Primo de Conti Rouge 2014, Bergerac
€16 from Marks & Spencer
Lovely elegant just-ripe blackcurrant fruits with cigar box and cedar wood, finishing with some well-judged tannins. So much better than most Bordeaux at this price.
Perfect with a dinner party roast of lamb, beef, or pork.
Luc de Conti and his family have been producing excellent wines, both red and white for many years, under the Tour des Gendres label. Based in Bergerac, right beside Bordeaux, they use similar grape varieties, grown biodynamically. Their wines over-deliver every time. This is a cuvée produced for Marks & Spencer.
Tour de Gendres Rouge 2014, Bergerac
€15-15.50 from Avoca, Rathcoole; Baggot St. Wines; The Corkscrew, Chatham St.; Donnybrook Fair; Liston’s, Camden St.; World Wide Wines, Waterford; 64wine, Glasthule; MacGuiness, Dundalk; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Green Man Wines, Terenure.
At one time, this was one of my all-time favourite red wines. I hadn’t come across it for a while so for a while, so I was delighted to see it at a tasting recently; it is as good as ever and still something of a bargain. Made by the de Conti family in Bergerac (right next-door to Bordeaux) this is modern French winemaking at its best. Light fresh blackcurrant and plum fruits, no oak and a dryish finish. Clean and moreish; perfect everyday wine to match up with roast meats – pork, lamb or beef, or pâtés and other charcuterie.
Gloire de mon Père 2014, Tour des Gendres, Bergerac
€22 from Le Caveau, Kilkenny, Green Man Wines, Terenure, 64wine, Glasthule and other leading independent wine shops.
Smooth elegant wine with ripe blackcurrant fruits, a touch of spice and a long dry finish. Serve it with roast red meats.
Luc de Conti has long been a shining beacon in Bergerac, an underrated region next door to Bordeaux. I am a big fan of the Tour de Gendres ‘classique’ (see above) his entryish level red that sells for around €15. However for €7 more, you can buy the Gloire de mon Père, and glorious it is too. A blend of 50% Cabernet sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 20% Malbec, this is a Bordeaux lookalike of the very highest quality; except if it came from Bordeaux it would cost a lot more.
A Few Snapshots from the Le Caveau tasting.
Wine importer Le Caveau held a great tasting during the week. There were many, many highlights, including wines from Morocco, Georgia and England. Below a very brief look at three producers. More to follow.
Wiston Estate & Sugrue Pierre, West Sussex
Dermot Sugrue makes some of the best sparkling wines in England; the Wiston Blanc de Blancs (€53) is a delight, complex with brioche, racy acidity and delicious plump fruit. The vintage Rosé 2011(€62) has matured very nicely showing lovely ripe raspberry fruits. Dermot’s own wine, the Pierre Sugrue ‘The Trouble with Dreams’ is a wonderful creamy complex wine, which made the Champagne next door seem a little ordinary, no mean feat as this was Philipponnat Royale Réserve Brut.
Ch. Turcaud, Bordeaux
Stéphane Le May makes that wonderful thing; inexpensive Bordeaux. I love his red wine (€14.95), a classic light juicy dry Bordeaux, but it was one of his white wines, the Cuvée Majeure that stood out; the 2014, a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris, the remainder Sémillon fermented in new oak is a superb balanced rich textured dry white. A bargain at around €19.
Tour des Gendres, Bergerac
Guillaume de Conti, cousin of winemaker Luc de Conti was there to present these marvelous wines, amongst my all-time favourites. Both red and white offer great value. The Bergerac Rouge Classic 2014 (€15.15) was light fresh and fruity; the Cuvée des Contis Blanc fresh and textured, and the superb elegant Bordeaux lookalike, Gloire de Mon Père 2012, astounding value at around €22.