Château St Jacques Calon
Montagne St-Emilion 2006
OK, first thing to say is that this wine costs £44.00 - slightly more than our usual £12.00 limit. But then you do get five litres - a little over six and a half bottles - for that price. Bordeaux-born Valerie Blanc runs her unique business from the UK now, importing high quality, Château-bottled wines in bag-in-box format. Valerie is hugely enthusiastic not only about the convenience of bag-in-box (the wine is held in a vacuum, so stays fresh for a month after opening), but about the environmental benefits: a couple of these boxes has the same footprint as half the volume of wine in glass. A combination of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, it has a dark, velvety nose of cassis and black plum, with hints of chocolate and clove spice. On the palate there's a freshness about this wine, with acidity and tannins providing a bright, crisp background, and the cool, essence of blackcurrant fruit running through the mid-palate. On the finish, there is plenty of spice and a touch of smoky warmth and breadth. £44.00 for a five-litre bag-in-box, which is £6.60 per bottle equivalent, from Provenance Boutique Wines.