Chateau Lajarre (Bordeaux)

The de Lavaux family co-own several Chateaux on the Merlot-heavy Right Bank in various Bordeaux Appellations centred around St Emilion. All sounds very grand, with offices on the Quai in Libourne and yet what we found was a very down-to-earth family, driving beaten-up cars and making classic, traditional Bordeaux – a welcome relief after days of tasting St Emilions that were so oaky it was like licking timber. Lajarre is a classic blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Minty and cedary in the nose, evocative of a walk in the woods. In the mouth there’s good structure and a sense of fruits of the forest.
It was at the de Lavaux’s lunch table that we experienced a local delicacy. River lamprey (the ugliest eel-type thing in the river) cooked in red Bordeaux. We often recommend Pinot Noir with fish but until then we had stopped short of suggesting red Bordeaux. Converted. If you want to drink Bordeaux with your fish, go right ahead. That’s what the locals do!