Mike Bennie from The Wine Front takes a look at a couple of our imports.

Chateau Villa Bel-Air Graves 2008

This is part of Cazes (Lynch Bages), south of Bordeaux, and 50% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. Aged in new and old French oak. ‘Classic red winemaking, 18 months in oak, open fermenters, pressed to barrels’, says importer Xavier Bizot.
Leafy, briary black berry fruit and a hint of cassis. Woodiness is there too, but matched to fruit. Medium bodied, totally lunchtime Claret feel, opens with fruitiness, trims down with grainy, puckering tannins that sit fine and high in the wine. Delicious really, and whips the palate clean. Easy nature, easy to appreciate, touch of savoury complexity. Many boxes ticked.
Rated: 89 Points

Chanson Le Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2011

This is part of the Bollinger family of wine, since 1999, and purchased more vineyard in mid-2000s. The fruit for this wine is mostly Cote de Beaune. Partly estate, partly bought fruit, partly negociant wine blended into the mix. ‘A consistent wine’, says Xavier Bizot with his importer hat on.
Earthy, rustic egde, touch dusty, touch smoky. Has red cherry fruit in aroma and flavours, light to medium bodied, citrussy acidity. It’s elegant in its own quiet way, subtle flavours, soft, slightly chalky tannins and finishing fresh. There’s an austerity to the wine too, but fruit isn’t sacrificed, it still shows great pinosity and is definitively fruity. Easy drink, decent structure.
Rated: 89 Points