Satisfying reds from France

Chateau Haut-Plaisance 2007, St.Emilion Grand Cru
Chateau Haut-Plaisance 2007, St.Emilion Grand Cru

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I’ve just returned from a trip to Bergerac and it reminded me what a pretty little town St Emilion is.

Perched on a hill with its cobbled streets, it has been registered since 1999 as a world heritage site.

It is now one of Bordeaux’s largest producing regions. Cabernet Sauvignon may be king in the Medoc, but here Merlot is the primary grape.

Dourthe Reserve 2010, Montage St Emilion (Waitrose £8.24, on offer from £10.99) is a good place to start with its soft ripe fruit, and a little cedar and spice.

Chateau Grand Faurie La Rose 2007, St Emilion Grand Cru (Majestic £19.99, buy two for £15.99 each) is altogether a step up with plums, spices, some notes of coffee beans and some savoury notes.

It’s very supple and very good. Now is the perfect time to drink it.

TOP TIPPLE: Chateau Haut-Plaisance 2007, St.Emilion Grand Cru

This is mainly Merlot with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. There are black fruits, a little cedar wood and the beginning of some savoury notes on the nose. The palate shows soft tannins and a satisfying elegant finish. Decant if you can and serve with some slow-cooked lamb.

Waitrose, £14.99, on offer from £19.99 until September 10.