A Glass of Bordeaux Is a Poignant Reminder of the Passing of Old England. (Wine Club)
Scruton, Roger, New Statesman (1996)
The buzzards circle over the newly mown fields where mice, deprived of their cover, are making for the hedgerows. The thrush cries, "What are you doing? What are you doing?", and a sedge warbler trills its way through evensong beside the pond. This is our corner of old England, and for these brief summer days we can strive to forget that England has been officially wiped from the map, that our Scottish rulers have decided to abolish the Lord Chancellor, the monarchy, the House of Commons or whatever other fuddy-duddy old institution stands in the way of Progress, and have decreed that the rural English should be rounded up like the kulaks and put to work laying runways.
The best accompaniment to our thoughts of old England are the wines of old Bordeaux -- once an English possession, still counted among the titles of our crown, and peculiarly suited to the English temperament in its phlegmatic fruitiness and in its meditative distance from the future. A wine merchant's serendipity is severely tested by the petits chateaux of Bordeaux. For there are so many of them, so finely tuned and so finely graded, so immersed in their diverse histories and terroirs, and so ridiculously underpriced when compared with the classed growths of the region.
This month's offer from Corney & Barrow is proof of the great virtues of that firm, which has discovered four wines of astonishing quality, offered at prices that even the marginalised kulaks of old England can afford. …