Letter: Bordeaux `plonk'

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your feature on claret ("Claret, favourite tipple of Britain's drinking class, condemned as plonk", 1 September) is confused.

You state that claret is "tough when young" - yet most of the wines rejected in the Which? test are less than four years old. Of course they will not seem attractive when compared with early maturing styles from the New World.

Similarly, Anthony Rose is wrong to assert that the "New World beats Bordeaux at its own game". It is playing a very different game indeed. No claret drinker would regard "intense fruit flavours" as a priority; rather, one looks for the subtlety and complexity that the climate and terroir of Bordeaux often provide.

There is plenty of good value claret available from competent petits chateaux. At the same time, there is plenty of poor, additive-rich wine emerging from Australia.

PETER BRENNAN

Enfield, Middlesex

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