7 months ago

Mary Dowey’s Bottle of the Week: A Polished Red Bordeaux

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This polished red Bordeaux is the perfect Easter treat, says wine editor MARY DOWEY

Le Saint-Estèphe du Château Le Crock 2012

Good red Bordeaux is the most traditional wine match for spring lamb – and, even though I occasionally detour (to Rioja, for instance, as in the April issue of The Gloss), I’ll admit this classic partnership is difficult to beat. There’s a succulence to middleweight Bordeaux that highlights the juiciness of young lamb. Why not put both on your Easter lunch or dinner table?

In Saint-Estèphe in the Médoc – home to many of Bordeaux’s finest wines – Château Le Crock has been owned for many years by the Cuvelier family, wine traders who are also at the helm of the well-known Saint-Julien estate Château Léoville-Poyferré. With the help of high-profile oenologist Michel Rolland, both properties have raised the quality of their wines impressively over the past couple of decades.

Le Saint-Estèphe du Château Le Crock is a real charmer. With aromas of plums, spice and a hint of meat, it combines mouthwatering allure with silky elegance and a degree of harmony that is sure to have been enhanced by quite a few years in bottle. The grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in more or less equal proportions – the first for stuffing, the second for suaveness – with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot for added interest. 

It’s not inexpensive, admittedly – but precious little classy Bordeaux is these days. Most of it makes this look like a bargain. You could eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant every week for a year for the price of one case of wine from the most prestigious châteaux.

Not keen on lamb? Enjoy this instead with rare beef, duck, roast chicken or a vegetable gratin with toasty cheese on top. Remember, the simpler the food, the more likely it is that your wine will have an opportunity to shine. If there’s a drop left in the bottle, you might even try it with a chunk of dark chocolate Easter egg. 

Alcohol: 13% 

From Whelehans Wines, Loughlinstown, and whelehanswines.ie, €29.50.

@MaryDowey

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