Some days, you need to splash out. Splashing out for some people is more than just spending more than £10 on a bottle of wine that you intend to drink all by yourself, but I am not those people. I’d been eyeing up this Saint-Emilion Grand Cru for a wee while – it’s unusual for Lidl to keep a wine in ciriculation for so long (one of the many reasons I love their wine portfolio – it’s the TK Maxx of drinking), so I figured it must be good.
For info – and beware, this is either deeply dull or slightly fascinating, depending on your levels of wine nerdery. Grand Cru is generally a ‘good thing’, in the wine world. France is funny (and terribly precious) about its classifications, however – to the point where it’s maddeningly confusing to simplify it, especially when you’re revising for a wine exam. Saint-Emilion sits on the right bank of the Dordogne in the region of Burgundy – the south-facing aspect and the good soil mean it’s a really prized region for growing grapes, and some truly special wine is produced here. Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is its own appellation within Saint-Emilion itself. The individual Chateaux that produce the wine are then ranked within this appellation – there’s potential for promotion every few years, but essentially, the top wines are known as ‘Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A’, with ‘Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe B’ just below that, followed by Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe. See what I mean? Are you even still awake?
Anyway, this wine is just a Grand Cru Classe, meaning it sits towards the bottom of the ranking system.
That said, it was by no means a bad wine, but its position on the shelf, the price point and the big yelling proclamation of ‘GRAND CRU’ would suggest it was better.
Name: Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Vineyard/Country: Unspecified chateaux, Burgundy, France
Colour / Intensity: Medium ruby
Nose: Ripe and well-stewed black fruit – I got blackberries, dark ripe plums, and blackcurrant jam. There were also notes of fresh cut wood, some vanilla and some vegetal, earthy aromas.
Taste: Acidic with lots of tannins, but generally smooth and pleasant. The alcohol was very present, and the body was thick, almost mouth-coating. The finish was long with an odd, almost banana-y sweetness and flavour to it.
Rating: 6. That banana thing meant I didn’t finish the bottle.
Good for: Buy it as a gift for someone, or take it to a dinner party. Too much overthinking or close concentration doesn’t do it many favours.
I wanted to say more about it, but I already bored you with the reason I thought it would be good. The (relative!) brevity of the tasting notes should be a good indicator of how that measured up.
Disclaimer: All of my tasting notes are totally personal, based on what I can smell, taste and savour about whatever it is I’m drinking. They might not match the original tasting notes exactly – I’m ok with that, because this is a space for practising, flexing my tastebuds, and learning more.