2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret by Dourthe, Bordeaux

2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret by Dourthe, Bordeaux

Product: 20198004165
Prices start from £13.50 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret by Dourthe, Bordeaux

Buying options

Available for delivery or collection. Pricing includes duty and VAT.

Description

Good Ordinary Claret is our flagship red Bordeaux. Produced in collaboration with Dourthe, it is a carefully assembled blend from a range of vineyard sites in the Bordeaux region. Since its launch in the 1970s, it has become our best-selling wine and a firm favourite of ours. Asked about the name’s origins, our former Chairman Christopher Berry Green once said: “It was Claret, it was good, and it was ordinary.” It’s affectionately known to some as “GOC”. 

The label features a monochrome etching of No.3 St James’s Street, set against a simple black-and-white background, with our name proudly stamped underneath. To reduce packaging waste, this wine is bottled without a capsule. You can learn more about our capsule-free wines here.

Cellar Plan members can enjoy a 10% saving on this wine at the checkout. Find out more.

Tasting note

Merlot makes up 67% of the blend, giving our Good Ordinary Claret its silky richness. The balance is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, adding power and structure. After a year in oak, this wine demonstrates why red Bordeaux is such a perennial favourite: it’s got warm, savoury aromas of cedar and woodsmoke, with supple cassis and blackberry on the palate. This is a versatile red, making a reliable pairing for most roast and grilled meats or cheese boards. It’s also soft enough to be enjoyed on its own.

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Max Lalondrelle, Managing Director, Fine Wine Buying, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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About this WINE

Dourthe

Dourthe

Dourthe are one of the best and most successful wine producers in Bordeaux. They own a number of leading chateaux throughout Bordeaux including the Bordeaux Superieur, Chateau Pey La Tour, Classed Growth Ch. Belgrave, and La Garde in Pessac-Léognan. They are also involved in ventures in Argentina (Clos de los Siete) and in Languedoc (Ch. de Serame).

They specialise in brilliant blends for generic wines and their highly acclaimed, signature wine is called Essence. Essence is a new type of wine for Bordeaux as it is a blend of wines from 3 different appellations, Haut-Médoc, St Estèphe and Pessac-Léognan. A tiny amount, only 6000 bottles are available of this wine each vintage.

Dourthe has been selected among some of the best in the wine business to supply the revamped version of our legendary Good Ordinary Claret.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux remains the centre of the fine wine world. The maritime climate on the 45th parallel provides for temperate winters and long, warm summers, perfect conditions for growing grapes suited to the production of classically-constructed, long-lasting wines. This vast region of 120,000ha of vineyards (four times the size of Burgundy) is home to 10,000 wine producers and 57 different AOCs. Red now makes up 88 percent of Bordeaux wine, and is usually referred to as Claret. The origin of this name was to differentiate the lighter-coloured wines of the coastal region from the deeper "black" wines from up-country regions. 

The Left Bank, comprising the wine regions of the Médoc, Pessac-Léognan and Graves are planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives on the gravelly soils left by the ancient course of the river. This is a thick-skinned variety which ripens late, producing powerful, tannic wines capable of long ageing. It is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot. The highlights of the Médoc are the four communes of St- Estèphe (blackcurrant concentration); classical, cedarwood and cigar-box Pauillac; richly-fruited St Julien; and elegant, fragrant Margaux.

On the Right Bank, most famously in St-Emilion and Pomerol, it is the fleshy Merlot grape which prevails, sometimes supported by Cabernet Franc. Here the soils are more mixed, with gravel and clay underpinning the rich, fruity wines of Pomerol. Styles vary more in St-Emilion, depending on the predominance of sand in the lower-lying slopes, or limestone on the hillsides and plateau. 

By the 18th century, individual properties - known as châteaux, however humble - were becoming known for the quality of their wines and in 1855, those of the Médoc (plus Haut-Brion, a property commended by Samuel Pepys as early as 1663) were classified into five levels of classed growths. Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut Brion were cited as First Growths, to whose ranks Mouton Rothschild was elevated by presidential decree in 1973. Beneath the ranks of the classed growths lies a raft of fine châteaux known as Crus Bourgeois, while a host of less well-known "petits châteaux" still makes attractive, enjoyable Claret at affordable prices.

The other jewel in the Bordeaux crown is the district of Sauternes, making some of the most outstanding sweet white wines in the world (from the likes of Châteaux d'Yquem, Rieussec and Climens). The foggy autumn mornings along the banks of the Garonne River near Sauternes and neighbouring Barsac enable the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, to form on the skins of the grapes, which can still ripen in the afternoon sun as late as the end of October or early November. The Sémillon grape is the prime component, but Sauvignon Blanc and a little Muscadelle are also planted to provide insurance if the weather is less favourable to Sémillon, as well as offering a counterpoint in flavour.

There are many inexpensive dry white wines - more Sauvignon than Sémillon - from regions such as Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves, with just a handful of outstanding properties located in Pessac-Léognan. The most famous of the great dry whites hail from Châteaux Haut Brion, Laville Haut Brion and Domaine de Chevalier.

The finer wines of Bordeaux are sold en primeur in the late spring following the harvest, some two years before the wines are ready for physical delivery. The châteaux offer their wines through a system of Bordeaux négociants (brokers) who sell them on to importers round the world. Prices vary enormously from one vintage to another, dependent on perceived quality and world demand, which shows no signs of diminishing, especially for the great years.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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