Claret Wine review by Brian Sullivan

PUBLISHED: 14:21 11 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:51 20 February 2013

2004 'Les Sources' Fronsac, The Adnams Selection

2004 'Les Sources' Fronsac, The Adnams Selection

Brian Sullivan of Adnams brings you six clarets to try.

Spoilt for choice

Claret is the perfect match for traditional festive fare and Brian Sullivan of Adnams brings you six to try.

This is the season of celebration and tradition and there is no better wine to turn to, to match traditional Christmas fare, than Claret. The red wine of the Bordeaux region got its English name back in the 18th century when the reds were referred to as Clairette because of their light colour. The name evolved and so have the wines. This is now by far the biggest quality wine producing region in France and beneath the umbrella term Claret is a cornucopia of styles from the everyday to the awesomely grand. Diversity is the watchword and you can sample the fruits of this region in a thousand different forms. Sorting the wood from the trees, here are six that I heartily recommend.

Brian Sullivan is Adnams cellar and kitchen manager in Norfolk. He can be contacted at the following stores:
The Old School House, Park Road, Holkham, NR23 1AB, 01328 711714,
23a Lees Yard, Off Bull Street, Holt, NR25 6HS, 01263 715558,

2005 Chteau Beau Rivage, Bordeaux Superieur

Where is it from? 20km south east of Bordeaux town.
Grapes: 45pc Cabernet Sauvignon, 43pc Merlot and 12pc Cabernet Franc.
Who made it? Philippe Dourthe, the current proprietor of Chteau Maucaillou. He has passed it on to his three children, but Philippe still oversees the vinification.
Why is it special? Because it should normally sell at 8.99.
What does it taste like? Full bodied, fruity with hints of hazelnut, almond and vanilla from being aged in oak for 14 months.
Food match: The oak in this would be a perfect foil to a rich beef stew.
Price: 6.99.

2007 Chteau de Crecy, Bordeaux Rouge

Where is it from? The Entre Deux Mers region.
Grapes: Mainly 70pc Merlot and the rest is Cabernet Franc.
Who made it? Monsieur Vincendeau.
Why is it special? It punches above its weight. Mightily.
What does it taste like? Soft blackcurrant fruit with a dry, earthy finish.
Food match: The soft flavours would be great with pot roast pheasant.
Price: 5.99.

2007 Chteau Haut Valentin, St Emilion

Where is it from? St Emilion the town is a world heritage site.
Grapes: Merlot.
Who made it? Henri Chabut.
Why is it special? Highly traditional hand-made from grape to bottle.
What does it taste like? Concentrated black fruit flavours with dry oaky length.
Food match: Roast lamb or mature cheeses.
Price: 11.50.

2007 Les Demoiselles de Falfas, Ctes de Bourg

Where is it from? The Ctes de Bourg is on the right bank of the Gironde estuary. Beautiful rolling hills, the original Bordeaux.
Grapes: 80pc Merlot and 20pc Cabernet Sauvignon.
Who made it? John and Veronique Cochran.
Why is it special? Veronique is one of the original pioneers of bio-dynamic cultivation.
What does it taste like? Unrestrained, silky red fruit flavours.
Food match: This is the perfect luncheon Claret try good sausages.
Price: 8.99.

2004 Les Sources Fronsac, The Adnams Selection

Where is it from? Fronsac just north of St Emilion.
Grapes: Principally Merlot.
Who made it? Monsieur Gregoire and his two sons.
Why is it special? We chose this for its wonderful generosity.
What does it taste like? Concentrated black fruit and dry length.
Food match: In Bordeaux they poach lamprey in red wine best opt for steak!
Price: 7.99.

2007 LOrangerie de Carignan, Premier Ctes de Bordeaux

Where is it from? From the no mans land that lies between Bordeaux town and St Emilion.
Grapes: 60pc Merlot, 20pc Cabernet Sauvignon, 20pc Cabernet Franc.
Who made it? Andy Lench.
Why is it special? No expense has been spared in elevating this previously unremarkable wine.
What does it taste like? Blackcurrant and burnt orange peel!
Food match: Roast meats.
Price: 9.50.

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