like to congratulate the Society setting up this Community B/B.
It is purpose built and must have staff substantive costs associated with it.
But as a way of taking the Society further into the 21st Century, it must be the way to go.
To be successful, you cannot stand still.
And that’s from a member who is convinced that Twitter and Facebook are not for him?!?


I will always have an alliance with Chateau d’armailhac as it was my first wine i ever bought a full case of in bond. I also think Chateau Moulin Saint George is fantastic along with Chateau Laroque, both St Emilions.

Ive recently joined TWS but planning to buy a bottle of the 2010 Le Dauphine and the 2010 Puy-Blanquet to see what they are like, i will probably cellar them for a few more years to soften them up, i always prefer mature Clarets so will leave them for aslong as possible.

Another Fantastic wine for me is L’aurage, made by the Son of Francois Mitjavile from Tertre Rotebeuof, i would defo recommend trying a bottle of this if you see it, i know Corney and Barrow sell a lot of their wines.


Hi George

I purchased a case of Prima 2000 from C&B which was made by Mitjavile’s son. It came in a bottle more suited to the storage of Mercury, sadly that wine yielded no joy for me. The Roc is quite another beast and I am quite the fan. I was pleased to see that in the last 12 months the Society had an offer of 3 or 4 vintages. I had jumped the gun and secured stock elsewhere as well as filling my boots with the EP 2014 and to a lesser extent 2015, with just one solitary 6 bottle case of the EP16. Don’t ask me how the Mitjavile’s do it but they seen to make a success of virtually every vintage, especially the lesser ones. Watch the C&B Mitjavile YouTube Interviews on his vintages, they are not only instructive but also a hoot!! Their picking dates are normally the last by some way, it must be infuriating for fellow vignerons to see the high prices his marvellous wines can command when their bottles are left with “bargain basement” price tags. Christmas this year should be fun, I’ve got some 2011 Roc which is delicious and 3 bottles of my 2014 stash. A friend in the wine trade told me that a Roc tasting that he recently attended, the 14 showed particularly well, which is encouraging!


Hi Kris,

i have never actually bought or tried Latrour Martillac due to me not seeming to find anywhere where i can buy just a few individual bottles, you wouldnt by any chance know where i can?
Thanks in Advance


Hi George,

Sorry to butt in.
I got my recent stock from fourwalls.com.
The 2010 is really good.



Can I second that regarding the Community Board? Well done to the WS.

I certainly agree with Taffy on Tour about Twitter, though I use F/B sparingly.


Hi George

I recently got some of the 2016 white en primeur from TWS - they may still have some. BBR usually have some as well.