Overdelivering and underdelivering

‘Overdelivering’ is a frequent claim made by sales people when a large wine company launches a new wine or range of wines. ‘Overdelivering’ is used as a claim that the contents of the bottle are worth more than the price charged for an often bland and tedious newly launched big brand. In my experience overdelivering was rarely the case despite the earnestness of the sales people’s patter.

Some wines that we have recently drunk have reminded me of over and underdelivering.

2018 Fleurie, Georges Duboeuf

As we have been enjoying a number of Loire Gamays from the Côtes d’Auvergne and Touraine, I thought it would be interesting to try the 2018 Fleurie from Georges Duboeuf I spotted in our local Sainbury’s supermarket. It was reduced from £10 to £9, which was another factor. I have never been a great fan of the Duboeuf Beaujolais but I thought it was time to give them another try, especially as 2018 was a good vintage.

I have to say that this Fleurie was a considerable disappointment in comparison to the Loire Gamays we have been drinking. This 2018 Fleurie was bland and uninteresting – 2018 Beaujolais Villages from competitor supermarket – discounter Aldi – has been much more interesting and at least a couple of £s cheaper. We drank half of the Fleurie and then I reduced the rest to add to a stock for roast duck….. sadly the Duboeuf 2018 Fleurie is an example of a wine underdelivering.

In contrast the wines from the Côtes d’Auvergne that we tasted and bought during our visit there in June have consistently overdelivered for their price and reputation. I have already posted a number of pieces on our trip on Les 5 du Vin praising the quality of the wines. For example see here, here and here.

Here is another example from Benoît Montel, a very good producer in Riom.

2019 Bourassol, Châteaugay, Côtes d’Auvergne. Benoît Montel
Gamay on clay limestone
Lovely concentrated black fruit, real character

Another example yet is the success of Desprat Saint-Verny, the Auvergne’s largest producer, in this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards where the three wines they entered all were awarded medals: Bronze for 2019 Le Chardonnay, IGP Puy-de-Dôme, and Silver for both 2019 Le Pinot Noir IGP Puy-de-Dôme and 2018 Les Volcans (50% Gamay, 50% Pinot Noir) Côtes d’Auvergne.

Going back in time, wines from the Clos Roche Blanche always overdelivered and they have aged extremely well.

1998 Gamay, Touraine Clos Roche Blanche

22 years on this Touraine Gamay still has good red fruits and while softly textured and evolved it still has plenty of life, which is particularly impressive as 1998 was a difficult vintage – late and difficult to get a lot of ripeness. There is a slight indication of this as the acidity is slightly higher in the finish than in riper years but this is further proof that it is in challenging vintages that the quality of producers really shows.

2005 Cabernet, Touraine, Clos Roche Blanche

In contrast to the 1998 Gamay 2005 was a hot, ripe vintage and this Cabernet has lovely concentrated black fruits, opulent texture and a long finish. CRM tasted this blind and thought it was a high quality and expensive Bordeaux. Bought from the domaine this would have been less than 10€, so a fraction of a high quality Bordeaux. Truly overdelivering!

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