From the right bank in Bordeaux, Fronsac and Canon Fronsac are regarded as the little brothers of Saint Emilion and Pomerol. But while they don't have the same cache as those appellations, there's a lot to be said for their like.
Wines have been made here since the Roman times, so they know what they're doing in Fronsac. Chateau Mazeris (in the 'posher' Canon Fronsac region) has a great reputation and so it was with some excitement that I opened this 2000 vintage.
(The year 2000 was a great year for Bordeaux - maybe not as stellar as 2005 or 1995, but still superb.)
On the nose, the wine was open - its aromas were free-flowing (sometimes wines can seem 'closed') with lots of blackcurrant, a little bit of bramble, some leather and wood.
On the palate, it's intense and fruity - this is the merlot coming through. Again the blackcurrant and blackberry is there, with a little of plum and a smidgen of toffee on the very back of the finish.
It feels really, really smooth and luxuriant with silky tannins that at eight years old, are completely approachable. There's a lovely big structure - full bodied for sure - and the finish is long.
I actually think that this is a beautiful wine and for people who dip into Saint Emilion, this is a completely sensible alternative, offering what is good value. I don't think it's easy to find this quality for less than £20.