Côtes de Bourg is a ‘Right Bank’ appellation; Merlot is always the dominant grape here. The inclusion of a tenth of Malbec is unusual; little of this variety is seen in the Gironde these days. The 7-hectare estate is run with passion and precision by Corinne Baudouin, who succeeded her mother and her mother before her. The Côtes de Bourg appellation is some 12km NW of Bordeaux city. The wines are invariably easy drinking and fun, a world away from the stuffy, aristocratic appellation of Margaux, just across the estuary. The wines offer superb value for money, especially during better vintages. Chunky and robust, with a dashing deep hue and lifted scents of pine, dark berries and fruitcake. Full and intense wash, with assertive tannins supporting juicy flavours of plum, beetroot and kelp. Complex and intense. Go all out and match with slow-cooked lamb shanks on a bed of Colcannon mash and roasted root vegetables.