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WINE OF THE WEEK: Justerini & Brooks Pomerol, France

£24.67, Justerini & Brooks

If you're looking for something classic, crowd-pleasing and versatile for Easter, this is it: a red Bordeaux (aka claret) of beautiful proportions, soft-suede tannins, ripe fresh fruit, sandalwood, tobacco, Christmas cake and mocha flavours


It's also a wine of impeccable provenance: impeccable but not revealed, at least not by Justerini & Brooks who say that, such is the sensitivity, the buyers involved in the assemblage (blending) have had to sign the Official Secrets Act 1911. What J&B will say is that it comes from two of the leading estates on the Pomerol plateau, "one of the world's greatest terroirs" (I can't disagree), and that this current blend is predominantly from the wonderful 2016 vintage (no exaggeration regarding the vintage either).

What I can add is that the small print on the label says it was bottled by Denis Durantou (who sadly died far too young last May) and that the capsule is his too. The label describes him as 'négociant à Pomerol'. Far more significant than being any kind of négociant, Denis Durantou was the brilliant, hands-on owner of Château l'Eglise Clinet, one of Pomerol's crown jewels. I see that in Inside Bordeaux, Jane Anson notes that the estate produces 70% first wine and 20% second wine. That leaves 10%.

Any roast would shine with this – lamb, beef, pork, veal, duck, chicken – but it goes way beyond traditional Easter roasts. Mushroom dishes, cheese and vegetable pies and gratins, macaroni cheese or duck confit shepherd's pie are among countless possibilities. And while it's perfect to drink now, it could be kept a few years.

Justerini & Brooks Pomerol, Bordeaux, France


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