Matthew Jukes – Wednesday Wines – Ep 154

Matthew Jukes’ tasting notes on a selection of our 2023 spring shipments from Bordeaux.

2019 Château Frontenac, Bordeaux Superieur

Made from 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, this is a gluggable little beauty, and the first thing I wrote in my notes was ‘Parisian brasserie classic’! It reminds me of the youthful, juicy wines I first encountered in the late-Eighties and with a sub-tenner price tag, it is a cracker.

2018 Château Les Marcieux, Haut-Medoc

Made from 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, this is an effortlessly classy wine with typical 2018 freshness and a thrilling, silky, medium-weight chassis. While Frontenac is a crowd-pleaser, this is a connoisseur’s bargain-priced Haut-Médoc, drinking perfectly already.

2019 Château Faure-Beausejour, Fronsac

Made from 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, this is a benchmark Fronsac with a genuine earthy/fertile backdrop to the dark fruit notes, and while it has a little more muscle than the first two wines, it is remarkably smooth already. Serve with meatier dishes and full-flavoured cheeses.

2016 Château Coustolle, Canon-Fronsac

Made from 70% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec, this is a much more aerial and sensual wine than the others. Bright, lifted, refreshing and fully mature at seven years old, this is a stunning discovery with poise and definition, and it is such great value it defies belief.

2016 Château Corconnac, Haut-Medoc

With a hint of grip and traction on the finish, this is a fuller framed wine with a deeper and darker fruit imprint than the previous wines. Reaching its perfect drinking window, this is another astonishingly excellent value wine – a Cru Bourgeois, too – and has a wonderfully long finish.

2018 Château Begadan, Medoc

Begadan is a modern-style wine with a darker core of fruit, a juicier mid-palate and a sense of glossiness throughout. Once again, the value is incredible, and if I were served this wine in a serious restaurant, I wouldn’t blink an eyelid!

2019 Château Beauregard Ducasse, Graves

Made from 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a textbook Graves, with a delightful perfume, a slender silhouette and a long, soothing finish. There is a lovely, unrushed feel about this calm and centred wine, which will age gracefully for a couple more years.

2018 Château Haut-Madrac, Haut-Medoc

This Château is situated opposite Lynch-Moussas, right on the border of Pauillac. There is undeniable distinction here, loading some discreet oak notes over a core of blackcurrant fruit. There is nothing forced here, just gentlemanly control and reserve. Dipping under £20 by the case, this is the finest value drinking claret of the year so far.

2019 Château Hyon La Fleur, Saint Emilion

The final wine in the line-up is made by none other than Jean-Claude Berrouet, former winemaker at Château Pétrus. What I like most about this wine, besides its keen price, is that it is not too rich, over-oaked or muscular. In fact, it is a model of succulent decadence, and it will mature perfectly for five more years.

Matthew Jukes – Wednesday Wines – Ep 154, www.matthewjukes.com, 4th Apr 2023


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