Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Article excerpt

This is a quite amazing offer, from the wonderful Chateau de Sours in Bordeaux, situated a few miles of pleasant, rolling countryside from St Emilion. In fact the prices are so astonishing that I felt I had to go to the chateau and check out the wines for myself. The reason for this generosity - 25 per cent or even 30 per cent discount on each bottle - is simple. Martin Krajewski (Polish father, German mother, totally British) is expanding and naturally needs a growing market. The idea is that you will find these wines so delicious, you will happily go on buying them even at the list prices. I won't use the analogy about drug dealers offering free samples at the school gates, because unlike drugs these wines will enhance your life, and, I dare say, your health.

Martin took over de Sours in 2004 when the chateau itself - a fine building, though not one of those Cinderella-type Loire confections - was decrepit and the total production was fairly low, though it already had a reputation for its rose wines. Since then he has planted umpteen more hectares with numerous grape varieties, and has turned the main building into a stunning residence with massive, lavishly furnished rooms, and a collection of modern art that would make Charles Saatchi weep with envy. He has also invested millions in the latest up-todate kit. The fermenting tanks, for example, are massive ribbed vats, like gigantic soup cans, so that the whole ensemble looks as if Andy Warhol had created the engine room for 2001: A Space Odyssey. The wines are matured in oak barrels which cost a stunning ?850 (£680) each and which are useful for only three years. There is no cornercutting here.

And it is the rose wines which are best known. In fact you can argue that the present craze for pink wine was kicked off by de inferior red grapes which wouldn't make an adequate red wine, but can be used basically to produce something agreeably tinted but not very nice. …

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