Wine of the week: a top-flight claret on the high street

This polished Margaux is fabulous for autumnal drinking.

2018 Chateau Deyrem Valentin
(Image credit: 2018 Chateau Deyrem Valentin)

2018 Château Deyrem Valentin, Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

£31.99, available at 218 Waitrose stores and at

It’s funny how my drinking habits have remained relatively constant over the years, even though my palate veers all over the place on account of the tens of thousands of wines that I taste. I don’t think I have dipped into a single claret since writing my Bordeaux En Primeur Report back in May, but I have been quietly willing September to arrive. Each year this glorious month signals to me, at least, that the Bordeaux season is back on, and it will stay with me for the next eight months. While it is always amusing to pluck bottles from the cellar, it is very rare to find top-flight, reasonably priced bottles of claret on the high street, and it is rarer still when they happen to be drinking rather well.

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I have long been a fan of Deyrem Valentin, a hidden jewel in the Margaux crown. Made from 50% merlot, 49% cabernet sauvignon and 1% petit verdot, and spending 15 months in 50% new French oak, this classic recipe could result in any manner of flavour, but at Deyrem you can always rely on subtlety, balance, silkiness and style.

My mother told me some 50 years ago that her favourite style of red wine was Margaux. The wines these days are, on the whole, a lot more extracted and powerful than they were a couple of generations ago, but this is the sort of wine she would have adored. Deyrem has never altered its style – honed, engaging, polished and in perfect equilibrium; this is fabulous for autumnal drinking.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.