On my recent trip to the Dordogne I found an amazing small Cave cum Deli in the market town of Ribérac. They had loads of older vintages that should have been selling at a premium but were stuck at the same price they would have been when they first came into the shop. I love finding places like that and needless to say I bought a pile of wine.
Anyway, one of the gems I found there was the 2000 release of the Grand Vin (the top red wine) from one of the region's leading producers, Vignobles des Verdots. The current release available direct from the producer is the 2007 vintage, which was a poor year for red wines in those parts, so I decided not to buy it at €21 a bottle. How pleased I was with that decision when I found four bottles of the 2000 vintage of the same wine in the little Ribérac shop; with 10 years bottle age and coming from a great year they were selling it for just €1 more than the 2007 release from the producer!
I had the first bottle of this tasty little cache the other night with a rather delicious roast saddle of lamb. What a combo! The wine was a powerful Claret lookalike with elegance, depth and complexity to go along with the muscle. The oak was well judged and it had great staying power. It was at its peak and perfectly mature at 10 years old. An extremely good wine that would cost a good £40+ if it were from Bordeaux. Both the producer and the cave in Ribérac are must visits if you're in the region.