Fine Red And White Duo From Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Les Cousines” Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOC) 2017, 12.5%, Mary Pawle Wines
Colour of this one hundred per cent Merlot is mid to dark ruby. Raspberry along with plum and black cherry are among the aromas (hint of clove too) and also appear in the mouth. Quite smooth and rounded and a fair bit of acidity too makes this a lively and flexible companion at the table. Soft tannins and a soft finish as well. This easy drinking wine, aromatic and fruity, is Very Highly Recommended. A great match with lamb dishes.
Blaye wines, as if they aren’t deemed good enough, are often forgotten about when discussing Bordeaux. It's all too easy to consign an area to the also-rans with a generalisation. Yet, as Clive Coates said in his Wines of Bordeaux (2004), “Generalisations..can be quickly exploded by samples”. And Les Cousines is both a sample and an excellent example of the very good in this particular area.
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Le Blanc Bonhomme” Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOC) 2018, 13.5%, €24.90 Mary Pawle
I tend to like my Bordeaux whites better if there’s plenty of Semillon in the blend and that is the case here, fifty/fifty with Sauvignon Blanc. The classic Bordeaux white will contain at least 25 percent Sauvignon Blanc, to ensure a certain aromatic freshness. For a richer style, a higher proportion of Semillon is used. Muscadelle is the third possible grape in the blend but many Bordeaux whites do not include it.
Bright straw is the colour of this biodynamic wine. Modest aromatics with delicate floral notes. Nothing shy about the flavours though with a ripe citrus spearheading the rich progress on the palate, excellent mouthfeel too. Persistent fruity finish too, drier towards the finalé. Well made (it has been 40% barrel fermented), well balanced, delicious and Highly Recommended.
Well done again to Guillaume Hubert and his team here. And, speaking of recommendations, the suggested food pairings are Foie gras ravioli, marinated trout, cooked cheeses.
If you’re among the many Irish that have holidayed in or near Royan, then you’ve probably come across the wines of Blaye on sale in markets and so on on that side of the Gironde estuary. Blaye has a gentle rolling pastoral landscape while neighbouring Bourg is more hilly.
The vineyard has been biodynamic since 2000, pruning in double guyot, spontaneous winter grassing, tillage in spring. Treatments combining Bordeaux mixture in small quantities with herbal teas such as horsetail and nettle are used.