It’s the tail end of a heatwave when these two red Bourdeaux wines from Dourthe arrive at my door. It’s not any old heatwave either, it’s a record breaker. It’s about ten degrees C hotter in Brighton than it is in Bordeaux — and these aren’t exactly heatwave wines.
Nevertheless, I have high hopes for them both: the La Terrasse De La Garde 2015 (pictured top) from Pessac-Léognan, Graves; and the Château Pey La Tour 2016 (below). I’m already a big fan of Dourthe wines, giving their Terroris D’Exception Roqueblanche Sauvignon Blanc 5 stars last year.
2015, in my experience, was a really good year in Bordeaux, and this very much comes across in the outstanding La Terrasse De La Garde, from the south-west of the region. A Merlot-dominated blend, it has exceptional blackberry fruit flavours up front, backed by lovely, warm menthol and tobacco notes from the Cab. Its 12 monts in oak don’t in any way distract from the fruit flavours and this is a superbly balanced wine. Exactly the sort of red I’m into right now.
Despite the fact that you could fry an egg on the pavement outside, I knock up a Bolognese to pair with this one. It had to be done — there are few greater pleasures, I find, than a Merlot-dominated Bordeaux and a spag bol. This one, by the way, is 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
5 NINJA STARS
Pouring out an intensely deep red, the Château Pey La Tour immediately hits you with rich blackberry and cherry aromas, although not they’re not quite as intense as those in the Terrasse De La Garde.
It’s 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. That’s over a third less cab than the other wine and consequently it is, as you’d expect, distinctly less smokey and tobacco infused.
It’s not as complex as its sibling, but then it is less expensive, making it equally good value. Another hugely enjoyable wine. As you can see, I enjoyed this one with a roast chicken, but keep that to yourself.
4.5 NINJA STARS
La Terrasse de la Garde 2015 is available for £15 at Sainsbury’s
Le Chateau Pey La Tour Reserve 2016 is £11.50 at The Wine Society
For more about Dourthe wines, see www.dourthe.com