Do you lean towards the left or the right? I’m not talking Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn here: I’m talking about Bordeaux wine. It’s a complex region (read about the basics here), but Bordeaux’s wines can be broadly divided between the left bank and right bank of the Gironde river.
What do I mean by this? Well… all Bordeaux reds are blends. The left-bank varieties are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc (giving a harsher, more tannic taste); while the right bank favours merlot (softer and more appealing to the novice, perhaps).
This Sainsbury’s Roc de Lussac, Lussac St-Emilion announces itself immediately as very much a right banker. Rich, fruity merlot is the attention-grabbing lead vocalist, with the cab sauv/cab franc a barely detectable rhythm section. It’s very soft, with lots of juicy cherry and blackcurrant flavours.
It’s not a Sainsbury’s own-brand wine, by the way, I just picked it up on a rare visit to a Sainsbury’s local, reduced to £8.50 from a tenner. And it’s pretty good value at either price — especially if you prefer the gently caress of the right bank to the tough love of the left. It also left me with a remarkably clear head the next day. Always a good sign.
Sainsbury’s Lussac St-Émilion 2014: £8.50, reduced from £10
4 NINJA STARS
This St-Émilion is great to drink on its own. A good alternative would be the Taste the Difference Côtes du Rhône. Or if you want something with more structure to cut through a slab of rich red meat, I’d go for a cab-dominated left-bank Bordeaux such as a Medoc.