Wednesday Wines – Episode 17

Episode 17 – 22nd July 2020

2018 Château Lamothe Saint Germain, Bordeaux, France (£6.95, The Wine Society tel. 01438 741177 & www.thewinesociety.com).  

Château Lamothe Saint Germain is a family-owned estate in the commune of Saint-Germain-du-Puch, ten kilometres south-west of Saint-Emilion, in the heart of the fascinating Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux.  Found by Wine Soc. buyer Tim Sykes, he describes this wine as ‘proper claret at a brilliant price’, and he is not wrong.  I never look at prices when I am tasting and so when I made a rather perfunctory note for this wine – ‘clean, Merlot, no discernible oak, jolly, glugger, smooth’, I assumed it cost at least a tenner, so when it turned out it was sub-seven it was unbelievable.  Each Wednesday, as you know, I choose one wine under a tenner and one over, and this is a lovely, weekly challenge.  If I have decided, at the beginning of lockdown, that I would find one wine under £7 each week, instead of under £10, I would never have made it this far!  So, dear WW fans – this is an incredible wine at a genuinely affordable, everyday price so if you need a fruity red wine like this in your life do not hesitate for another second and pick up the phone!

2019 Howard’s Folly, Sonhador Rosé, Alentejo, Portugal (£20.00, reduced to £16.00 for Wine Club Members, www.howardsfollywine.co.uk).

I have known Howard (Bilton) for a very long time and there are few people in the world with an unquenchable lust for life and also a warp speed work ethic like this chap.    Alongside a mightily busy job as Chairman and founder of The Sovereign Group in Hong Kong, he also runs the Sovereign Art Foundation (https://www.sovereignartfoundation.com/) as well as his superb wine company, Howard’s Folly, in Estremoz, in the Alentejo region of Portugal.  This wine is the first rosé that he and his renowned winemaker David Baverstock have released and it is a cracker.  With a red liquorice and redcurrant theme, this is a more serious style than many southern French ‘sweeter’ numbers and with a more combative bite of sour cherries and cranberries and an upright stance on the palate, this is a fuller, foodier, more challenging wine.  If you want to turn your brain off while you drink, by all means, head to the Riviera, but if you want to be turned on (in a vinous manner, of course) then Howard’s Folly will reward your senses while coping with food as flavour-packed as traditional, grilled Portuguese sardines, caldeirada, cataplana or pork dishes like febras assadas or plumas Iberico and the awesome braised pork and clam dish, porco à Alentejana.  While I have yet to taste pregos or bifanas in the UK that compare to those found in Portugal, I would venture that this wine was made with these heavenly snacks, and all of the dishes above, in mind.

Howards Folly is also running an offer where if you buy a case wine from their website you will be entered into a draw to win a free trip to their winery in Portugal.   See the website for all details and also for their Wine Club benefits.