2014 Clos Sainte Anne, Côtes de Bordeaux, France
£14.10, reduced to £12.50 each by the case, Haynes Hanson & Clark, 020-7584 7927, hhandc.co.uk
I am writing this column surrounded by sample bottles from the finest Bordeaux châteaux – Mouton Rothschild to my right, Haut Brion to my left, and rows upon rows of famous names as well as lesser-known estates in between. It is the “en primeur” time of year and wine merchants and commentators alike are wading through hundreds of 2020 vintages to give wine collectors their thoughts on whether it’s worth buying a few cases of these vinous futures for investment or simply to drink with their friends. By the time this column is published I will have uploaded legions of notes, free to view, on my website, so please take a look – 2020 is a patchy vintage that needs careful guidance.
But while none of these wines will be drinking for years, I thought you might need to slake your thirst on some great clarets that are drinking right now, and are fabulous value for money and amazingly accurate, too. Clos Sainte Anne is utterly delicious, superbly suave, balanced and bright, and it is a thrilling bargain. While you are at it, grab the following Châteaux from HH&C, too: 2018 Les Reuilles (£10.40) is a fabulous, all-purpose “house claret”; 2018 Garras (£13.50) is a mineral-soaked, violet-tinged beauty from Cadillac; 2018 Haut-Vigneau (£21.40) is a plush Pessac-Léognan brimming with purity and élan; and, finally, 2012 Baron de Brane (£33.75) is a sensual and sensational second wine from a famous Margaux property.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)