Fine examples of Bordeaux ceps (Boletus edulis)
After every aspect perfect 2005 vintage, Bordeaux came down to earth in vintage 2006. Especially up to harvest and during the harvest, the weather was miles away from being advantageous for all districts in Bordeaux, and I could feel it during two weeks of intense tastings in Bordeaux in April 2007.
Winter 2006 was relatively calm and with moderate temperatures. However, March 2006 became the rainiest March in 30 years, while April and May experienced average rainfall and high spring temperatures. June was unusually dry and hot, so flowering went quickly, as scheduled, and without any problems.
Until the end of July 2006, vintage looked like it would repeat last year's astonishing success, but problems began creeping in. August became the coldest month compared with the previous 20 years average, without much sun and very little rain.
September started with scorching, sunny, and humid weather, followed by ten quite rainy days, and then came the sunshine and hot weather again for the remaining days of September. October was unstable and mixed from the very beginning sun and rain.
Properties on Left and Right Bank, who got Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot into cellars by the end of September, did make the best wines. Others who waited experienced an unstable October with both sun and rain, and this humid weather, with temperatures around 25°C, resulted in an outbreak of white rot on Cabernet Sauvignon, especially in Haut Medoc, Medoc, and Graves, but not in every vineyard. Cabernet Sauvignon became not perfectly ripe in all places because this grape variety needed a dry period of at least one week at the beginning of October, and it didn't happen.
Winemakers in Sauternes & Barsac experienced significant difficulties during harvest due to constantly changing weather conditions and were forced to select grapes very effectively. Rain and humid weather were guilty of an outbreak of sour rot – flies which transformed grapes into bad smelling (acetic acid) and made these completely useless. The harvest was quite long, but grapes collected in the last third of September were probably of the best quality.
As the only exception, the harvest of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle for dry white wines went without problems. All these grape varieties reached perfect ripeness and did keep freshness and aromas because of the cold month of August.
The main problem of the 2006 vintage in a nutshell - white rot because of rain, high temperatures, and very humid weather - Cabernet Sauvignon seen in Pessac-Leognan, October 2006
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE VINTAGE
2006 will undoubtedly be vintage, where terroir and winemakers' skills and talent shine through. You will find tannin bombs, refined and extremely elegant wines, and thin ones among red wines everywhere in Bordeaux. Some proprietors sometimes tried too hard to compensate for the capricious weather and improve their wines by over-extracting and using excessively much new oak. Some others waited too long with harvesting and ended with overripe grapes, which meant wines tasting of marmalade and having dry tannins.
Among dry white wines, some great ones can be expected because it wouldn't surprise me with perfect harvesting conditions in memory if some wines surpass their 2005 version. Sauternes & Barsac in 2006 vintage will be small in quantity and seems to fluctuate between vintages 2001 and 2004 in terms of quality at the best properties, but is otherwise quite uneven in the district.
Even if vintage 2006 generally differs from its one-year younger brother regarding intensity and richness of nuances, several properties made as good wines as in vintage 2005 or, in some cases, better.
The explanation may be that these properties did underperform for some reason(s) in vintage 2005 and didn't capitalize 100% on this vintage's incredible potential. But these properties didn't put a foot wrong in vintage 2006!
Does 2006 resemble any previous vintage? Yes, IMHO, it's generally speaking close to vintage 2004 in terms of style and quality, and the coming years will show which one of these two vintages comes on top. I'm sure that vintage 2004 prices out vintage 2006.
Early rumors say that 2006 prices will only go down 15-20% compared with 2005. IMHO, there's nothing that will justify this little reduction. It should rather be in the region of 40-50%, but if it's not going to be, Bordeaux wine trade will only have itself to blame when primeur sales don't go well. 2006 isn't by any means another vintage of the century!
On the funny side, it was quite an entertaining time to discover the huge harvest of Bordeaux ceps when I visited Bordeaux at the beginning of October 2006. I saw people selling ceps directly from the stand on the streets of Blanquefort (outskirts of Bordeaux), and several proprietors told me that their employees passed to them many baskets containing ceps because they already had enough of ceps in their homes. In some Saint-Émilion restaurants, I saw many different dishes accompanied by ceps! Francois Mitjavile, the proprietor of Tertre Roteboeuf, told me that he has never seen such a big and fine harvest of cepes as it happened in 2006! Certainly a vintage of the century for mushrooms! ;-)
The following TNs come from tastings arranged by Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux and from visits I arranged by myself. I've rated all wines according to 100 points scale.
Please notice that Leoville Las Cases and Ducru Beaucaillou in Saint-Julien, Haut Batailley, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Baron and Pichon Comtesse in Pauillac, Calon Segur and Cos d'Estournel in Saint-Éstephe, Clos L'Eglise, L'Eglise Clinet and L'Evangile in Pomerol plus La Mondotte, Pavie and Pavie Decesse in Saint-Émilion, were not tasted for various reasons, mainly because of very tight tasting schedule I had and the late withdrawal of some wines mentioned above from UGCB tastings.
Haut Brion (57% Merlot + 41% Cabernet Sauvignon + 2% Cabernet Franc) and La Mission Haut Brion (59% Merlot + 40% Cabernet Sauvignon + 1% Cabernet Franc) delivered both great performances in 2006 but were not as hedonistic as in 2005. La Mission Haut Brion was full of dark cherries and blackcurrants, added big portions of ripe tannins, densely knitted, rich, and with exquisite structure, while Haut Brion had more aromas on the nose and tannins were rounder. Well deserved 94-95p for both wines.
Pape Clement. It was very oaky, strong, and full-bodied on the palate but had plenty of fat blackcurrants to balance big amounts of tannin. Long aftertaste. Eminent wine. 92p.
Domaine de Chevalier, Ferrande, Latour Martillac, Malartic Lagaraviere, and Olivier were all together pretty wines with catching aromas of black cherries and raspberries, full-bodied and well-structured, and with dazzling length on the palate. 90-91p.
Bouscaut, Carbonnieux, Les Carmes Haut Brion, and Larrivet Haut Brion delivered goods in compact and complex style with delicious dark berries everywhere and a long aftertaste. 90p.
Chantegrive, de France, Haut Bailly, Haut Bergey, La Louviere, and Respide Medeville were on the light side, charming and seductive, with aromatic and tasty berries, plus a nice balance. 89p.
Bahans Haut Brion and La Chapelle de La Mision Haut Brion offered dark cherries, fine fruit sweetness, lovely structure, and length. Well-made second wines. 88-89p.
Smith Haut Lafitte. This wine was "covered" in new oak from top to toe and, therefore, incredibly difficult to assess. However, considerably large amounts of ripe blackberries and cherries could be sensed on the horizon. Will it come out of "jail" in the nearest future? It remains to be seen. 88+p?
OK wines. Fieuzal and Picque Caillou. 85-86p.
Dry white wines:
Haut Brion and Laville Haut Brion are the top wines of white Bordeaux, but they are quite expensive and rare due to huge demand. Laville Haut Brion was extremely full-bodied, refined, and sophisticated, with apple and citrus on the nose and palate. It had exquisite structure and splendid length on the palate. In Haut Brion, acidity was more present; otherwise, it had the same high quality as Laville Haut Brion. Stupendous wines. 94-95p.
La Louviere had an aromatic and intense nose of apple and acacia flower, splendid structure, and fine elegance and was very long on the palate. Impeccably made. 93p.
Larrivet Haut Brion and Latour Martillac reminded me quite well regarding the style of La Louviere, but they were barely that intense. Splendidly crafted wines. 92-93p.
Domaine de Chevalier and Pape Clement impressed with freshness, a splendid collaboration between aromatically scented fruit (lemon/citrus, pear, and peaches) and acidity, many nuances, lovely structure, and long aftertaste. Well deserved 92p for both.
Fieuzal and Olivier offered freshness, roundness, elegance, aromas of apple and pear, and a soft aftertaste. 91p.
de France, Haut Bergey, and Picque Caillou presented a soft, round texture and a very nice interplay between fruit sweetness and acidity. All tasted just very nice. 90p.
Bouscaut, Carbonnieux, Chantegrive, Ferrande, and Rahoul had aromas of grapefruit and apple, nice concentration and length, plus much charm. 88-89p.
Smith Haut Lafitte was, in turn, very much embossed by new oak and pronounced acidity. This wine will need time to eliminate sharp edges and become more balanced. 88-89p.
OK wine. Malartic Lagraviere. 85-87p.
SAUTERNES & BARSAC
d'Yquem. It presented incredibly refined botrytis and was superbly sophisticated on the palate. Best wine of the vintage in the district but was not as mind-blowing as 2005. 96-97p.
Climens. It was sublime everywhere with fabulously shaped botrytis and possessed sheer elegance and finesse. 95p.
Rieussec. This wine was easy to find in a blind tasting with its sugary taste of spicy tropical fruit, big concentration, and great depth. Stunning wine for the vintage. 94p.
De Malle. Formidably made wine resembles quite a lot this property's fantastic 2001! Well-shaped and profound noble rot with staggering aroma and melon, mango, and acacia honey taste. A very concentrated wine with fine fruit sweetness and corresponding acidity, sophisticated, long, and lovely structure. 93-94p.
Rabaud Promis. It was a big surprise with strong botrytis, a beautiful nose of acacia flower, mango, and guava nose. Powerful, refined, and stylish wine. 92-93p.
De Fargues. Profound and intense noble rot, citrus peel, pear, and acacia honey everywhere, powerful on the palate with stunning balance. 92-93p.
La Tour Blanche. This property continues to impress. Beautiful and powerful botrytis, pineapple, melon, apricot, and acacia flower on the nose and palate. Deliciously delicious. 92p.
Coutet, Doisy Daene, Lafaurie Peyraguey, and Suduiraut were of the same kind, aromatic fruit (pear and apricots) and very stylish. Well, they deserved 92p.
Raymond Lafon is lighter than usual, elegant, and with marked acidity, which perfectly matches fruit sweetness. Lovely structure and many nuances. 91-92p.
D'Arche, Doisy Vedrines, Lamothe Guignard, Nairac, Romer du Hayot, and Sigalas Rabaud caught my attention with delicate and striking botrytis, a fine nose of orange peel, apricot, apple and pear, lusciousness, and fine balance. 90-91p.
Rayne Vigneau. It was extremely catchy with well-tuned noble rot, aromatic, tasty, and charming. A real heartbreaker wine. 90p.
Bastor Lamontagne, Caillou, Filhot, and de Myrat were well-structured wines on the light side with nice botrytis and a fine aroma of acacia honey. 88p.
OK wines. Broustet, Clos Haut Peyraguey, Guiraud, Romer and Suau. 86-87p.
Haut Condissas. An exciting blend of dark berries and oak. Tasty. 88-89p.
La Tour de By. Flawless wine with tasty fruit, reasonably concentrated and harmonious. 88p.
OK wine. Greysac. 86p.
Fourcas Hosten. Powerful and sappy with a quite nice intensity of black and red berries. 88p.
OK wines. Clarke, Fonreaud and Fourcas Dupre. 85-86p.
Poujeaux. Exhibited deliciously perfumed nose of blackcurrants and cherries, fine depth and length on the palate. Well balanced and well-made wine. 90p. Chasse-Spleen was just as expressive and fine as Poujeaux but had a more oaky character. Better than its 2005 version! 90p.
Maucaillou. Nice and uncomplicated wine with tasty berries and good length on the palate. 88p.
Belgrave, La Lagune, and La Tour Carnet were greatly impressed with the strong aroma of black cherries and blueberries and superb balance between these dark berries and ripe tannin. There were lovely structure and complexity on the palate too. All these three wines will be of great value for the money if prices are right. 91p.
Beaumont and Lamarque were flawless, quite nice, round, charming, and fruity wines. 88p.
OK wines. Camensac, Cantemerle, Citran, Coufran and Malescasse. 86-87p.
Margaux. This wine had a wonderful blend of elegance and finesse. The balance was exemplary, presenting perfectly ripe blackcurrants in a great race with ripe tannins. Gentle wine work. A feminine version of the heavenly 2005. 94-95p.
Palmer. Had challenged Margaux with its powerful performance. It was packed with ripe blackcurrants and raspberries, with plenty of nuances and refinement. Extremely stylish and gracious, and therefore so typical for the commune. 94-95p.
Kirwan. Has been on the rise in recent vintages. The wine here burst confidently with an extremely aromatic and powerful nose of black cherries. It was impressively composed and long on the palate. Delicacy rated 92p.
Dauzac, Rausan Segla, and Siran were extensively aromatic, intense, and tempting wines with fine depth and complexity. Delicious stuff. 91-92p.
Labegorce, Marquis de Terme, and Rausan Gassies had captivating aromas of blackberries, roundness, and elegance. Fresh and vivid wines and true heartbreakers. 91p.
Giscours. Black red. Did show Margaux commune's true "face" with the breed, finesse, and sheer elegance. Lighter than usual. 90-91p.
Marojallia and Monbrison. They were almost exact copies of Giscours with more oak taste on the palate. 90p.
Alter Ego and Pavillon de Margaux were delicate, tasty, and charming wines. 89p.
OK wines. D'Angludet, Cantenac Brown, Durfort Vivens and Prieure Lichine. 86-87p.
Concerning Lascombes – the barrel sample was so oaky and tannic that I feared losing my teeth immediately. Therefore, I'll not be giving any score to this wine.
Branaire Ducru. We did get here intensely aromatic nose of black cherries, meaty and palate well layered with berry fruit. Fine balance and long aftertaste. Delicious wine. 92p.
Beychevelle and Leoville Barton delivered extremely fruity wines with fine aromas of blackcurrants and raspberries. Even if both wines tasted lighter than usual, they appeared elegant and charming. 90-91p.
Leoville Poyferre. It seemed well on the light side with spicy blackcurrants and cherries, harmonious, round, and charming. Will it put on weight after some time in the bottle? 89-90p.
Lagrange. This wine burst with oak and had plenty of dark berries and tannin, which was ripe and round. 89-90p.
Gruaud Larose, Langoa Barton, and Talbot were reasonably well made with tasty fruit and round tannin. 88p.
Lafite. An incredibly well-balanced wine with silky blackcurrants and silky tannin, Refined and sophisticated with many nuances. Diametrally different from the super-concentrated 2005 version, but we still have a high class here. 94-95p.
Batailley and Lynch Bages. Tremendously splendid wines with a strong nose filled with blackcurrants, pretty intense, incredibly tasty with great finesse and sophisticated touch. Beautifully composed wines. 93p.
Pontet Canet was almost as dazzling as Batailley and Lynch Bages. Pure delicatessen wine. 92-93p.
Carruaders de Lafite, Clerc Milon, Duhart Milon, Haut Bages Liberal, and Lynch Moussas offered roundness, nice cooperation between ripe berries and ripe tannin, and charm. 88-89p.
OK wines. D'Armailhac. Croizet Bages and Grand Puy Ducasse. 86-87p.
Montrose. 2006 was made by completely new technical staff. Strong and distinct. A complete wine with a spectacular structure, big depth, and a beautiful balance between dark berries and fat tannin. Jean-Bernard Delmas's (ex-manager of Haut Brion and La Mission) "interference" has considerably lifted Montrose's quality. Stunning wine. 93p.
Lafon Rochet. It presented firmness, oaky flavors, and weight on the palate, but there's also were enough dark cherries and blackcurrants to balance strong tannins. It was superbly structured wine with fine length. 90-91p.
The tasty, lively, energetic, and well-balanced Cos Labory and Les Ormes de Pez got 89p.
Tronquoy Lalande. The same owner now as Montrose. Strong and powerful, spicy berries, quite nicely balanced. 88p.
Dame de Montrose. Sappy and delicate with some nice-tasting berry fruit. Pleasant wine. 88p.
OK wines. Haut Marbuzet, de Pez and Phelan Segur. 86-87p.
Ausone. Probably the best wine of the vintage. A fabulous blend of sophisticated touch, refinement, and elegance with lovely dark berries and silky tannins. Surely a lighter version of 2005, but what a wine! 96-97p.
Cheval Blanc. Lighter than usual. A wonderfully refined and elegant wine with great finesse. Beautifully composed. 94-95p.
Tertre Roteboeuf. Black red. A strong aroma of black cherries and blueberries, delicious fruit sweetness, silky tannins, refined and formidably structured. One more proof of Francois Mitjavile's incredible skills as a winemaker. 94p.
Troplong Mondot. Barely so hedonistic and breathtaking wine as in 2005. Still, there were goodies for every taste. Full of black cherries and new oak. It needs time to develop some more roundness. 93-94p.
Pavie Macquin. Incredibly intense and strong on the nose and palate with black cherries everywhere, the great sweetness of fruit here corresponded perfectly with fat and ripe tannin. This delicacy here is worth all 93p.
The powerful, beautifully shaped, nuanced, and impeccably made Valandraud scored 93p.
La Couspade. Impressed a lot with strongly aromatic dark berries on the nose and palate, lovely complexity, and exquisite balance. Tremendous treat. 92-93p.
Angelus, Beausejour, Clos Fourtet, and La Confession presented full-bodied texture, aromatically scented blackberries and raspberries, strong backbone, big depth, and fine length on the palate. Well, they deserved 92p for each wine here.
Balestard La Tonnelle, Cap de Mourlin, Destieux, Franc Mayne, and Grand Mayne were all delicious wines in the elegant style, aromatic, full of blueberries/dark cherries on the nose and palate, with an adequate new oak, harmonious and long aftertaste. 91p.
Bellefont Belcier, La Dominique, La Gaffeliere, Figeac, and Magdelaine released violets, cherries, strong backbone, and catchy elegance. Charming wines, all of them. 90-91p.
Chapelle d'Ausone, Fonbel, and Moulin St. Georges impressed with lusciousness, beautiful balance, and dark berry fruit in a silky package. 90p.
Barde Haut, Belair, Beau-Séjour Becot, Clos Dubreil, Clos de Sarpe, La Gomerie, Larcis Ducasse, Quinault L'Enclos, and Trottevieille left a very positive impression with tasty black cherries, adequate amounts of tannin and strong structure. 88-90p.
Petit Cheval. It was a tad more loosely knitted than previous wines. 88p.
OK wine. Berliquet, Dassault, Canon-La-Gaffeliere, Larmande, La Serre and La Tour Figeac. 87p.
Petrus. Black red. Incredibly aromatic, sophisticated, and incredibly well-constructed wine. Huge amounts of dark cherries/blueberries and ripe tannin. The balance was completely breathtaking in this wine, but so was the length on the palate. Still, it's not better than the 2005 version. 95-96p.
Lafleur and Trotanoy were not far behind the "king" (Petrus). They possessed a hugely aromatic nose of dark berries like blueberries and blackberries, full-bodied, refined, and having a large amount of ripe tannin, with lovely balance and multilayered. They are fabulous wines, even if they aren't as breathtaking as their 2005 version. 95p.
Vieux Chateau Certan. 75% Merlot + 25% Cabernet Franc. Extremely seductive and silky wine all the way. Fabulous lusciousness and breed. A huge success for the vintage, but not another 2005. Close call anyway. 94-95p.
Le Pin. It was just as impressive and tempting wine as Vieux Chateau Certan. 94-95p.
Certan de May and Hosanna were black red, largely intense and strong, with lovely complexity, lusciousness, and fat ripe tannin. 93p.
La Croix St.Georges. Did erupt with aromatic and perfectly ripe berries plus ripe tannin. Powerful and full-bodied. Just entirely delicious wine. 92-93p.
Clinet, La Conseillante, Gazin, and La Pointe was a quartet of splendidly tasting elegant wines, incredibly fragrant, gracious, and finesse loaded. 92p.
La Cabanne, La Fleur de Gay, and La Fleur Petrus followed immediately after with more oaky character and firmness 91-92p.
Latour-á Pomerol and Certan Marzelle offered well-proportioned wines with dense texture, ripe berries, violets, and ripe tannin. These wines have a nice future. 91p.
Bourgneuf Vayron. It looked like it often does as a powerful beast of a wine loaded with fruit and lusciousness, but also showing much more than a handful of tannin. It needs time to soften. 90p.
La Providence. It was similar to Bourgneuf Vayron but lighter and fruitier. 89-90p.
Romulus. Luxury cuvée of La Croix Taillefer - 100% Merlot. Very modern style with very ripe grapes, splendid balance, and a long aftertaste. 89p.
Feytit Clinet, La Grave, Lafleur Gazin, Pensées de Lafleur, and Plince had a catchy fragrance of violets, blueberries, and blackberries and were luscious and long on the palate. 89p.
La Croix de Gay presented ripe berry fruit, nice concentration, and a pleasant structure. 88p. Bon Pasteur had large amounts of new oak and tannin and was, therefore, very difficult to assess. 88p?
OK wines - Beauregard and Petit Village. 86p.
L'Ambroisie. Luxury cuvée from La Croix des Moines made from 70 years old vines made by Benoit Trocard. An intense and delicious aroma of black cherries. It was a powerful, well-structured wine with a soft and persistent aftertaste. Delicious wine. 89-90p.
La Fleur de Bouard. Loaded with tannin, but the balance was OK. It had quite a lovely nose of ripe blackberries and raspberries. It needs time to develop more complexity 88p.
Fontenil. It was aromatic on the nose with black cherries, strong. Fine balance and depth. 89p.
Du Gaby, Moulin Haut Laroque, and de La Riviere had a distinct fragrance of dark berries and a nice structure. 88p.
BORDEAUX/BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR/PREMIÈRES CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
20 Mille from super duper winemaker Jean-Philippe Janouiex (La Confession) is 100% Merlot from 6 years old vines planted close to Croix Mouton. 20.000 vinstokke per ha. Strong and firm wine with fine tannins, splendid balance, and long aftertaste. 89-90p.
Croix Mouton and Le Conseiller from the same winemaker were pretty wines for the vintage, with luscious and fragrant dark berries and lovely structure. 88-89p.
Marjosse. Pierre Lurton's (d'Yquem and Cheval Blanc) own wine. Fragrant wine with violets and raspberries, harmonious and tasty. 88p. Domaine de Courteillac and Reynon were similar to Marjosse. 88p
Pavillon Blanc. The white wine of Château Margaux was a real surprise! Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and yield 13 hl/ha. Fat, concentrated, and full of lemon, apple, and pear flavors. Exquisite balance and a very long aftertaste. 91-92p.
CÔTES DE BOURG
Roc de Cambes. Dark red. It had beautiful aromas of blackberries and cherries, splendidly structured and harmonious. Francois Mitjavile's brilliant skills as a winemaker are pretty obvious here! It's a big success for the vintage. 90p.
CÔTES DE CASTILLON
Joanin Becot and Veyry. Pleasant wines with perfumed and tasty dark berries, well composed and with a round aftertaste. 88p.
UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE, ALL WINES LISTED BELOW WERE TASTED ON THE 5TH SEPTEMBER 2007 IN COPENHAGEN
2006 D'AIGUILHE: Strong, earthy and tannic. Not fully in balance. It needs time to get round and charming. 88p.
2006 D'ARMAILHAC: Very nice nose of faffled cocoa and chocolate, pleasant. Nice intensity, balance, and length. Already very enjoyable. 89p.
2006 ANGELUS: This wine presented a full-bodied texture, aromatically scented blackberries and raspberries, a strong backbone, big depth, and fine length on the palate. It should give much enjoyment from 2012 and continue for 15 years. Well deserved 93p for this excellent wine. Same impression in September 2009.
2006 LES ARUMS DE LAGRANGE white: Fruity and round wine, crisp, tasty, and pleasant. Aromas of lemon, citrus, and apples, fresh acidity. 86p.
2006 BASTOR LAMONTAGNE: Fine botrytis, mango flavor, nicely composed but light. It will drink nicely from 2009. 88p.
2006 BEAUREGARD: It showed more concentration and power than the 2004 version but was still in full balance. It needs time to become round and softer. 88p.
2006 BEYCHEVELLE: It delivered extremely fruity wine with a fine aroma of blackcurrants and raspberries. Even if this wine tasted lighter than usual, it appeared elegant and charming. 2010-2020. 91+p.
2006 BRANAIRE: Black red. We got here an intensely aromatic nose of black cherries and a meaty palate well layered with berry fruit. Delicate balance and long aftertaste. A delicious wine to keep for the next 12-18 years. 92p. Same impression in September 2009. It tasted slightly lighter in September 2010, so the rating is 91p.
2006 CAMENSAC: Not as tannic and disjointed as it tasted in April 2007. It was a finely composed and tasty wine with complexity and balance. 2010-2016. 88p.
2006 CANON-LA-GAFFELIERE: This wine improved from tasting it in spring 2007 when I tasted it in September 2007. It was marked by oak and much extract, and it appeared a full-bodied and tight wine with a long taste. It needs time to soften. 90p.
2006 CANTEMERLE: Vast improvement here in terms of concentration and balance, just as it happened for Camensac 2006. 89p.
2006 CHASSE SPLEEN: It was just as expressive and fine as 2006 Poujeaux but had a more oaky character. 90p. 2010-2020.
2006 LA CLÉMENCE: Black red. It was strong, powerful, long on the palate, with gobs of perfectly ripe Merlot. Aromatic dark cherries and truffles. Splendid effort for the vintage and one to keep for 10-15 years. 92p.
2006 CLERC MILON: Aromatic, deep on nose and palate, classic style, chocolate, delicate balance, and finish. Just splendid. 91p. Tasted in September 2010.
2006 CLOS FOURTET: It showed full-bodied texture, aromatically scented blackberries and raspberries, strong backbone, splendid balance, big depth, and fine length on the palate. Splendid effort for the vintage and well-deserved 92p. One to keep for 12-16 years. Same impression in September 2009.
2006 CLOS DE L'ORATOIRE: This wine left a positive impression with well-defined berry fruit, adequate tannin, strong structure, fine balance, and a nice finish. 88p.
2006 DESTIEUX: From the owner of La Clemence. Delicious wine in the elegant style, aromatic, full of blueberries/dark cherries on the nose and palate, with adequate new oak, harmonious and long aftertaste. Enjoy it from 2011. 91p. Three years later (September 2010), it was more tannic and earthy but still delicate. Same rating.
2006 DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER red: Black red. It showed a catchy and aromatic nose of blackcurrants, deep and splendid structure. A meaty and intense wine with a fine balance and a long aftertaste. Much better appearance than in April 2007. 92+p.
2006 DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER white impressed with freshness, a splendid collaboration between acidity and aromatically scented fruit in the shape of lemon/citrus, peach, and apricot, many nuances, lovely structure, and long aftertaste. It should last for 12 – 20 years without any problem. Well deserved 92p.
2006 DURFORT VIVENS: This wine greatly improved from tasting in April 2007. An aromatic and catchy nose of violets and dark berries, meaty and racy on the palate. Well-made wine. 90p.
2006 FERRIERE: Delicate, sweet fruit, fine structure, and well-balanced. This pretty wine can be enjoyed with a big smile and makes friends quickly. 2009-2015. 90p.
2006 LES FIEFS DE LAGRANGE: Delicious, elegant, and very charming. It was a delightful and tasty wine. 87p. Same impression in September 2010.
2006 FOMBRAUGE white: 60% S.Blanc + 40% Semillon). Same soil as La Tour Carnet blanc. Vivid and fresh with delightful acacia flower, peach, pear, and citrus flavors. Pretty nicely composed, well-balanced and tasty. Delicious. 89p. Tasted in November 2009.
2006 LE GAY: Fresh, with lots of cherry flavors, rich, and with excellent structure. Brilliant wine for the vintage. 92p. Tasted in October 2007.
2006 GISCOURS: Black red. Did show Margaux commune's true "face" with the breed, finesse, pure elegance, and long finish. Lighter than usual. 91p. Same impression in September 2009. It improved substantially in September 2010, showing a solid attitude. Tight, very flavorful, delicate balance, and long finish. Splendid wine worth a 93p rating.
2006 GRAND PUY LACOSTE: Strong wine with luscious berries, classic Pauillac style, superb depth, structure, and length. Well put together! It was formidable wine. Same impression in September 2009. 92p. Same impression in September 2009.
2006 GUIRAUD: It has stayed the same since April 2007. Closed and giving little insight into its ingredients. We'll wait and see. 88+p?
2006 HAUT BAGES LIBERAL: It offered fine concentration, roundness, nice cooperation between ripe berries and ripe tannin, and charm. Catchy wine. 89p.
2006 HAUT BAILLY: Dark red. A wine with mineral flavors, ripe berries, fine structure, and fine depth. It has improved considerably since I tasted it in April 2007. Well-made and one to keep for the next 10-15 years. 90+p.
2006 LABEGORCE: It had captivating aromas of blackberries, roundness, and elegance. Fresh and vivid wine and a true heartbreaker in the next 8-12 years. 91p.
2006 LABEGORCE ZEDE: Similar appearance as Labegorce 2006. 91p.
2006 LAGRANGE: This wine burst with oak and had plenty of dark berries and ripe and round tannin. 89-90p. More impressive when tasted in September 2010. 90p.
2006 LATOUR MARTILLAC: Nice concentration and bite, splendid balance, fine depth and length. Well made and thoroughly splendid wine. 90p. Tasted in September 2010.
2006 LEOVILLE POYFERRE: This wine still seemed well on the light side with spicy blackcurrants and cherries, harmonious, round, and charming. Will it put on weight after some time in the bottle? 89-90p. Yes, it did! It was a different story in September 2010 - a tight one, with many flavors, very concentrated with plenty of ripe berries, splendid structure, and a long finish. Splendid wine worth every inch of 93p.
2006 MARQUIS D'ALESME BECKER: Fat, meaty wine with silky fruit and considerable finesse. 88p. Tasted in September 2009.
2006 PAPE CLEMENT white: Incredible intensity of acacia flower, apple, and lemongrass flavors on the nose. Intense on the palate with fabulous depth and finish. A bit modern in style! Stunning performance. White Bordeaux on a very, very high note. 95p. Tasted in November 2009.
2006 PETIT VILLAGE: This wine did vastly improve since tasting it in April 2007. Quite powerful, meaty, fine dark berries and ripe tannin, and nice balance. It will even be better from 2010. 88+p.
2006 PHELAN SEGUR: This wine was subdued, oaky, and tannic. But the fruit was there, and this wine will take some time to be round and approachable. 88p.
2006 PICHON BARON: Dark red. A very concentrated wine with fatty fruit and ripe tannin in close dance. It had a semi-modern style with fruit sweetness, power, and strong structure. In all, this wine showed fine quality. 91p. Same impression in September 2010.
2006 PONTET CANET: Tremendously splendid wine with a strong nose filled with blackcurrants, intense, delicious with great finesse and sophisticated touch. Beautifully composed wine. 93p. It was as impressive in October 2007 when tasted at the property.
2006 POUJEAUX: As profound as in April 2007 and maybe even better now. It exhibited a deliciously perfumed nose of blackcurrants and cherries, fine depth and length on the palate. Well-balanced and well-made wine. 91p. Barely exciting in September 2009 - it seems now like another wine in the bottle! 87p.
2006 SMITH HAUT LAFITTE red: This wine was "covered" in new oak from top to toe in April 2007 and, therefore, incredibly difficult to assess. However, it seemed in September 2007 that this wine "lost" a considerable amount of tannin and started to show ripe blackberries and cherries. Still, it needs time to come around. We have to wait for additional 5-7 years. 91p.
2006 SUDUIRAUT: Beautiful and powerful botrytis, pineapple, melon, apricot, and acacia flower on the nose and palate. Deliciously delicious. 93p. Same impression in September 2010.
2006 DU TERTRE: A bit lighter than expected. An elegant wine with good length but lacking some grip and concentration. It may improve in the bottle. 87p. Same impression in September 2009. The same transformation for the better when tasted in September 2010, as it happened for 2006 Giscours. Splendid aromatic touch, elegance, finesse, and smooth aftertaste. 90p.
2006 LA TOUR CARNET red: One of the best quality for price in Bordeaux, and it rarely disappoints. I have enjoyable memories of 2001, 2004, and 2005. Very intense on the nose with ripe berries flavors (blackcurrants, raspberries, and black cherries), beautifully balanced, and luscious, shows refined concentration and a splendid shape overall. Delicious wine which makes friends immediately. 91p. Tasted in November 2009.
2006 TROPLONG MONDOT: Full of black cherries on nose and palate, aromatic, great complexity, structure, and balance. Long finish. Excellent wine. 94p. Tasted in September 2010.
2006 VALANDRAUD: This wine presented itself even better than in April 2007. It has gained more richness and depth. High-class wine for the vintage. 94-95p. Tasted twice - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes.
2006 VIEUX CHATEAU CERTAN: Silky, aromatic, awesome structure and length. As impressive in the bottle as it was from the barrel. 94-95p. Tasted in March 2009.