Château La Serre: Tasting & Drinking

The wines of Château La Serre demonstrate a rather reserved style, lean and savoury with a focus on structure rather than anything resembling the modern, fruit-rich and tannin-rich style so commonly encountered in this region. This means, however, that the wines can be easily overshadowed, especially in their youth when wines have only their youthful fruit and raw tannic structure to rely upon.

Even allowing for this particular stylistic trait, however, the wines do have a lighter style than many of their peers, more delicate than we might expect from the estate’s favoured position on the south-facing limestone slopes just to the east of the town. The wines are distributed by the Moueix family, and it is worth noting that in their annual en primeur tasting, in their offices on the quayside in Libourne, the wine is often the first in the line-up of freshly drawn samples, betraying its lighter character.

That said, I know many drinkers enjoy this more classically crafted ‘old school’ style, which has freshness and an acid-fresh lift in its favour, and which is no doubt more refreshing to drink than a bottle of oak-infused prune juice from the Côte de Pavie. It also has value on its side, as the style has not generally been favoured by influential critics, and thus scores and prices remain relatively low. Drinkers who enjoy this reserved and less sweet and slick style should in my opinion look out for the most favourable vintages, which in my opinion is when the wines show their best, recent examples being 2015, 2010 and 2009 of course. (28/7/16)

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