Château La Grande Maye, 2003

I was given this bottle last Christmas by Chef Barrie and although I was interested to see what he saw in it, (not only because he had raved about it previously, but because he thought it was good enough to give to me!!) I’ve never been that excited by lesser Bordeaux appellations, particularly in the Côtes-de-Castillon. Until now…


Actually I have some mature Côtes-de-Castillon in my cellar that I was persuaded to buy years ago with a friend; a Clos Louie 2004 which I tried a bottle of very recently. Having sampled that one I thought it would be a good time to try this one out too – and they could not be more different! The Clos Louie is a blend of very old vine grape varieties and none of them stand out by themselves, whereas this had a fresh lift alongside a beautiful compelling classic Bordeaux complexity that tasted to me very much like it could be Merlot.

Not having any current knowledge particularly of the Côtes-de-Castillon and tasting what I suspected were dominant Merlot fruit characteristics, I discovered the Côtes-de-Castillon sits on the right bank in Bordeaux, adjacent to the famously Merlot dominated Saint-Émilion. My taste buds didn’t let me down, being made from 80% Merlot (and 10% Cabernet Franc & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon). I’m now wondering how far the Côtes-de-Castillon can go in producing great quality Merlot dominated wines that might rival Saint-Émilion, and for much less??!

…or am I being naive?

Currently available for approx £11 find this wine here



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