Château Gapbern Gasqueton, 2009

I swear I remember Jancis Robinson raving at how good quality this wine was in her en-primeur tasting notes, even possibly as a wine of the week? It was such a huge underrated bargain she even revealed that she bought some herself. Since reading the review I’ve kept a curious eye out for it, even if I never committed to securing a case. You see for me en-primeur was more about speculation and securing rare Bordeaux, rather than buying cheap Bordeaux for personal consumption. A little while ago it appeared on the list at one of Justerini and Brooks tastings and I was interested in tasting it, and perhaps even getting the Wine Chat boys to split a case if it was any good, sadly it was missing from the tasting – curiouser and curiouser!

So when I saw this recently in my local Waitrose my curiosity was aroused again. I bought a bottle and on returning home consulted JancisRobinson.com. Nothing. Well, nothing like I remember; a few lines in her en-primeur tasting notes but no raving, and no wine of the week, have I imagined it?? …and did I really just pay £10 over the odds for a bottle???!

I think Yes, on both counts. Waitrose inner cellar (literally) might be a good source for the odd bottle of fine wine, but it’s not cheap!

On tasting it two words and an exclamation mark slipped quietly from my mouth – Uh oh!

Uh – Too young, obviously! (but again?? What am I doing??!) but also Oh! – quite weak bodied with no finish, or at least a finish that disappears like a vapor. Although quite shockingly lovely fresh, out-loud real strawberries! I can quite honestly say I’ve never smelt or tasted such pure strawberries in a wine ever before!

However with the help of a decanter and the oenological equivalent of a sledgehammer; a Vinturi wine aerator, some spare ribs and some Roquefort, it really developed into something delicious, fresh full fruit body, a little complexity – really drinkable, so much so I finished the whole bottle …and that rarely happens!

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Waitrose £25, available from about £15 by the case – must get some!

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