2017 Château Capbern, Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France
If you’re looking to keep the cash under control while drinking world-class wines this month, then look no further than these fine Bordeaux blends. Firstly, the extraordinary 2017 Capbern. Back in early 2018, during En Primeur week, winemaker Vincent Millet explained there were no problems with frost in Saint-Estèphe, so the yields were perfect in 2017 while others suffered.
The blend is 55% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot. When the wine was “born”, the fruit was smooth, clean and forward with classic Saint-Estèphe hall-marks of earthiness balanced with black fruit juiciness, and I strongly tipped it to blossom early in its life. Only a few years down the track, my predictions have come true – this is a stunning wine with amazing plumminess and a depth and nobility rarely found for £20.
Shave two pounds off this price, fly down to Bolgheri, and you will find a wine with a very similar blend (60% cabernet, 40% merlot): 2018 Yantra, Tenuta Sette Cieli, Monteverdi Marittimo, Tuscany, Italy (£18.28, laywheeler.com). It is a cool-climate “claret”, loaded with sublime minerality and pristine, energetic fruit. Made with sensational care and attention by the immensely talented Elena Pozzolini, this is a wine that points the way to an epic future for this perfectly situated estate.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)