You can express yourself in different ways while tasting wines. My good friend, Yves Beck, a fellow Swiss wine journalist, is captured live in meditation while tasting 2014 wines from Haut Medoc, St.Julien, Pauillac, and Saint Estephe at Phelan Segur.
Once again, weather Gods entertained/blessed Bordeaux wine people with ever-changing weather. Winter in Bordeaux was one of the wettest and warmest in several decades, while spring offered warm March, reasonably warm April, and misty May.
Flowering finished early but got hampered by severe outbreaks of mildew and oidium. Summer was so-so, with some spells of hot weather in June, while July offered only a few days with temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. August provided nothing of the warm and sunny weather, and chateau owners were getting depressed and started talking about 2014 being a repeat of 1993 or 1994.
Suddenly, however, everything changed at the beginning of September, when the warm and sunny weather returned to Bordeaux, thanks to a high-pressure weather system parked close to South-West France. The average temperature for September was around 27 degrees Celsius, with many dry and sunny days. Cool nights allowed grapes to ripen slowly and keep the freshness intact. When I met Olivier Bernard from Domaine de Chevalier at de Fieuzal on 24th September, he told me that he hadn't seen so a beautiful September in 40 years. Several other chateau owners echoed his statement. After this exceptional month of September, it was possible that October couldn't live up to it, but it certainly did month out.
White harvest had perfect conditions for fulfilling expectations, and it certainly did. People talk about power, aromas, and freshness, but for me, the hallmark of the 2014 vintage for dry whites is their fantastic high acidity, which will assure great longevity for these wines. Many winegrowers do compare 2014 to 2001 (great vintage for whites).
Merlot also had excellent ripening conditions, especially at Left Bank, but for some reason, it wasn't that perfect on Right Bank due to heavy rain in one day (middle of September) in Pomerol, where the whole 80 mm fell. It disturbed vines growing on rich clay soils.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc thoroughly enjoyed slow ripening, gaining concentration and acidity. For sure, these two grape varieties became a great success in 2014.
Petit Verdot, Bordeaux's "enfant terrible" among grapes varieties, ripened successfully and complimented perfectly blends on the Left Bank.
The 2014 vintage in red reminds me of the 2008 vintage with better ripeness in fruit, silkier tannin, and more depth, and of course, it has this unforgettable acidity you didn't find in 2008.
In October, Sauternes and Barsac enjoyed perfect ripening conditions, with plenty of botrytis invading vineyards. The 2014 vintage here is better than 2013 or better than the very successful 2011 due to power, richness, and, not the least, fantastic acidity.
Barrel tastings revealed that Pessac-Leognan, with its reds and whites, and Pauillac and St. Estephe, stood strongest, followed by St.Julien, Margaux, Haut Medoc, and Medoc. Not really a single bad wine. Pomerol, St. Emilion, and satellites are more indifferent and not so homogenous in quality. However, some stunning wines have been made there.
All in all - excellent dry and sweet white wines, while red wines are also fabulous for the most part.
2014 is a beneficial vintage, but everything depends on its pricing. Indeed, we'll not see prices on the level with the 2008 vintage, despite how much we would like them to be!
20 Mille Bordeaux Supérieur 89-90 Aile d'Argent blanc Bordeaux 92 Alcée Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 89 Alter Ego de Palmer Margaux 92 Amélisse/Saintayme Saint-Emilion 89 Amiral de Beychevelle Saint-Julien 89 Angelique de Monbousquet Saint-Emilion 86 Aromes de Pavie Saint-Emilion 88 Ausone Saint-Emilion 95+ Bad Boy Bordeaux 88 Balestard La Tonnelle Saint-Emilion 91 Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes 92 Batailley Pauillac 91 Beaumont Haut Médoc 89
Beauregard Pomerol 90 Beau-Séjour Bécot Saint-Emilion 88 Beausejour Duffau Saint-Emilion 92-93 Bel-Air Ouy Saint-Emilion 89 Belgrave Haut Médoc 87 Bellevue Mondotte Saint-Emilion 94-95 Belle Brise Pomerol 91-92+? Bellefont Belcier Saint-Emilion 89-90 Berliquet Saint-Emilion 89-90 Beychevelle Saint-Julien 94+ Bourgneuf Pomerol 93-94 Bouscaut Pessac-Léognan 91-92 Bouscaut blanc Pessac-Léognan 92+ Branaire-Ducru Saint-Julien 93+ Brane-Cantenac Margaux 93
Broustet Barsac 92 Calon St.Georges-Saint-Emilion 87 Calon-Ségur Saint-Estéphe 95 Camensac Haut Médoc 89 Canon Saint-Emilion 91-92 Canon La Gaffelière Saint-Emilion 90 Cantelauze Pomerol 92 Cantemerle Haut Médoc 89 Cantenac Brown Margaux 90 Cap de Mourlin Saint-Emilion 88 Capbern Saint-Estéphe 90 Cap St.Georges St.Georges Saint-Emilion 88 Carbonnieux Pessac-Léognan 92 Carbonnieux blanc Pessac-Léognan 92-93 Carruades de Lafite Pauillac 90-91 Chasse Spleen Moulis 89
Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion 95+ Citran Haut Médoc 89-90 Clarke Listrac 90 Clerc Milon Pauillac 91 Climens Barsac 96-97 Clinet Pomerol 91-92 Clos Badon Thunevin Saint-Emilion 90 Clos de la Vieille Eglise Pomerol 89 Clos Lunelles Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 89 Clos de l'Oratoire Saint-Emilion 88 Clos des Lunes Lune Blanche Bordeaux 88 Clos des Lunes Lune d'Argent Bordeaux 89 Clos des Lunes Lune d'Or Bordeaux 91 Clos Fourtet Saint-Emilion 90 Clos Haut-Peyraguey Sauternes 93-94
Corbin Saint-Emilion 92 Corbin Michotte Saint-Emilion 92+ Cos Labory Saint-Estéphe 92 Coufran Haut Médoc 90 Coutet Barsac 93-94 Croix-Mouton Bordeaux Supérieur 88 Croizet-Bages Pauillac 90-91 d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 87 d'Angludet Margaux 90 d'Arche Sauternes 91 d'Armailhac Pauillac 91 Dassault Saint-Emilion 90 Dauzac Margaux 91-92 de Chantegrive Graves 89 de Chantegrive Caroline blanc Graves 89-90 de Fargues Sauternes 95-96 de Fieuzal Pessac-Léognan 92 de Fieuzal blanc Pessac-Léognan 93+
de Fonbel Saint-Emilion 88 de France Pessac-Léognan 92 de France blanc Pessac-Léognan 93+ de Lamarque Haut Médoc 88 de Malle Sauternes 93+ de Myrat Barsac 92+ de Pez Saint-Estéphe 89-90 de Rayne Vigneau Sauternes 93 Desmirail Margaux 88-89 Doisy-Daëne Barsac 93+ Doisy-Védrines Barsac 92 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan 94 Domaine de Chevalier blanc Pessac-Léognan 96+ Domaine des Sabines Lalande de Pomerol 88 Domaine Virginie Thunevin Bordeaux 88
Duhart-Milon Pauillac 91 Duo de Conseillante Pomerol 89 Ferrande Graves 92-93 Ferrande blanc Graves 92-93 Ferrière Margaux 91-92 Filhot Sauternes 92-93 Fonréaud Listrac 88 Fourcas Dupré Listrac 90 Fourcas Hosten Listrac 89 Franc-Mayne Saint-Emilion 91-92 G de Guinaudeau Bordeaux Supérieur 90-91 Gazin Pomerol 90 Giscours Margaux 92-93 Gloria Saint-Julien 92+ Grand Mayne Saint-Emilion 89 Grand Village Bordeaux Supérieur 90 Grand Village blanc Bordeaux 91
Grand-Puy Ducasse Pauillac 92 Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 93 Gruaud Larose Saint-Julien 93+ Guiraud Sauternes 93-94 Haut-Bages Libéral Pauillac 90 Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan 90 Haut-Bergey blanc Pessac-Léognan 90 Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 95+ Haut-Brion blanc Pessac-Léognan 96-97 Haut Simard Saint-Emilion 88+ Kirwan Margaux 88 La Brande Saint-Emilion 87-88p La Cabanne Pomerol 91 La Chapelle d'Ausone Saint-Emilion 90 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 89
La Chenade Lalande de Pomerol 90-91 La Clarté de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 92 La Clotte Saint-Emilion 88 La Confession Saint-Emilion 93-94 La Conseillante Pomerol 94 La Couspaude Saint-Emilion 91 La Croix de Gay Pomerol 89 La Croix Saint-Georges Pomerol 93 La Dame de Montrose Saint-Estéphe 90 La Dominique Saint-Emilion 91 La Fleur de Bouard Lalande de Pomerol 88 La Gaffelière Saint-Emilion 88 La Gravière Lalande de Pomerol 90 La Lagune Haut Médoc 93
La Louvière Pessac-Léognan 92 La Louvière blanc Pessac-Léognan 93 La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 95 La Mission Haut-Brion blanc Pessac-Léognan 96 La Mondotte Saint-Emilion 92-93 La Prade Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 88 La Petite Eglise Pomerol 91 La Pointe Pomerol 90 La Tour Blanche Sauternes 93-94 La Tour Carnet Haut Médoc 90 La Tour de By Médoc 89 La Tour Figeac Saint-Emilion 87 La Violette Pomerol 92-93 Labégorce Margaux 89-90 Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 93-94
Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 95+ Lafleur Pomerol 96+ Lafon-Rochet Saint-Estéphe 92+ Laforge Saint-Emilion 89 Lagrange Saint-Julien 92 L'Ambroisie du Chateau La Croix des Moines Lalande de Pomerol 88 Lamothe Guignard Sauternes 88 Langoa Barton Saint-Julien 92 Larcis Ducasse Saint-Emilion 92 Larmande Saint-Emilion 89 Larrivet Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 93 Larrivet Haut-Brion blanc Pessac-Léognan 94-95 Lascombes Margaux 91 Latour Pauillac 95+ Latour-Martillac Pessac-Léognan 89
Latour-Martillac blanc Pessac-Léognan 93 Le Bon Pasteur Pomerol 89-91+ Le Carre Saint-Emilion 91-92 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 89 Le Clos du Beau-Père Pomerol 89-90 Le Crock Saint-Estephe 90 Le Dôme Saint-Emilion 93+ Le Dragon de Quintus Saint-Emilion 87-88 Le Gay Pomerol 93-94 Le Marquis de Calon Saint-Estephe 88-89 Le Moulin Pomerol 88 Le Nardian (white) Bordeaux 90 Le Petit Cheval Saint-Emilion 89 Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 91
Le Pin Pomerol 94 Le Tertre Roteboeuf Saint-Emilion 95+ L'Eglise-Clinet Pomerol 96+ L'Esprit de Pavie Bordeaux 87 Léoville Barton Saint-Julien 93-94 Léoville Poyferré Saint-Julien 94 Les Asteries Saint-Emilion 92 Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 91-92 Les Champs Libres Bordeaux 92 Les Charmes Godard white Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 91 Les Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol 91+ Les Forts de Latour Pauillac 91 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron Pauillac 89 Les Justices Sauternes 92
Les Ormes de Pez Saint-Estéphe 89-90 Les Pensées de Lafleur Pomerol 91 Les Tourelles de Longueville Pauillac 88 Lespault Martillac Pessac-Léognan 89 Lespault Martillac blanc Pessac-Léognan 91 Lusseau Saint-Emilion 86 Lynch-Bages Pauillac 92+ Lynch-Moussas Pauillac 90 Magondeau Fronsac 87 Magondeau Beau site Fronsac 88 Magondeau blanc Bordeaux 86 Malartic Lagravière Pessac-Léognan 89 Malartic Lagravière blanc Pessac-Léognan 92-93 Malescot Saint-Exupéry Margaux 89-90
Mangot Saint-Emilion 91 Mangot Todeschini Saint-Emilion 91+ Manoir de Gay Pomerol 89 Margaux Margaux 95-96 Marquis de Terme Margaux 88-89 Maucaillou Moulis 90 Mazeyres Pomerol 88 Monbrison Margaux 90 Monbousquet Saint-Emilion Monbousquet white Bordeaux90 Montlandrie Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 89 Montrose Saint-Estéphe 95 Montviel Pomerol 90 Moulin Haut Laroque Fronsac 88-89 Moulin Riche Saint-Julien 90-91 Moulin Saint-Georges Saint-Emilion 89 Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 96+
Nairac Barsac 94 Olivier Pessac-Léognan 90 Olivier blanc Pessac-Léognan 91-92 Palmer Margaux 96 Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan 93 Pape Clément blanc Pessac-Léognan 93 Pauillac de Latour Pauillac 88 Pavie Saint-Emilion 95-96 Pavie Decesse Saint-Emilion 94 Pavie-Macquin Saint-Emilion 92 Pavillon Blanc de Margaux Bordeaux 93+ Pavillon Rouge de Margaux Margaux 91-92 Petit-Village Pomerol 90+ Petrus Pomerol 97 Phélan Ségur Saint-Estéphe 91-92 Pibran Pauillac 88
Pichon Baron Pauillac 93 Pichon Comtesse Pauillac 93p Picque-Caillou Pessac-Léognan 91 Picque-Caillou blanc Pessac-Léognan 92+ Pontet-Canet Pauillac 94+ Poujeaux Moulis 90 Prieuré-Lichine Margaux 92 Puygueraud Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 89 Puygueraud blanc Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 90 Quinault L'Enclos Saint-Emilion 88 Quintus Saint-Emilion 89 Rabaud-Promis Sauternes 92-93 Rahoul Graves 91-92 Rahoul blanc Graves 91+ Rauzan Gassies Margaux 92 Rauzan-Ségla Margaux 93+ Raymond Lafon Sauternes 95
Respide Medeville red Graves 89 Respide Medeville white Graves 90 Rieussec Sauternes 94+p Roc de Cambes Côtes de Bourg 92 Romer Sauternes 91 Romer du Hayot Sauternes 88 Rouget Pomerol 89-90 Sácre Coeur Pomerol 92 Saint-Pierre Saint-Julien 92+ Seguin Pessac-Léognan 93-94 Siaurac Lalande de Pomerol 87 Sigalas Rabaud Sauternes 93 Simard Saint-Emilion 88 Siran Margaux 88 Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan 92-93 Smith Haut Lafitte blanc Pessac-Léognan 93
Soutard Saint-Emilion 88 Suduiraut Sauternes 93-94 Talbot Saint-Julien 92 du Tertre Margaux 91-92 Teyssier Saint-Emilion 90 Thieuley Bordeaux 86 Trimoulet Saint-Emilion 87 Tronquoy-Lalande Saint-Estéphe 88 Troplong Mondot Saint-Emilion 92-93 Valandraud Saint-Emilion 95 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol 94 Vieux Chateau Mazerat Saint-Emilion 94 Vieux Maillet Pomerol 88 Villars Fronsac 88 Villemaurine Saint-Emilion 87 Virginie de Valandraud Saint-Emilion 90 Vray Croix de Gay Pomerol 88 Yquem Sauternes 97
Notice - you can put the ratings above in Excel and sort these as you want (f.i. to see the best wines in every commune/district). I can offer to send you an Excel file with ratings free of charge; provide me with your email.
I tasted around 294 2014 wines from the barrel and between 70 and 80 wines from other vintages between 2013 and 1945. I would have tasted more barrel samples, but unfortunately, many properties delivered 4-5 days old barrel samples to Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, and this was not optimal for me, so I stopped tasting samples after a few hours at Bellefont Belcier.
I had a great time during ca. two weeks in Bordeaux (23rd March - 4th April). I can't hide that primeur tastings this year were affected a lot by feminine charm. I say "cheers" to that. My best primeur ever, I can say. Thanks to Panos Kakaviatos, Miguel Lecuona, Niko Dukan, Yves Beck, Ying Hui, Laure-Marie Ducloy, and Marie von Ahm. Also, big thanks to my Danish friends, Anne and Ivar Bjurner, who followed me for a week before primeur.
Monday the 23rd of March
In Haut Brion's tasting room - my two Danish friends, Anne and Ivar Bjurner in deep conversation about the wines we tasted.
Haut Brion/La Mission Haut Brion
2014 reds here remind a big deal of the 2008 vintage, while the whites are, imho much better than in the 2011/2013 vintage.
2014 La Mission had aromatic cherries, excellent acidity, striking elegance, sophisticated touch, and velvety texture. Great complexity and a long finish. Beauty wine. 95p.
2014 Haut Brion was similar to 2014 LMHB but with fatter tannin and a slightly longer finish. 95+p.
Second wine of La Mission, 2014 La Chapelle de LMHB - beautiful on the nose in the palate, with cherry flavors, fine ripe tannin, and fine acidity on the palate, well-balanced and smooth finish. 89p
Second wine of Haut Brion, 2014 Le Clarence de HB - more acidity than La Chapelle de LMHB, otherwise the same style. 89p.
2014 Quintus - intense blueberries and blackberries, fine midpalate and fine complexity, well-balanced with fine length and finish. 89p.
Second wine of Quintus, 2014 Le Dragon de Quintus - fresh, aromatic, with quite a good tannin, tasty and well-balanced. 87-88p.
2014 La Mission Haut Brion white (72% Semillon + 28% Sauvignon Blanc) was vibrant with excellent acidity and depth, with a fine aroma of apple, citrus, lemongrass, great complexity, balance, structure, and length. Impressive effort. 96p.
2014 Haut Brion white showed as splendidly as LMHB, and the only thing that put HB in front of LMHB was more intensity, depth, and a long finish. 96-97p.
2014 La Carte de Haut Brion white, joint second wine from a blend of LMHB and HB "leftovers", had a fine freshness, splendid acidity, intense aroma of acacia flower, apple, pear, and peach, and fine smooth aftertaste. 92p.
Tuesday the 24th of March
Sandrine Garbay told us that harvest here was long, from 5th September to 30th October, 80% of the crop went into Grand Vin, and yield per ha was between 10 and 12 ha. She said that the 2014 vintage, due to warm days and cool nights, allowed grapes to keep fresh and enjoy slow but precise work of botrytis. This resulted in acidity reaching an astonishing level of 4.77 g/l as sulphuric acid, which was higher than in 2011. Regular/often seen acidity is 3.7-4.0.
Sandrine Garbay, Yquem's cellarmaster, tasting with us
2013 Y (bottled last September) - fresh, aromatic with kiwi and mango, fine complexity and acidity, smooth aftertaste. 90p.
2014 Yquem - delightful freshness and strikingly high acidity, making your taste buds aware of its presence. Very sophisticated, refined, and rich. Exquisite sweetness and balance, extremely long on the palate and with a long lingering aftertaste. Exceptional stuff. 97p.
2013 - significantly darker in color than 2014, sweeter, and with excellent acidity, which isn't as remarkable as 2014 maple syrup and citrus marmalade on the nose. Excellent in all departments but less riveting than in 2014. 95p.
2009 - powerful and intense nose of candied peaches, almonds covered with sugar, intense and rich, exotic, incredibly long finish. Just perfect. 99-100p.
Almost one week later, on Wednesday, the 1st of April, Yquem 2014 was presented at the Opera Grand Theatre in Bordeaux. This year Yquem decided not to serve another vintage. My impression of 2014 was the same as written above. Spectacular wine!
Excellent company at the Opera in Bordeaux under tasting of Yquem 2014. My wine journalist friend, Panos Kakaviatos, on the left, Panos' photographer, charming Ducloy Laure Marie, in the middle, and Eric Touchat of Vizioz Communication on the right
Jean-Pierre Meslier told me that 2014 at RL is an excellent vintage, on the line or better than 2011. Harvest lasted for over a month and ended on the 31st of October. As in many other places in the district, the acidity obtained was over 4, to be exact, 4.31 g/l. Tiny harvest here - 7 hl/ha
2014 - striking acidity and sweetness, botrytised flavors of peach, oranges, mango, citrus fruits, rich and refined, great complexity and structure, long honeyed finish. 95p.
2013 - more or less the same quality of ingredients as in 2014 but in a lighter version, 93+p.
2011 - almonds, candied oranges/orange peel, apricot, grapefruit, intense, great complexity and length. This wine is something! 95p.
2009 - almonds and grapefruit, great acidity, vibrant, complex, and excellent length. Refined and sophisticated. Exceptional wine. 96p.
2003 - simply a wonderful wine with great sweetness, acidity, exotic fruits, staggering richness, complexity, and a mega-long finish. 98-99p.
Harvest was done in 6 days between October 21st and 29th, and only six hl per ha was produced. Nicolas Heeter-Tari prepared, as always, a "little" vertical for my friends and me. He was delighted with the 2014 vintage.
2014 - packed with flavors of grapefruit and pineapple, great acidity, splendid balance, fine sweetness, and a long honeyed finish. Impressive for the vintage. 94p.
2012 - light wine with reasonable sweetness, acidity, and intensity. For early drinking. 90p.
2011 - strong with intense botrytised almonds, heather honey flavors, beautiful sweetness and acidity, and long finish. Excellent wine. 95p.
2010 - almonds and almonds are very much present on the nose and palate, with excellent sweetness and acidity and a long honeyed finish. 96p.
2009 - candied orange peel/mandarines, stunning acidity, depth, and length. Even richer and deeper than in 2010. 96+p.
2007 - another stunning vintage for the property here, very intense on the nose with peach and guava, citrus fruit, impressively composed. It was slightly outperformed by 2009.
2004 - aromatic, nuts and grilled flavors, mandarines, fine depth, and length. 92p.
1995 - brown sugar, candied mandarines, candied orange peel, flavors of dark honey, very good balance, and sweet aftertaste. 90p.
Quick visit. Not because my friends and I were in a big hurry. Disinterested host. And my initial request for wines to taste wasn't fulfilled. Disappointed; enough said.
2014 Respide Medeville white - freshness, citrus, acacia flower, lemon, apple, elegant, very good acidity, and structure. 90p.
2014 Respide Medeville red - fresh but with bitterness on the palate (from oak?), many flavors, nice bite, good length, and meaty aftertaste. 89p.
2014 d'Eyrins (Margaux) - freshness is there, but I'm not happy with the fruit here and tannin, which both didn't achieve full ripeness. 88p, and I'm maybe too gracious with this rating.
2014 Les Justices - strong acidity, petrol, pineapple, intense botrytised flavors, long honeyed finish. 92p.
1990 Gilette - very much almond in both nose and palate, heavy stuff, almost like concentrated honey, excellent sweetness supported by underlying acidity, finishes with a strong honey aftertaste. 96-97p.
Sauternes did exceptionally well in 2014; this vintage will probably exceed both 2013 and 2011 vintages. De Fargues confirmed that. We were received by Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces's son, Philippe de Lur Saluces, tasted 2014 and 2011 of de Fargues and went to see ongoing works to restore the castle of de Fargues.
2014 de Fargues - intense flavors of pineapple, mango, and peach, splendid acidity, rich and elegant, fine complexity, sweetness, and length, sophisticated and refined. Impressive. 95-96p.
2011 de Fargues - strong, candied orange peel, mandarines, excellent acidity and sweetness, long refined, and sophisticated. Simply fabulous. 95+p.
Wednesday the 25th of March
After surviving a few traffic jams without significant delays on the motorway from Saint Emilion to Saint Julien, we arrived on time at Leoville Poyferre and were received by smiling Anne Cuvelier. She was pleased with the 2014 wines here. Big thanks to her for being extremely generous with letting us taste 2010 and 2005 vintages.
2014 Le Crock Saint Estephe - creamy, spicy, nicely balanced, good bite and structure, and acidity and length. 90p.
2014 Moulin Riche - red fruit, well-constructed with nice tannin, well-balanced and gentle finish. 90-91p.
2014 Leoville Poyferre - well structured with a strong backbone, intense red fruit aromas on the nose, fine concentration on the palate, fine complexity and depth, and smooth aftertaste. 94p.
2011 Leoville Poyferre (58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc) - very aromatic with blueberries and blackberries, concentrated, well-balanced, fine structure and grip, meaty finish. 94p.
2010 Leoville Poyferre (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc) - fat fruit and tannin, perfectly ripe, spectacular depth, complexity and structure, great meaty finish. Exceptional stuff. 97p.
2005 Leoville Poyferre (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot) - fine aromatic nose of black fruit, fine fruit and tannin, velvety texture, chocolate, and cacao powder, smooth and lingering finish. Simply a delicacy. 95+p.
It was a very entertaining visit to the tasting room on this beautiful chateau's left side. There is ongoing modernization work of wine facilities inside the chateau and surroundings.
My Danish friends, Anne and Ivar Bjurner, accompanied me, and we were kindly received by Philippe Blanc, manager of Beychevelle since 1994 (see the picture above). After tasting 2014 wines, followed by 2013 and 2012 Beychevelle, we talked about the 2010 vintage, and within a minute, Philippe Blanc came with half a bottle of 2010 Beychevelle. When my friend Ivar asked Philippe Blanc to compare 2010 to 2009 vintage in words, he didn't hesitate and came with half a bottle of 2009 Beychevelle, telling us, "You can judge by yourself these two vintages!". Very generous guy, I have to admit that ;-).
I've always loved Beychevelle; its old vintages are staggering, and I witnessed that two days later during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier, where we were treated to a beautiful 1945 vintage of Beychevelle!
2014 Beaumont Haut Medoc - fine ripeness and sweetness of fruit, splendid balance, very good structure, depth, and aftertaste. Well made. 90p.
2014 Amiral de Beychevelle (57% Cabernet Sauvignon + 43% Merlot, 25% new oak) - round, fruity, silky fruit, and tannin, charming and seductive. 89p.
2014 Beychevelle (39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, 50% new oak) - did lose some Cabernet Sauvignon before the harvest due to grapes drying out. Very aromatic and velvety, with excellent acidity, full of blackberry fruit, pure elegance and finesse, a lot of style, and a long aftertaste. A sublime effort, and kudos to Philippe Blanc for creating this beauty! 94+p.
2013 Beychevelle - contains more than half of Cabernet Sauvignon. A lighter version of Beychevelle, charming, round, and elegant, a bit four-squared. 91p.
2012 Beychevelle - very aromatic, had more bite and structure than in 2013 and is a better wine. 92p.
2010 Beychevelle - aromatic, chocolate, cacao, fat fruit and tannin, sophisticated, refined, long, rich, and complex. Beauty wine and an extremely graceful one. 95p.
2009 Beychevelle (46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 5% of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot each) - more red fruit here than in 2010, well-knitted, meaty, tannin here tasted a bit dry. 93p.
Always an immense pleasure to visit one of my all-time favorites among Bordeaux wines. The view of the chateau, surroundings, and Gironde river is simply spectacular. The wine is stunning too!
In addition to 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2005 Montrose, we were treated with a vintage which got 100p from Robert Parker (on Friday evening some time ago) and was completely sold out from the chateau a few days later (Monday morning) and which I gave 99p recently. It was 2010 Montrose. A young woman working as a guide at Montrose, Marie, who tasted with us and I exchanged phone calls about vintages to taste before coming to Bordeaux, suddenly remembered that a VIP taster left an unfinished bottle of 2010 Montrose earlier in the morning. So she hurried up to bring it to us for tasting before someone else drank it. Thanks a lot, Marie!!
2014 Tronquoy Lalande - spicy with earthy flavors, packed with fruit, fleshy, very nice acidity and balance. 88p.
2014 La Dame de Montrose (37% of production, 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) - spicy fruit, meaty tannic, and with strong structure. Very reminiscent of its big brother but in a lighter version. 90p.
2014 Montrose (47% of production, 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot) - strong, chewy, splendid acidity, very tannic, full-bodied, packed with top-tuned fruit, long and remarkable finish which leaves you in no doubt about the quality of this wine. Fabulous stuff. 95p.
2012 Montrose - truffy, elegant, fine structure and depth, well-constructed and balanced. Impressive for the vintage. 93p.
2011 Montrose - more concentrated, deeper, richer, and with better fruit than 2012. Classy wine. 94p.
2010 Montrose - I can't simply resist thinking this wine is a modern version of 1990. Monster wine with its thick aroma of black fruit, enormous concentration, very strong backbone, perfectly ripe fat fruit, and fat tannin, stunning complexity and structure, and impeccable balance. Incredibly stylish wine and showing 100% what this vintage has to offer. Mind-boggling effort. 99p.
2005 Montrose - incredibly seductive nose of truffles and cocoa powder, strong backbone, powerful attitude, iron strong structure, wonderful balance, and mega long finish. This is a fantastic example of how exceptional this vintage is! Grace and sophisticated touch for all the money. 97p.
Between visits to Montrose and Calon Segur, we had enough time to visit this property. This is a reliable property producing stable wine, maybe less complex than wine from famous neighbors, but the price is affordable.
2014 - earthy, dark cherries, spicy, strong structure, and backbone, fleshy and with a long finish. Well-balanced. This is a splendid wine. 91-92p.
2012 - significantly lighter than 2014, with less ripe fruit and tannin. Round, soft, and charming. Will mature quickly. 87p.
2011 - resembles 2014 in a way, succulent, well-structured, and with a smooth fleshy finish. It lacks some power compared with 2014, but it's very well-made anyway. 90p.
This property gets better and better under excellent teamwork by Laurent Dufau (manager, left) and Vincent Millet (winemaker, right). 2014 here is just amazing.
2014 Capbern (previously Capbern Gasqueton, but new owners decided to remove Gasqueton from the label), 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, 60% new barrels, delighted with dark fruit and its splendid sweetness, fine structure, complexity, and length, and fine fruity finish. 90p.
2014 Marquis de Calon (64% Merlot + 36% Cabernet Sauvignon) was sappy, attractive, round, and with soft fruit and tannin. 88-89p.
2014 Calon Segur (66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 19% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, 100% new oak) hit the bull's eye. Strong, fat, intense blueberries and blackcurrants, tight with excellent structure, depth, and finish. It was different from a traditional style as it used to be during the Mme Gasqueton regime, but neither a modern style. 95p.
Denis Darriet, the owner, and his cellarmaster Xavier produced close to spectacular 2014 Seguin. Not as stunning as the 2010 version, but not far away either.
2014 Seguin - impressive nose of violets and black cherries/blueberries, splendid acidity, excellent structure, fine complexity, balance, and long finish. Excellent effort for the vintage. 93-94p.
2013 Seguin - quite lighter than 2014, and fruit plus tannin don't have the same ripeness. 91p.
2012 Seguin - aromatic, very fruity, very well-balanced, velvety texture. 91+p.
2011 Seguin - succulent, violets, fleshy, crisp fruit, great acidity, depth and length. Fine wine work. 93p.
2010 Seguin - fat fruit and tannin with perfect ripeness, rich, big structure, exquisite balance, and long, long finish. Best Seguin ever made. 95+p.
2012 Seguin Cuvée de la House - not distributed commercially. Better than regular cuvee in terms of concentration and length.
2012 L'Angelot de Seguin - pleasant, round, attractive wine, fruity and charming. 87p.
2009 L'Angelot de Seguin - more sweetness and better structure here than in 2012. Slightly jammy on the palate. 88p.
2010 Confidence(s) de Seguin - more concentrated and fatter wine than 2009. Tannin is riper here. Exceptional stuff. 96p.
2009 Confidence(s) de Seguin - this luxury cuvee, made from old vines, was more concentrated, deeper, and had a longer finish than the normal version (Seguin). Very impressive and stunning wine. 95+p
Thursday the 26th of March
It turned out to be an exciting visit, as I had hoped. Jonathan Maltus, an Englishman in Bordeaux, was in a fine mood that morning at his domicile, Chateau Teyssier in Vignonet (Saint-Etienne de Lise, providing my friends and me with a lot of information and some jokes as well. I've never met him before and only have known him from his participation in discussions at erobertparker.com. He is well-spoken and clever, knowing exactly what direction he and his wines go. For sure, his wines reflect his personality. See the picture of him below.
2014 Teyssier St.Emilion (70% Merlot + 30% Cabernet Franc) - aromatic, very good acidity, spicy fruit, silky tannin, good structure, and length. 90p.
2014 Laforge St.Emilion (92% Merlot + 8% Cabernet Franc, consists of 5 different parcels) - softer and more round wine than Teyssier, deliciously ripe fruit, round and seductive, smooth texture. Charming 89p.
2014 Le Carre St.Emilion (85% Merlot + 15% Cabernet Franc, 1 ha on top of St.Emilion village, just close to Clos Fourtet, thick clay + soft limestones) - black cherries, fine acidity, and backbone, well-knitted and well-balanced, very complex and with a long finish. Clever wine work here. 91-92p. Bought in 2004.
2014 Les Asteries St.Emilion (83% Merlot + 17% Cabernet Franc, 1 ha on top of St.Emilion village, between Canon, Belair-Monange, and Clos Fourtet, thin clay + hard limestones) - similar to Le Carre but has more acidity, more distinction, and more considerable complexity. 92p. Bought in 2005.
2014 Vieux Chateau Mazerat St.Emilion (65% Merlot + 35% Cabernet Franc, 3.2 ha, situated in Mazerat sector close to Angelus) - terroir shows greatly, elegant and refined wine, splendid complexity, silky fruit, and tannin. Excellent stuff. 94p. 2008 is the first vintage here.
2014 Le Dôme St.Emilion (80% Cabernet Franc + 20% Merlot, 3 ha, same site as Vieux Chateau Mazerat) - spicy and refined, Cabernet Franc shines through here giving strong backbone and flavors of licorice and vegetables (positively meant!!), silky fruit and tannin, velvety texture. Impressive wine. 93+p. The first vintage here was 1996.
Le Nardian white AOC Bordeaux (20% Semillon, 60% Sauvignon, and 20% Muscadelle) - lemon, acacia, apricot, and peach, very good acidity, finishes smoothly. 90p.
Once again, Francois Mitjavile succeeded in making impressive wines in 2014. This guy is a true magician. Harvest at Tertre Roteboeuf finished 15/10 and at Roc de Cambes 5 days later.
2014 Tertre Roteboeuf - fabulous aroma of black cherries, fabulous acidity, structure, length, complexity....well, everything is fabulous in this wine! 95+p.
2014 Roc de Cambes - strong, splendid structure and depth, harmonious, packed with spicy fruit and tannin. Fleshy aftertaste. Reminds me of the 2008 version. 92p.
2014 L'Aurage - this is a wine made by Louis Mitjavile, son of Francois, at his property in Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux. Black cherries, polished, silky tannin, velvety structure, seductive and tasty. Not bad at all. 90p.
2013 Tertre Roteboeuf - gracious, aromatic, dense, ripe fruit, and somewhat fresh. Impeccable winemaking. 93p
Handshake and thumbs up - Murielle and Jean-Luc Thunevin did a great job with 2014 wines!
2014 Domaine Virginie de Thunevin, St.Emilion - round, fruity, attractive wine, good acidity, balance, and finish. 88p
2014 Domaine des Sabines, Lalande de Pomerol - fleshy, ripe spicy fruit, very good structure, and length. 88p.
2014 Le Clos de Beau Pere, Pomerol - powerful, fleshy fruit and tannin, good backbone, good future. 89-90p.
2014 Bad Boy, Bordeaux - tasty ripe fruit, nicely composed, good grip. 88p.
2014 Virginie de Valandraud, St.Emilion - aromatic cherries, silky fruit and tannin, nice structure, delicate complexity, and fruity aftertaste. Nice wine for the vintage 90p.
2014 Clos Badon, St.Emilion - sappy and juicy, splendid acidity, strong backbone, quite complex with splendid length. Fleshy finish. 90p.
2014 Bel-Air Ouy, St.Emilion - similar to Virginie de Valandraud. 89p.
2014 Valandraud, St.Emilion - great nose and palate, excellent acidity and complexity, fabulous structure and depth. This is just so impressive wine! 95p.
We did also taste some other vintages of Virginie de Valandraud and Valandraud:
2012 Virginie de Valandraud - fruity, elegant, crisp, round, and very charming, nice length on the palate with a firm finish. To drink now. 87p.
2011 Virginie de Valandraud - spicier, more tannic, more structure, bigger depth, and longer than 2012. 89p.
2010 Virginie de Valandraud - strong, fatty, splendid intensity of ripe fruit and tannin. Very complex. 91-92p.
2012 Valandraud - powerful, concentrated, well-knitted, strong backbone, powerful tannin, long fleshy finish. Excellent for the vintage. 93-94p.
2011 Valandraud - better ripeness and more complexity here than in 2012. 95p.
2010 Valandraud - closed and showing little, but you feel an enormous potential hidden in this wine with perfectly ripe and fat fruit and tannin. 97p.
Arrived at the property and was welcomed by Emmanuel Boidron and his father, Jean-Nöel Boidron, a retired oenology teacher at University de Bordeaux. In addition to the 2014s, I tasted some other Corbin Michotte and Cantelauze vintages. I was told that a court ruling about the degradation of Corbin Michotte and the case against Syndicat Viticole (Hubert de Bouard) is expected to be announced in July 2015.
2014 Corbin Michotte had a fine aroma of grated dark chocolate and cacao powder, great complexity, elegant and tasty, velvety texture, and smooth finish. A fine effort for the vintage. 92p.
2014 Cantelauze tasted of perfectly ripe blueberries and crasse de fer; there was fine acidity, structure, fine complexity, and fleshy aftertaste. Fine effort here too. 92p.
2014 Calon (St. Georges Saint-Emilion) was elegant, round, attractive, and charming. 87p.
2012 Corbin Michotte had seductive, silky fruit, and velvety tannin, which was very attractive, round, and quite tasty. 90p.
2012 Cantelauze was truffy and had a chocolate and soil taste (crasse de fer), an elegant and seductive wine. Very enjoyable indeed. 90p.
2010 Corbin Michotte was delightfully strong and potent, yet in great balance, with lots of chocolate and cherries, fatty fruit, and tannin with perfect ripeness. A beautiful wine with so much character in the soil, and everything fitting in perfectly. 94p.
2005 Corbin Michotte had it all - very seductive and beautiful cherry nose, beautiful fruit on the palate, velvety, great complexity, structure, and length. A stunning wine, which at the moment has edged 2010! 95p.
2010 Cantelauze was fresh with great acidity, fat fruit and tannin, perfect ripeness, great depth, complexity, strong structure and harmony, and a long lingering finish. Fabulous wine. 94p.
2005 Cantelauze truffy, very complex, striking sweetness of fruit, greatly composed with fine length and lingering finish. 94p.
Domaine de Chevalier
First tasting of 2014s:
2014 Lespault Martillac (65% Merlot + 35% Cabernet Sauvignon) - well crafted with silky fruit and tannin, aromatic cherries, nice depth, and well-balanced. 89p.
2014 Domaine de Chevalier (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot) - fine acidity and splendid structure and balance plus finesse, splendidly rich and deep, long finish. 94p.
2014 Clos des Lunes Lune Blanche - aromatic with nice acidity, green apple, and acacia flower. 88p.
2014 Clos de Lunes Lune d'Argent - more complex, intense and with better structure than Lune Blanche. 89p.
2014 Clos de Lunes Lune d'Or - step up compared with Lune d'Argent, more of everything. 91p
2014 Lespault Martillac white - powerful, lot of acacia flower and green apple, splendid acidity, and long finish. 91p.
2014 Domaine de Chevalier white - classy, refined, sophisticated wine with stunning acidity and richness. Exceptional stuff. 96+p.
Then 2005 Domaine de Chevalier red - rich, subtle, and impeccably made wine. 94p.
During the following dinner (all wines had a vintage ending with 5), we were treated among other wines, with a very rare 1935 Lafite white, which was still alive (92p), 30 years old, and still kicking ass Domaine de Chevalier white from 1985, a stunning blast from the past in the form of 1945 Beychevelle (97p, see a picture of the bottle in a profile of this property), spectacular, truffy and utterly complex 1955 Ausone (97p), less concentrated but as impressive 1955 Latour and staggeringly rich 1955 Petrus (97p). Thanks a lot, Olivier!
Friday the 27th of March
VCC and Le Pin
Quick visit, no other vintages of VCC were offered to taste, and sad message that Jacques Thienpont (Le Pin) had yet to arrive, despite a confirmed appointment scheduled after VCC. I'm jealous of some of my colleagues, who, year after year, are treated with additional one or two vintages of VCC to taste. C'est la vie!
2014 VCC (80% Merlot + 19% Cabernet Franc + 1% Cabernet Sauvignon) - sappy, fine acidity and fine structure, great complexity and richness. 93-94p.
2014 Le Pin (almost 100% Merlot) - Very intense nose of black fruit, good acidity, well-defined and well-composed, with splendid structure and finish. Splendid wine, but imho it lacks a bit more depth and complexity, as you would have expected from a wine at this price level. 94p.
Monique and Ronan welcomed us with smiles and in an excellent mood. You felt very welcome. They told us about the 2014 vintage and the progress of new facilities built close to Bourgneuf.
2014 Clinet (90% Merlot + 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, 40 hl/ha, 60% new oak) was aromatic and sappy, had very nice acidity, fine structure, length, and complexity. Pretty wine with adequate concentration and is well-balanced. For me, it lacked depth and more nuances to mingle with big guns in the district. 91-92p.
2012 Ronan charmed all the way, round and very ready to be consumed now. 85p.
2012 Clinet displayed a nice aroma of cherries, medium body, perfect structure, and smooth finish. Certainly on the light side. 91p.
2011 Clinet was different from 2014, with less impressive acidity and ripeness. 91-92p
Frederique Vayron, Bourgneuf's winemaker, seemed to cope just fine with weather challenges in 2014, as she succeeded in great style to make an impressive wine. 85% Merlot + 15% Cabernet Franc resulted in succulent and stylish wine, intense black fruit and violets, fine acidity and structure, terroir taste (crasse de fer - iron dirt), and a long finish. 93-94p.
2012 Les Saisons de Bourgneuf (second wine), 95% Merlot + 5% Cabernet Franc, displayed freshness, red fruit, roundness, and charm. Ready to drink already. 86p.
2011 was meaty with splendid acidity, a lot of soil taste, strong structure, and fine complexity. Well-composed and stylish wine. 93p.
2010 impressed a lot with its powerful structure, strong backbone, fat black fruit and tannin, beautiful balance, and long finish. Best vintage ever for Bourgneuf. 95+p
Jacques Guinaudeau was delighted with his efforts in 2014 and said he could have ended with a bad vintage, but sunny and warm September and October saved it all. Even the significant rain (80 mm ) in September didn't cause considerable damage as water dashed away from the vineyards.
2014 Grand Village - potent with fine acidity, well-structured, and with good complexity. 90p.
2+14 G (Acte 6) - very fruity, spicy, fine acidity so typical for the vintage, splendid ripe fruit and ripe tannin, well-constructed and harmonious. 90-91p.
2014 Pensees de Lafleur - strong and full-bodied, sappy, mineral, well-composed, and with a long aftertaste. Splendid effort. 91p.
2014 Lafleur - fabulous ripeness, rich. Great complexity, quite dense, with strong structure, fat, and a fleshy long finish. Dream wine. 96+p
2011 Lafleur - same outstanding stuff, a bit less concentrated and slightly less rich. 96p.
2005 Lafleur - truffles, exquisite complexity and richness, exceptional structure and length, fantastic balance. It feels like this wine is pure silk from start to end. 100p.
2014 Grand Village white - grapefruit and pineapple, fresh, crisp, fine balance and acidity, well-defined and with smooth aftertaste. 91p.
2014 Les Champs Libres (white) - lemongrass and apple, complex and well-balanced, rich, and with a long aftertaste. Remarkable acidity as well. Impressive wine, 92p.
Anabelle Cruse Bardinet, Corbin's owner, said she'd nothing to complain about in 2014. She's got the max. out from the grapes thanks to beautiful, sunny, warm September and October.
2014 had seductive sweetness and elegance, finesse, and splendid acidity. Fresh and well-defined wine. Precise winemaking. 92p.
2012 was lighter and less compelling than 2014. More round and with a lot of charm and tasty fruit. 91p.
2011 reminded me greatly of 2014, but tannin here was dryer. Same concentration and complexity. 91-92p.
Denis Durantou, the magician winemaker at this highly regarded property, did make sublime wines in 2014. It's like he always manages to get out the best possible from the grapes, no matter how much and how far weather conditions challenge him!
2014 Saintayme St.Emilion (100% Merlot, 30% new oak) - cherry fruit, attractive, seductive, round, well-balanced, and smooth fruity finish. Big charmeur. Well made. 89p.
2014 La Chenade Lalande de Pomerol (80% Merlot + 20% Cabernet Franc, 30% new oak) - simply delicious, lot of black fruit, great sweetness of fruit and depth, sappy and complex, impressive ripeness of fruit and tannin, long fruity finish. Well-deserved 90-91p.
2014 La Petite Eglise Pomerol (100% Merlot, 50% new oak) - impressive sweetness of fruit and tannin, remarkable complexity, structure, and length. 91p. Second wine of L'Eglise Clinet.
2014 Montlandrie Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux (75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% new oak) - cherry fruit, attractive, same style as Saintayme. 89p.
2014 Les Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol (90% Merlot + 10% Cabernet Franc, 50% new oak) - a true copy of La Chenade with slightly more concentration. Impressive stuff. 91p.
2014 L'Eglise Clinet Pomerol (90% Merlot + 10% Cabernet Franc, 70% new barrels) - excellent ripeness and acidity, black cherries everywhere, powerful, deep, and stunningly rich. Bull's eye effort. 96+p.
It was a rather cold and rainy day when I visited this property. It seemed to me that wine here didn't stand the weather, tried to protect itself, and therefore put some "warm clothes" on. Too closed while tasted. 91-92+p? It could get a higher rating when retasted later this year.
The day ended with a sublime dinner with my friends at Les Belles Perdrix de Troplong Mondot. The surroundings are fantastic, the staff incredibly kind, and the food exceptional. We had a great evening with a lot of laughs. I'll return for lunch or dinner at this restaurant next time I come to Bordeaux. One of the dishes - see below!
Roasted Aveyron farm-lamb sweetbreads, creamy yolk and parsnip mash, light cep mushroom sabayon, melanosporum truffle, and comte. Fantastic dish!
Saturday the 28th of March
Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux
I am still determining what happened with the samples provided by members, but I experienced many old samples from barrel at this tasting. Therefore, I tasted less than 1/3 of the wines listed. Pity.
Wines that caught my attention - fresh, well-composed, and meaty Moulin Haut Laroque from Fronsac (88-89p), well-composed Villars with spicy black fruit from Fronsac (88p), elegant and fruity Siaurac from Lalande Pomerol (87p) and Thieuley (AOC Bordeaux) 86p
I learned about this property to know during a tasting in Copenhagen arranged by the French Embassy. While in Bordeaux, it was only natural to come over and visit this property in Taillans, Fronsac. It's neighbor to well-known property Fontenil. Isle River runs nearby, and locals say that storms from Bordeaux or Saint-Emilion stop by this river and don't go into Fronsac. Wines here are of splendid quality.
2014 Magondeau white - fresh, acacia, apple, and some citron grass, round, fine acidity, and a nice sweet finish. 86p.
2014 Magondeau rose - strawberries, raspberries, round and tasty. 85p.
2014 Magondeau red (aged in vats) - round, tasty, flowery, good structure, nice acidity, nice finish. 87p.
2014 Magondeau red Beau Site (partly aged in new oak) - spicy, oaky, strong and concentrated, well structured, firm finish. 88p.
We also tasted:
2013 Magondeau red (AOC Bordeaux because of young vines) - round, fruity and pleasant. 85p.
2012 Magondeau red - potent, strong, needs time to soften. 86p.
2012 Magondeau red Beau Site - not that different than normal cuvée. 86p.
2010 Magondeau red - significantly stronger, tighter, and denser than 2012. 88p.
2005 Magondeau red - plummy and rough on the nose, which indicates too late harvest? 86p.
2010 Magondeau red Beau Site - a typical scent of slightly burned fruit, otherwise round and charming. 86p.
2005 Magondeau red Beau Site - strong and well-structured with chocolate and cacao powder, lush fruit, and smooth fruity finish. Well-made. 89p.
The passion version of Magondeau is made from the best plots of the vineyard, 45 years old vines, vinified in 2/3 new oak barrels.
2012 - aromatic, evident alcohol, very good acidity. 88p.
2010 - more concentrated, better structure, and more complexity here than in 2012. 89p.
2005 - delicious, tastes more complete wine than 2010. 89-90p.
Sunday the 29th March
This day looked exciting with tasting and lunch at Le Gay and then tasting of Gerard Perse wines (among others, Pavie Decesse, Bellevue Mondotte, and Pavie) and following dinner at Hostellerie de Plaisance). At Le Gay, I tasted all 2014s from Henri Parent (Mme Pere-Verge's son) and had a little vertical of La Violette (2006-2013). Everything looked like a normal tasting day for me, but it soon changed to be an exciting one.
After the initial tasting, I was sitting by the table in Le Gay's living room, and out of nowhere, a blond, well-dressed lady sat beside me. She asked me in Danish - "I hear you're from Denmark; is it correct? Yes, I am, I answered". She told me she's from Denmark too but lives in Barcelona and has been coming to primeur campaign in Bx for the last ten years.
It was Marie von Ahm (pictured above) I met, a fascinating personality, totally in love with wine. Meeting her was undoubtedly one of the highlights of meeting interesting people during primeur in Bordeaux. She's a hard-working woman, managing several companies, making champagne and wine in Denmark and Mallorca, arranging seminars and tastings, traveling worldwide, and consulting wineries. She told me that after discovering at the age of 15, she could taste the difference between wines, she knew immediately that wine was her "walk of life". Her drive and passion remain still intact after 20 years with wine. Respect!
Now back to the main issue of the day - wines! The 2014s were impressive.
2014 La Graviere (Lalande de Pomerol) - well-defined, fruity, very good acidity, well-structured, and with a taste of the soil. 90p.
2014 Montviel - nicely constructed, good fruit intensity, balance, tasty and smooth finish. 89p.
2014 Manoir de Gay was a well-made, delicate black fruit with a very good structure and fruity finish. 89p.
2014 Le Gay - aromatic nose of black fruit, stylish, splendidly structured, silky fruit and tannin, splendid depth and length. 93-94p.
2014 La Violette - same ingredients as Le Gay, tasted surprisingly lighter. Elegant wine, 92-93p
Then vertical of La Violette.
2006 La Violette - truffy, raspberries, elegant and refined, splendid balance. 92p.
2007 La Violette - same style as 2006 but less concentrated. 91p.
2008 La Violette - splendid concentration and depth, ripe fruit, great complexity and structure, stylish and terroir. 95p.
2009 La Violette - potent and strong, packed with ripe fruit and tannin, very complex and rich. Impressive. 96p.
2010 La Violette - fat fruit and tannin, bigger depth, complexity, and concentration than in 2009. This is an utterly expressive wine. 97p.
2011 La Violette - not unlike 2008, same style and quality. 94p.
2012 La Violette - silky, fruity, aromatic, elegant with finesse. 93p.
Wines from Gerard Perse's portfolio tasted at Hostellerie de Plaisance
The majority of wines showed excellently without a lot of extraction and overdone vinification.
L'Esprit de Pavie (AOC Bordeaux) - aromatic and pleasant approach, nice tasty fruit, harmonious. 87p.
Angelique de Monbousquet (second wine) - round, soft fruit and tannin, tasty and charming. 86p.
Aromes de Pavie (the second wine of Pavie) was round, juicy, and fruity with velvety tannin and a fruity aftertaste. 88p.
Lusseau - light, round, and with soft fruit. 86p.
Monbousquet - fleshy and chewy, ripe fruit, strong structure, fine depth, and length, fruity and smooth finish. 90p.
Clos Lunelles, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux - gentle extraction, strong tannin, spicy fruit, well-structured, fine length. 89p.
Bellevue Mondotte - dark fruit, some tasteable extraction here but very well complimented by sweet ripe fruit and as ripe tannin, excellent complexity, and structure. Impeccably made. 94-95p.
Pavie Decesse - similar to Bellevue Mondotte, slightly less concentrated. 94p.
Pavie - a lot of power, excellent fruit on the nose and palate, succulent and vibrant fruit, excellent complexity and backbone. Rich and lush. Long fat finish. Who said over-extracted wine - zero of this here! This is just stunning wine and highly impressive! 95-96p.
Monbousquet white - fresh, very good acidity, intense flavours of acacia flower and green apple. Well-constructed and with a very nice crisp finish. 89p
Monday the 30th of March
UGCB tasting of red and white wines from Graves/Pessac-Leognan at Malartic Lagraviere (blind)
One of the most successful appellations in 2014 vintage, with some stunning reds and even better whites. A big surprise for me was Larrivet Haut Brion, which made excellent red and fabulous white in 2014. The lowest rating was 89p in reds and 89-90 in whites.
My cherry picks in reds: Domaine de Chevalier (94p) with fine acidity and splendid structure and balance + finesse, very seductive Larrivet Haut Brion and Pape Clement (93p) with a strikingly aromatic nose and remarkable complexity, Ferrande (92-93p) showing splendid acidity, fine intensity, and silky fruit/tannin, Smith Haut Lafitte (92-93p) also showing big concentration, elegance and long aftertaste, pretty aromatic and well-composed Carbonnieux, de Fieuzal, de France and La Louviere (all rated 92p) and as lovely Bouscaut and Les Carmes Haut Brion (91-92p).
My cherry picks in whites: classy, refined, and sophisticated Domine de Chevalier (96+), big surprise Larrivet Haut Brion (94-95p) with stunning complexity, richness, and acidity, refined de Fieuzal (93+p) with a sophisticated touch, similarly impressive de France (93+p), La Louviere, Latour Martillac, Pape Clement and Smith Haut Lafitte (all rated 93p) with great acidity, splendid structure, and delicate complexity, pretty intense and with excellent acidity Carbonnieux, Ferrande and Malartic Lagraviere (all rated 92-93p), refined, well-defined and well-structured Bouscaut (92+p) and crispy and "well-acidified" Olivier (91-92p) and Rahoul (91+p).
As usual, tasting of several lots and blends, and it's always exciting to taste these. Several vintages of Cyprés and Grand Vin treated us. Thanks for that! It underlined the fantastic ability of Climens to make some heavenly wines. 2014 is a shining star here.
2013 Cypres de Climens had a fine nose and taste of grapefruit, good intensity of botrytised flavors, and very good acidity and sweetness. Honeyed finish. 89p.
2012 Cypres de Climens - a lighter version of 2013. 88p.
2014 Climens - exceptional promises, fabulous acidity, richness, and sweetness. 96-97p.
2013 Climens - great intensity of botrytised flavours, great acidity, rich sophisticated, very long finish. 95p
2012 Climens - light texture, finesse, very nice acidity and sweetness, some richness, elegance, and with nice and slightly short aftertaste. 93p.
2011 Climens - potent, with great acidity and minerality, intense botrytised flavours of orange peel and honey melon, sophisticated touch, richness, and great length. Awesome effort. 96+p.
2010 Climens - entertained with incredibly intense flavours of acacia honey, honey, melon, orange peel, sophisticated touch, the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, stunning complexity, and mega long aftertaste. 99-100p.
2009 Climens was a twin sister of 2010, slightly spicier on the palate, as mind-boggling. 99-100p.
UGCB tasting of Sauternes & Barsac in vintage 2014 at Sigalas Rabaud (blind) - weather conditions allowed first during "Indian summer" in September and October 2014 to make excellent vintage in Bordeaux' sweet district. 2014 is in line with the successful 2011 and can, with time, exceed it significantly. Twenty-three wines were tasted.
My cherry picks were: de Fargues (95-96p), very intense and powerful wine with splendid botrytis, acidity, and length; powerful Rieussec (94+p) with great intensity, complexity, and sweetness, delicious (Nairac (94p) with great acidity, complexity and lot of botrytised flavors, a large group of excellent wines with great complexity, acidity and sweetness like Clos Haut Peyraguey, Coutet, Guiraud, Lafaurie Peyraguey, Suduiraut, and La Tour Blanche, all rated 93-94p.
Doisy Daene rated 93+p with the intense flavor of grapefruit and apricot, powerful and long on the palate, fine botrytis and long finish, de Malle, Rayne Vigneau, and Sigalas Rabaud just a notch behind with slightly less intensity of botrytised flavors but still rich and complex, all rated 93p, then Filhot and Rabaud Promis which displayed fine minerality, acidity, and sweetness, both rated 92-93p. Then followed rich and well-defined de Myrat (92+p) and as so splendid Bastor Lamontagne, Broustet, and Doisy Vedrines (all rated 92p).
There wasn't a single bad wine out of the 23 I tasted.
Tuesday the 31st March
UGCB tasting of Medoc, Listrac, Moulis, and Margaux in vintage 2014 at Rauzan Gassies (blind)
Colorful setup of wines to taste at Rauzan Gassies
Wines here suffered a little compared to other communes like f.i. Pauillac and St.Julien. Saying that, lesser wines did exceptionally well.
Only one wine from Medoc, La Tour de By, was well-made and with a very good structure, 89p.
In Listrac, I liked Clarke and Fourcas Dupre (rated 90p); in Moulis, my cherry picks were Maucaillou and Poujeaux (rated 90p).
In Margaux, I liked the best potent and complex Brane Cantenac and Rauzan Segla (93p to both), aromatic and well-defined Giscours (92-93p), well-made Prieure Lichine (92p), powerfully structured and intense Dauzac and Ferriere (both rated 91-92p)
We were included in a large group of people, and it was Paul Pontalier's son Thibault, who explained about 2014. 2014 vintage here was produced in the newly built cellars. Also, here the two perfect months of "Indian summer" made everybody happy at the property.
2014 Pavillon Rouge tasted strong and meaty with fine bite, grip, acidity, balance, and firm aftertaste. 91-92p.
2014 Margaux (36% of the harvest, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot) was strong, oaky, fresh, and peppery. Clearly to see that Cabernet Sauvignon ruled here. Very deep and with a stunning finish. It will take years and years for this wine to mature. 95-96p.
2014 Pavillon Blanc displayed a splendid aroma of acacia flower, lemon, and green apple, with great acidity and intensity, harmonious and with a long aftertaste. Very impressive wine indeed. 93+p.
Like everyone in Bordeaux, Palmer was blessed by perfect weather conditions in 2014, which allowed us to produce truly remarkable wines here. This property has worked with its biodynamic approach for several years and was trying to reduce the sulfur level in its wines. During harvest in 2014, it was decided not to add any sulfur to grapes. They are sure at Palmer that this biodynamic approach has resulted in wines getting better expression of themselves in 2014.
2014 Alter Ego (52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot) displayed intense spicy fruit, splendid acidity, fleshy tannin, structure, depth, and long meaty finish. 92p.
2014 Palmer (45% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot) was a big and fleshy wine with great richness, high acidity, strong backbone, depth, and a long, long finish. At the same time, it was a powerful and elegant wine with a sophisticated touch. Among the top wines in this vintage. 96p.
2014 Pauillac - fruity, silky fruit and tannin, good ripeness and balance. 89p.
2014 Les Forts de Latour - more of everything than in Pauillac, fine acidity and structure, persistent finish. 91p.
2014 Latour - more elegant than powerful, nose better than palate at the moment, velvety fruit and tannin, rich, smooth aftertaste. Up to 1.Growth standard. 95+p.
2011 Pauillac - aromatic, very good fruit intensity, balance, and length. 89p.
2008 Les Forts de Latour - displayed a fine spicy nose of blackcurrants, fine acidity, strong structure, and firm aftertaste. Superb effort. 91p.
2003 Latour - this wine is beginning to show its age, truffy with a plummy character. 94p.
Charles Chevallier was delighted with the 2014 vintage; He told us that Haut Medoc avoided massive rain in September, which fell over Pomerol, giving 80 mm in one day.
2014 Carruaders de Lafite (58% Cabernet Sauvignon + 42% Merlot) - silky fruit and tannin, fleshy, strong backbone, very good finish. 90-91p.
2014 Duhart Milon splendid acidity, fruity, precise and complex, crisp finish. 91p.
2014 Lafite Rothschild (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc) - closed and oaky, but there are enough ingredients to make this wine staggering. 95+p.
2014 - very stylish and refined wine, velvety fruit and tannin, extremely well-constructed, long and meaty aftertaste. 94+p.
Ghislaine Pages (left) and Patrice Pages (right)
While traveling between different places of tastings organized by Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, we were accommodated at Fourcas Dupré in Listrac. This property has 46 ha of "red" vines in one block, planted with 44% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Vines are, on average, 30 years old. The property is run by two Pages brothers, Ghislain who does the commercial things marketing and sale) and Patrice, who makes the wine.
Fourcas Duprée is stable wine, worth its appellation, but not reaching heights of classified growths in Haut Medoc. The 2014 vintage here was quite successful, and I rated it 90p (see UGCB tasting at Rauzan Gassies). We tasted some other wines at the property:
2009 red - truffles, good structure, a bit jammy fruit, acidity is very present, needs some time to mature. 89p.
2000 red (magnum) - earthy flavors, intense, very good structure and length. 90p.
1970 red - evident soil character, still going strong, well-constructed, and with firm aftertaste. A clear proof that Fourcas Dupré can age just fine. 90p.
Wednesday the 1st of April
Philippe Dhalluin has been responsible for producing probably the best 1.Growth wine in 2014. Awesome wine.
2014 D'Armailhac - meaty, classic stuff with tobacco and mint, well-defined, fine structure, and fine finish. 89p.
2014 Clerc Milon - more acidity and more depth here compared to d'Armailhac. Well-made. 90p.
2014 Le Petite Mouton - also well-made with very good acidity, strong backbone, and firm finish. 91p.
2014 Mouton Rothschild - classic, refined and sophisticated, rich, pure elegance and finesse, velvety fruit and tannin, impressive and persistent finish. Exceptional stuff. 96+p.
2014 Aile d'Argent (white Mouton Rothschild) - great acidity, acacia flower, apricot, intense and rich, smooth aftertaste. 92p.
UGCB tasting of Haut Medoc, St.Julien, Pauillac, and St.Estephe in vintage 2014 at Phelan Segur (blind)
Beautifully situated Phelan Segur
Thirty-two wines to taste and an exciting overview of how these four appellations fared.
In Haut Medoc, I liked the best well-structured, potent, and well-balanced Coufran and La Tour Carnet (both rated 90p), aromatic, fruity, and well-constructed Citran (89-90) and as pretty Beaumont, Camensac, and Cantemerle, all three getting 89p.
In St.Julien, my favorites were the stunning Beychevelle (94+p), as impressive Leoville Poyferre (94p), strong, oaky, and well-packed with fruit Leoville Barton (93-94p), chocolaty. lush and utterly impressive Branaire Ducru (at last!) 93+p, powerful and equipped with strong backbone Gruaud Larose (93+p), cherry Gloria and St.Pierre (both rated 92+p) with splendid acidity and depth, and greatly made Langoa Barton and Talbot (rated 92p both) with silky fruit and tannin put in velvety structure. Incredibly strong showing from this commune, as all wines tasted did beautifully!
In Pauillac I liked the most powerful Grand Puy Lacoste (93p), fruity and silky Lynch Bages (92+p), well-composed and complex Grand Puy Ducasse) 92p, then aromatic and well-defined d'Armailhac plus Batailley (91p.
Finally, in St.Estephe, it was very complex, fruity, and deep Cos Labory (92+p), well-structured and possessing strong backbone Lafon Rochet (92p) and fleshy Phelan Segur (91-92p), which caught my attention.
2014 Pibran - fresh and fruity (70% Merlot here), succulent, nicely composed, good acidity, smooth fruity finish. 88p.
2014 Les Tourelles de Longueville - a special selection of plots. Well-structured, fruity, velvety texture and fruity aftertaste. 88p.
2914 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron (new second wine of Pichon Baron) - more power, better structure, and longer finish than LTdL. 89p.
2014 Pichon Baron - modern style, very oaky, powerful and concentrated, splendid future. 93p.
2014 Petit Village - potent, fruity, crisp, well-structured, firm aftertaste. 90+p.
I like wines produced here, so I return to taste new vintage and recent ones every year. Both Caroline Frey and Maylis de Laborderie (cellarmaster at La Lagune since September 2013) were delighted with 2014, and the latter acknowledged with a smile that 2014 was easier to make than 2013, despite not-so-advantageous weather conditions in the first eight months of 2014. This property is grossly undervalued and doesn't receive the accolade from the wine critics it deserves.
Caroline Frey, La Lagunes' proprietor
I like wines produced here, so I return to taste new vintage and recent ones every year. Both Caroline Frey and Maylis de Laborderie (cellarmaster at La Lagune since September 2013) were delighted with 2014, and the latter acknowledged with a smile that 2014 was easier to make than 2013, despite not-so-advantageous weather conditions in the first eight months of 2014. This property is grossly undervalued and doesn't receive the accolade from the wine critics it deserves.
2014 - splendid acidity, freshness, precise, enchanting sweetness, balance, long fruity aftertaste. A lot of style here, and this wine is a great success for the vintage. 93p.
2013 - seems like a big success for the vintage, succulent, well-balanced, velvety fruit and tannin; elegant with finesse, it is light-footed but compensates for it with charm and a seductive approach. 91p.
2012 - compared with 2013, you get bigger intensity, concentration, and structure than in 2013. Fine acidity and complexity, long aftertaste. 92p.
2011 - oaky with splendid acidity, similar to 2014. 92-93p.
Thursday, the 2nd of April
It takes a lot of work to assess Cheval Blanc from the barrel. I've experienced in several vintages that this wine tastes light and doesn't show all its qualities. It'll not be a problem with 2014, as it drives at medium cylinders already. 2014 Cheval Blanc is neither close to 2010 nor 2009 and's similar to 2011.
2014 Quinault L'Enclos (69% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon) - nice freshness, very good acidity, smooth finish. 88p.
2014 Le Petit Cheval - elegant, silky tannin, nicely composed, good structure, and smooth finish. 89p.
2014 Cheval Blanc - succulent and refined, complex, well-constructed with great depth, length, and smooth and fleshy finish. 95+p.
UGCB tasting of Pomerol and Saint Emilion at Franc Mayne (blind)
Not an excellent showing but neither a bad one, merely something in between. My cherry picks:
Pomerol - well-defined and well-structured Clinet (91-92p), attractive and well-made La Cabanne (91p), and potent plus fruity Petit Village (90+p). Question mark - Bon Pasteur (89-91+p?).
Saint-Emilion - powerful and packed with concentrated fruit+ tannin Troplong Mondot (92-93p), well-made Larcis Ducasse and Pavie Macquin (rated both 92p), elegant Canon (91-92p) and aromatic, seductive and complex Franc Mayne (91-92p), cherry and seductive Balestard La Tonnelle (91p), as cherry La Couspaude (91p) and La Dominique (91p) with splendid freshness and acidity.
2014 D'Aiguilhe - sappy, fruity, ripe tannin, firm aftertaste. 87p.
2014 Clos de L'Oratoire - oaky, strong tannin, fruit intensity, good length, and firm aftertaste. 88p.
2014 Canon La Gaffeliere was well-structured, well-crafted, intense, and long. I missed here a bit of focus and personality. 90p.
2014 La Mondotte - niveau up compared to CLG, more focus, concentration, depth, and length. 92-93p.
I didn't speak to Alain Vauthier during my visit as some VIP visitors occupied him. Kindly remind him that we met 30 years ago in the same place. Time goes by.
2014 Simard - a lot of oak but fruit, well-structured, firm finish. 88p.
2014 Fonbel - rounder, otherwise similar to Simard. 88p.
2014 Haut Simard - good concentration of dark fruit, strong structure, and firm finish. 88+p.
2014 Moulin St.Georges - more complex than Haut Simard, strong backbone, lush and crisp fruit, well-balanced. 89p.
2014 La Clotte (St.Emilion) - a new addition to the portfolio of the Vauthier family. Similar to Haut Simard. 88p.
2014 Chapelle d'Ausone - well-structured, quite complex, crisp ripe fruit, intense black fruit, and corresponding fine tannin. Smooth and fruity finish. 90p.
2014 Ausone - packed with sweet fruit and oak, very concentrated, complex, and great length. Excellent complexity and structure. Fabulous stuff. 95+p.
Jean-Philippe Janoueix keeps doing a great job with his wines. As I've said before, he's taking no prisoners with his approach to winemaking. You never get tired, musty, unbalanced, and edgy wines from him, and I don't understand why he doesn't get more accolades from wine critics for his efforts. His 2014s are just fresh and delicate. Intelligent wine work all the way.
2014 Croix Mouton - fresh and fruity, tasty, very good structure. 88p.
2014 Cap St. Georges - fresh, well-balanced, well-defined fruit and tannin, nice structure. 88p. First vintage for Jean-Philippe Janouiex - the vineyard was purchased last year (2014).
2014 20 Mille - cherry fruit, well-balanced, seductive, tasty, fleshy aftertaste. 89-90p.
2014 Sacre Coeur - focused, packed with black cherries, velvety tannin, fine complexity, and fruity finish. 92p.
2014 La Croix St.Georges - intense cherry nose, succulent and silky fruit, velvety tannin, well-structured, strong backbone, and splendid length. 93p.
2014 La Confession - powerful, sweet fruit intermixed with ripe tannin, strong structure, and splendid complexity. Long lingering finish. 93-94p.
2014 was harvested between 23rd September and 4th October, yielding only 30 hl/ha. Olivier Berrouet was extremely satisfied with the outcome caused by outstanding weather conditions in September.
2014 - fabulous wine with freshness, complex and stunning richness, excellent structure, and an awesomely long finish. Among the best wines of the vintage, if not the best one, that's for sure. 97p.
Friday the 3rd of April
I met Karl Todeschini, or Todeschini Karl, last year at Tertre Roteboeuf, and he invited me to come over to the residence of the Todeschini family, Chateau Mangot. Niko Dukan and I arrived there in the morning. It's beautifully situated between hills in commune Saint-Etienne-de Lisse (part of Saint-Emilion AOC) well outside Saint Emilion town. The Todeschini brothers seem to know precisely in which direction their wines should go. They made really good wines in 2014.
2014 La Brande, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux - 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, 15% new oak, and 38 years old vines. Elegant and fruity, silky fruit and tannin, well balanced, smooth aftertaste. Seductive stuff. 87-88p.
2014 Mangot - 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13-15% new oak, 40 years old vines - Spicy and very fruity, silky fruit and tannin, quite intense and well-defined, fine acidity and splendid complexity, fine smooth aftertaste. Well-made. 91p.
2014 Mangot Todeschini - 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, 100% new oak, 35-50 years old vines, pre-fermentation in barrels at 5 degrees Celsius, malolactic fermentation in new barrels. Succulent with splendid complexity, depth, and fine length, well-structured and balanced. Intelligent winemaking. 91+p.
2014 vintage is the last one Jean-Michel Laporte, manager of the property since 2004, had been involved in. Unfortunately, there was disagreement between Jean-Michel Laporte and Nicolas's family about who represented La Conseillante in the media. He will leave La Conseillante at the end of June 2015 but can be more than proud of his achievements in the 2014 vintage. Both second wine and Grand Vin are marked by very high acidity (3.80 g/l), meaning long life.
2014 Duo de Conseillante (12% of the harvest, 90% Merlot + 10% Cabernet Franc, 65% new barrels) had an aroma of black cherries and violets, silky fruit, and tannin, was elegant and round with fine fruity aftertaste. 89p.
2014 La Conseillante (88% of the harvest, 78% Merlot + 22% Cabernet Franc, 75% new barrels) greatly impressed with its sophisticated touch, richness, delicious elegance, and finesse. Fruit and tannin were dressed in silk. Very, very stylish wine. 94p.
Last visit of my trip, and 2014 wines were well-made.
2014 Puygueraud, Francs, Cotes de Bordeaux - cherry nose, silky fruit, tannin, excellent acidity and structure, smooth fruity finish. 89p.
2014 La Prade, Francs, Cotes de Bordeaux - lighter than Puygueraud, less fruity, nice intensity and finish. 88p.
2014 Alcée, Castillon, Cotes de Bordeaux - very good acidity, sappy, round, fruity, velvety texture. Well made. 89p.
2014 Trimoulet, St.Emilion - earthy, spicy flavors, aggressive tannin, good structure, and firm finish. 87p.
2014 Berliquet, St.Emilion - quite aromatic, silky fruit and tannin, fine acidity, structure and depth, fat fruity finish. 89-90p.
2014 Larcis Ducasse, St.Emilion - same style as Berliquet, just more concentrated and richer. 92p.
2014 Beausejour, St.Emilion - very complex, well-defined, precise, well-constructed, with great acidity and a long finish. 92-93p.
2014 Pavie Macquin, St.Emilion - similar to Larcis Ducasse. 92p.
2014 Puygueraud white, Francs, Cotes de Bordeaux - splendid acidity, citron grass, acacia flower, fresh and vibrant, finishes fruity and smooth. 90p.
2014 Les Charmes Godard, Francs, Cotes de Bordeaux - more intense and complex here than Puygueraud. 91p.