I was planning to choose something that shouted summer more obviously this week, but along came a timely reminder that you don’t have to pay a fortune to get good, mature red Bordeaux. Where else do you get impeccable 10-year-old red wine at this sort of price? In fact, if you can get a delivery slot by June 6 and buy six on-line, you’ll get it at £10.50 a bottle, or £14 by the bottle for delivery by June 13.
As far as summer goes, far from being a heavy red, La Raison is all velvet texture, fleshy black fruit and cherries, soft oak and graphite, melt-away tannins and a flicker of summery chervil. It would make a fine bottle to follow the fizz at any Platinum Jubilee celebration.
Château des Fougères Clos Montesquieu is not an estate I’ve visited, but it’s well situated in the Graves with free-draining clay, sand and gravel soils. And Stéphane Derencourt and his team are the consultants, which speaks volumes. The grapes for La Raison – Merlot (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) – are hand-picked and come from the most gravelly of the 10.5 hectares. It’s aged for 14–16 months in French oak and has blossomed with eight years' evolution in bottle.
It's engagingly approachable claret – none of your Cabernet Sauvignon austerity here – so, while it would flatter, and be flattered by, a classic leg of lamb, roasted pink, slow-baked or barbecued, you can reach for the spice rack, pillage the herb garden and go well beyond lamb, beef, pork, duck and the barbecue generally. On the vegan front, aubergine, mushroom, roast root and lentil dishes are all on the menu. Vegetarians can add hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, Manchego and aged Gouda, cooked or not. 13% abv. Empty bottle weight: 546g.
Château des Fougères Clos Montesquieu La Raison 2012, Graves, Bordeaux, France
£16, Tesco (231 stores); £14 online, for delivery by June 13; £10.50 when you buy 6 online for delivery by June 6
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