In a nutshell: A weighty, ripe and generous right bank Claret.
The lowdown: Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux sits next to St-Émilion and produces wines of a similar style which are often very good value relative to their more famous neighbour. This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Vignobles Ducourt, aged for 12 months prior to bottling, is a good case in point. On the nose there are delicate red fruit aromas with a touch of rich vanilla creaminess and this character follows through to the palate where the quite lusty flavours are held together by velvety tannins that lead on to the nicely rounded finish.
When to drink: Right in its prime and will remain good drinking for another 4 or 5 five years yet. Perfect with grilled or roasted red meats, or mature cheeses.
Vignobles Ducoout is based in the commune of Ladaux in the the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers region south east of Bordeaux which is where they've been since the family first acquired Château des Combes in 1858. In the post WWII period under the guidance of Henri Ducourt the estate gradually transformed into one of the major enterprises of the area. During this period they acquired several additional properties and today they own 14 châteaux and a vineyard area extending to 450 hectares.
Currently at the helm of the business are thre grandchildren of the Hernri Ducourt, Bernard, Phillipe and Marie Christine. Their vineyards are all managed the agriculture raisonnée system where they aim to minimse the use of artificial pesticides and use mininmally interventionist methods. The extensive range of wines fully reflect their ethos and there's excellent quality to be found here at, for Bordeaux wines, pleasantly modest prices.