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My Top 5 Red Wines

A little sneak peak into my favourite reds!

I've just read Simon Hoggart's “Life's too short to drink bad wine” he's selected 100 favourite wines and he has not just gone for expensive wines. As this column doesn't allow me room for one hundred wines I'm just going to do my top 5 favourite reds and as Mr Hoggart was a writer for the Guardian mine will be in a very different style.

Bouchard Pere et Fils Gevrey Chambertin - France

I just love Pinot Noir, no other better than the wonderful reds of Burgundy France and in particular the wines of Bouchard Pere et Fils. I visited there some years ago, it's an exceptional Domain and the various terroirs boast 130 hectares of vine of which 12 are Grand Cru & 74 Premier Cru.  Prestigious Appellations such as Montrachet & Corton-Charlemagne but I just love their Gevrey Chambertin. This fine red has an intense perfumed nose, wild red fruits, hints of game and that wonderful Pinot Noir palate. Bouchard is one of the oldest producers, established in 1731 they were bought out by Joseph Henriots n 1995 who in turn makes wonderful Champagne but that's not for this list.

Bouchard Pere et Fils Gevrey Chambertin 2011

Chateau Lascombes - France

Who's for a glass of Claret! Well more precisely some Margaux please. I've chosen Chateau Lascombes because many years ago I did a vertical tasting for 40 customers. (A horizontal tasting is where the wines are all from the same vintage but from different wineries, a vertical tasting is different vintages of one wine from the same winery.) The wine is a second growth from the 1855 classification, it's like Sheffield Wednesday 2nd Division not Premier. In 1971 Bass Brewery bought the Chateau and they had an office in Burton, hence my wonderful tasting. It's made up of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot & 5% Petit Verdot aged in oak barriques for 18 months. The finished wine is a well balanced Claret, rich in blackcurrant fruit.

 Chateau Lascombes 1997

Coto De Imaz Gran Reserva – Rioja, Spain

My third and fourth choice moves me to a country I love, Spain, especially Rioja, especially El Coto. Located in Oyon it was founded in 1970 by a group of wine makers committed to creating superb Rioja. 500 hectares of vineyards located in La Rioja Altas, Luckily I've visited them twice. Their Gran Reserva aged in new American oak barrels gives a cigar box spice and silky red fruit flavours.

 Coto De Imaz Gran Reserva 2004 

Torres Mas La Plana – Penedes, Spain

I also visited Torres three years ago, the Torres family have been making wine since the 17th century in the ancient Catalan town of Vilafranca del Penedes south west of Barcelona. For me the flagship wine is Mas la Plana, a small vineyard where only the most select Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown. In the Paris Wine Olympiad the 1970 vintage triumphed over some of the most famous wines in the world including Chateau Latour. Mas La Plana has an intense aroma, notes of truffle and a wild red berry conserve, absolutely fantastic with game dishes. 

Torres Mas La Plana 2006 

D'arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz – Australia

For my last choice we've moved hemisphere to the south & Australia. The Dead Arm Shiraz by D'arenberg and is 100% McLaren Vale. The name comes from a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa where one arm of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. The palate of this wine is dense and concentrated, plum, blackberry & black olive. The chief winemaker Chester D'arenberg is fantastic but a little nuts like me, that why we got on so well when I tasted wine with him.

D'arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2009  – this was the best vintage n the last decade.

Watch this space for my top 5 white wines!

Last Updated: 17/11/2014
Author: Mitchells Wine
Mitchells Wine

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