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Monday 8th Oct 2018

One of the questions that I am most often asked is “which are your favourite wines”? I always answer “they all are of course” but actually, like everyone else, I do have my favourite wines! I am very fond of  White Burgundy in all its forms, from Chablis in the north to Montagny in the south and everything in between. In terms of red wines,  I have to say that the red wines of Bordeaux and particularly those from the Medoc are those that I thoroughly enjoy.

And so when Benjamin Richer de Forges of, Chateau La Tour de By agreed to join us for our September monthly Bordeaux Masterclass tastings at The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock and YC’s Café in Dorchester you can imagine how pleased I was! Benjamin is the great, grandson of Marc Pages (founder of Chateau La Tour de By) and is now a Co-Owner himself. Along with his cousins Benjamin also has an interest of Chateau Cailloux de By from the Medoc, Chateau Foucas Dupre from Listrac- Medoc and Chateau Noaillac also from the Medoc, so we decided to show them all to our customers.

We started with Chateau Fourcas Dupre Blanc 2016, a wonderful blend of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Semillon which is fermented in French Oak and undergoes battonage (stirring of the yeast) A truly lovely wine with broad ripe white fruit and subtle oak notes on nose and palate. We moved on to the Chateau Cailloux de By 2015, a fulsome rounded blend of much Merlot and supporting Cabernet Sauvignon.; from the excellent 2015 this is a delicious fruity and early drinking wine. Chateau Noaillac 2012 came next and it is a particular favourite at M&B, we have offered it as part of our En Primeur campaign in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 2012 is drinking beautifully now and is a well-balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot which is great value for money. Next were the great wines of Chateau La Tour de By 2011 and Chateau La Tour de By 2012. Described by Benjamin as “classic claret” they are a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. With classic cassis and cigar box nuances allied to soft tannins I would have to plump for the 2012 but only by a whisker. Finally we tasted the Chateau Forcas Dupre 2015 and Chateau Fourcas Dupre 2007, produced in the more southerly commune to Listrac-Medoc and both a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The 2015 was wonderfully rounded with layers of dense, dark fruit and silky tannins. The 2007 was amazing……..not a great vintage as reviewed at the time….but now mature, complex, soft and delicious.

It was a real treat to taste these wines with Benjamin. We love to buy great wines from great people and in this light we are delighted to offer you the Chateaux of La Tour de By, Fourcas Dupre & Noaillac.

Mark Banham


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