After two weeks in Bordeaux from mid-April and doing extensive tastings of 300+ wines in vintage 2021, I realized the hard way that this vintage wasn't that easy to assess, given the circumstances of its creation. Bad weather, rain, frost, mildew, you name it.

Despite the significant challenges to winegrowers' decision-making, patience, and mood, 2021 produced many lovely, fresh, and aromatic wines. They're seductively flowery wines with flavors of red fruit and roses, with soft and ripe tannin. The best have splendid aromatic profiles, complexity, and structure. However, I didn't find any outstanding, legendary candidates with three-digit scores among the tasted barrel samples.

The best wines are great, some magically put together, but in my honest opinion, they are a little bit hollow on mid-palate and lack more depth and length than vintages 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Therefore I think 2021 is no match for the previous vintages. Generally, the wines are lighter in expression but fresh and elegant. Tannins are ripe, yes, but soft. There are lovely wines in all appellations, but you'll also find overdone wines showing over-extracted and not ripe tannin because of grapes harvested too early. 2021 is a heterogenous vintage, and you must seek after wines you like. However, it's not a vintage to everybody's taste.

There are voices from wine people in Bordeaux and several wine critics that 2021 is a return to wine style like it was in the 1980s and 1990s. It's probably a correct assessment, but at that time, wine technology wasn't as advanced as today. The 2021 vintage wouldn't end as a good one without it.

It wasn't an easy vintage for the winegrowers, with a lot of rain, frost, and mildew during the growing season. To all luck, splendid weather in October saved the vintage allowing grapes to ripen perfectly, especially Cabernets and Petit Verdot. Merlot wasn't so lucky and lacked voluptuousness.

Many properties decreased the amount in the blend and used significantly more Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot to give a more robust backbone and better structure. 

A weather forecast by France Meteo at the beginning of October predicted a deluge (app. 60 mm rain) over the whole of Bordeaux, and it turned out to be the wrong one. Luckily, this deluge moved approximately 150 km up north and hit the Cognac area instead. Those who didn't panic and harvested after the danger was over did end with perfectly ripe Cabernets and Petit Verdot.

Yields were in some places up to 20% down compared to recent vintages because of coulure, frost, and mildew.

Alcohol levels in 2021 were down to around 13%, meaning 1-1.5% lower than the previous three vintages. It'll undoubtedly make wine freaks happy, especially those who aren't in love with the high alcohol in Bordeaux wines.

Many properties did so-called "bleeding" (saignée) to have an appropriate ratio between must and juice in the vats. Several properties, even the classified ones, did chaptalize their wines from 0.5 to 1%.

2021 is truly a winemaker's vintage. The wise and talented ones assured great attention to how to take care of the problems in the vineyard, when to harvest, gentle extraction, and less oak. It gave them a big reward in the end with splendidly crafted wines. Others felt the heat, and their grapes weren't ripe in terms of phenolic ripeness and underwent too much extraction, resulting in green flavors and dry tannins. 

In my honest opinion, 2021 in red touches quality-wise 2017 vintage, is reminiscent of 2014 in some way, and has the fruitiness and softness of the 2012 vintage. Probably it'll be a very beneficial vintage for the restaurants due to the early drinkability of these wines, but they will easily keep for several decades.

White wines, dry and sweet, are imho, in 2021, as fine as 2019 and even 2017. You can easily compare 2021 to 2001 and 2002, which have splendid acidity, fine structure, and sufficient length for dry whites. Sweet whites have an extensive palette of aromas, superb acidity, fine intensity of flavors, and delicate sweetness. The yields were, however, low.

One very significant factor has been the price. The opening prices for 2021 were more or less the same as for 2020, one year ago. With the trio of excellent vintages like 2020, 2019, and 2018, there is imho no reason to invest heavily in 2021, for prices won't rise drastically over the next few years. However, not everybody in Bordeaux made average yields, so if you like the style of 2021, you buy the highly acclaimed wines.

I tasted all the important wines except Ausone, Ducru Beaucaillou, Figeac, Latour, Leoville Lascases, Pontet Canet, and Troplong Mondot. The reason was a tight schedule and insufficient time to stay in Bordeaux.

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On my arrival to Bordeaux - the sun was going down - seen from La Confession in Saint-Emilion.

WINES BY COMMUNE/DISTRICT:

I tasted all the wines mentioned here with labels visible - no blind tastings.

BORDEAUX, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR AND VIN DE TABLE

Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux - 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp intensity of green apples, citrus, and lemongrass well matched big minerality and acidity. Vibrant with tension and complexity. Impressive effort. 94p.

Aile d'Argent - white wine from Mouton Rothschild. Dried apricots, citrus, pear, bright acidity, crisp, vibrant, savory, complex, and lingering aftertaste. Superb effort. 93-94p.

Cos d'Estournel white - 71% S. Blanc + 29% Semillon. Fresh, citrus, apricots, pineapple, crisp, bright acidity, lively and lingering finish. Delightful effort. 93-94p

Valandraud - a myriad of aromas like f.i. Acacia flower, peaches, pineapple, and mango, vibrant, multi-faceted, splendid complexity and acidity, fresh aftertaste. Superb effort. 93-94p.

Les Champs Libres - 100% Sauvignons - exotic flavors, pear and grapefruit, crisp and fresh on the palate, fine acidity, vibrant, well-structured, lingering finish. Delightful wine and a perfect seafood companion. 93p.

Nardian - 70% S. Blanc, 20% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle. A strong aroma of grapefruit and green apples, citrus, zesty, complex, crisp, bright acidity and length. Fresh aftertaste. Impressive effort. 93p.

Pagodes de Cos white - 85% S. Blanc + 15% Semillon. Very grapefruity, acacia flower, citrus, crisp, acidity, refreshing lemony finish. Lovely second wine of white Cos d'Estournel. 92p.

Virginie de Valandraud white - it's the second label of white Valandraud. 50% Semillon + 40% Sauvignon Blanc + 10% Sauvignon Gris. It was full of freshness and vivacity, aromas of pineapple and grapefruit, fine acidity, and well-composed on the palate with a lingering fruity finish. 92p.

Les Perrieres de Lafleur - 62% de Bouchet + 38% Merlot. Aromatic, fragrant roses and raspberries, rich, grained tannin, fine backbone, structure, and length. Delicious effort. 92p

Grand Village white - 73% Sauvignons + 27% Semillon. Freshly cut pineapple, green apple, and lemongrass, crispiness, fine acidity to complement fresh fruit, tasty, lovely finish. Fine effort for the vintage. 91-92p

Grand Village - 75% Merlot + 25% de Bouchet (C. Franc). Fragrant roses and crushed morello cherries, delicate and fresh, with a touch of minerality, velvety tannin, and lovely structure. Sleek aftertaste. 90-91p.

Clos de Beau Pere white - 100% Sauvignon (Gris and Blanc). It's the first vintage in white of this wine. It'd an aroma of pineapple, green apple, lemon grass, bright acidity, fresh and crispy on the palate, and a lovely aftertaste. Nice start! 90p.

Domaine de Cambes - this is a part of Roc de Cambes vineyard, located closest to the banks of the Gironde river. Fresh roses, morello cherries, delicate fruit, soft tannin, smooth on the palate, and caressing aftertaste. 88p.

Bad Boy Chardonnay (VDT) - fresh with the aroma of melted butter, round and pleasant, tasty, nice fruity finish. Straightforward and already drinkable. 86-87p.

Bad Boy Syrah (VDT) - revealed the typical rich aroma of Syrah, vigorous, tasty, pleasant, and charming. Lovely to drink now. 86-87p.

Lafont Fourcat - flowery, pleasant, round, and tasty. On the light side. Acceptable. 86p.

Sainte Marie – flowery nose, juicy, nice acidity, polished, fresh aftertaste. 85-86p.

De Reignac – subtle fruity nose, polished on the palate with well-integrated tannin. Soft texture. Pleasant. 85-86p.

CADILLAC COTES DE BORDEAUX

Reaut – lovely nose of redcurrants, some violets, sappy, nice acidity, and intensity, lively, soft fruit, polished tannin. Smooth fruity aftertaste. Nice effort. 87p.

SAUTERNES & BARSAC

Suduiraut - potent, acacia honey, melon, mango, great complexity, structure and length on the palate, striking acidity, and sweetness make a great pair. Vibrant, refined, and sophisticated. Fabulous stuff. 96p.

De Fargues - had a great intensity of botrytised flavors like heather honey, apricot, and orange peel, acidity complementing perfectly the sweet fruit, Excellent complexity, richness, and length. It was sophisticated and refined. Luxurious finish. Great effort. 95-96p.

Lafaurie Peyraguey - intense aromas of sweet oranges, guava, and honey potent, bright acidity, well-structured, concentrated, and powerful on the palate yet with flair and grace. Layers, great complexity, and sophisticated touch. Sublimely long finish. 95p.

Coutet - orange peel, heather honey, sweet pineapple, rich and elegant. Splendid complexity. Remarkable acidity and sweetness on the palate, sophisticated touch, lovely balance, and finish. Classy and wonderful effort. 94-95p.

Clos Haut Peyraguey - aromatic nose of white flowers/fruit, acacia honey, elegant with finesse, delicate complexity, and acidity, nice structure and complexity, lingering and honeyed finish. Terrific effort. 93p.

Doisy Daene - very intense on the nose with botrytised pineapple flavors, acacia flower, white peaches, bright acidity,  complex, refined with great length on the palate. Honeyed aftertaste. Simply delicious. 93p.

Raymond Lafon - tiny yields here due to the not-to-kind weather. It was gentle and elegant wine with botrytised aromas of sweet grapefruit, peach, and apricot. Fine acidity, vibrant, finesse, and honeyed finish. I'm sure this wine will put on weight and intensity after aging in the barrel and gain a higher rating. 93p.

Rayne Vigneau - aromas of acacia honey, apricots, lively, fine acidity to complement sweetness, complex and vibrant on the palate, long honeyed aftertaste. Splendid effort. 93p.

Sigalas Rabaud - splendid nose of honey melon, guava, and mango, well-defined on the palate with bright acidity, layered, striking complexity, refined, and with a long lingering finish. Impressive effort. 93p.

La Tour Blanche - aromas of acacia honey, mango, and sweet oranges, fine acidity to complement sweetness, complex and lively on the palate, long sweet aftertaste. Splendid effort. 92-93p.

Bastor Lamontagne - nice portion of botrytised flavors, acidity, nicely constructed, delicate and elegant on the palate. Caressing finish. 91p.

Haut Bergeron - botrytised flavors of peaches and mango, nice acidity, nicely structured, delicate, and elegant on the palate. Caressing finish. 91p.

Liot - on the light side with acacia honey and candied orange peel, nice acidity, sweetness, delicate palate, and honeyed finish. Pleasant and tasty, 89p.

LEFT BANK 

GRAVES

Chantegrive "Cuvée Caroline" -  acacia flower and citrus, fresh, elegant, crisp, fine acidity, well-defined, smooth aftertaste. Very adorable. 90-91p.

Grand Enclos du Chateau de Cerons - was created after the highway Bordeaux-Spain split Chateau de Cerons in two. There are different owners of each. Similar to de Cerons in style but with more flesh, intensity, and length. Attractive. 87+p.

De Cerons – spicy red- and blackcurrants, mineral, nicely constructed, velvety texture. Pleasant, round, and tasty. Smooth finish. 87p.

Rahoul - redcurrants, smoky, pleasant, reasonable structure, soft finish. Rather skinny and straightforward. 86p.

PESSAC LEOGNAN

On my way from Carmes Haut Brion to La Mission Haut Brion, I stopped at Boulangerie Laurent Lachenal in Pessac to have a cafe latte to get through the morning. Frankly, I've never seen so many different bread types! The expedient did proudly tell me that they usually produce around 50! I tried some, and they tasted magnificent. The cafe latte wasn't bad either!!

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A place to shop for bread in Bordeaux - only four types of bread are shown in this picture above (around 46 to try next time!), and the quality and taste are mesmerizing - April 2022

Haut Brion white - 55% Semillon + 45% Semillon. Great intensity of green apple, pear, and pineapple, acidity, crispiness, structure, and length. Vibrant. Long lemony aftertaste. Sheer class. 98+p.

La Mission Haut Brion white - 55% Semillon + 45% Semillon. Aromatic pineapple and citrus, acacia flower, great acidity and complexity, crisp fruit, tension, and minerality on the palate. Long and lingering finish. Tremendous effort. 97p.

Domaine de Chevalier white - a dazzlingly fresh and dignified nose of peaches, pear, and lemongrass. Great presence of acidity. Vibrant, sophisticated, and refined on the palate with great complexity, depth, and length. A classic and distinguished effort for the property. Amazing stuff! 96-97p.

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Tradition-wise, Olivier Bernard holds every year and two days before primeur, a wine dinner with the last digit of the year. It was 2 (2022), and we tasted different wines back in 1912. Plus, some with 0. Before the dinner, we had an interesting vertical of Clos des Lunes d'Or from 2012 to 2020, plus a tasting of Lespault Marillac, L'Esprit de Chevalier, and Domaine de Chevalier in red and white and Clos des Lunes d'Argent, all 2021.

Haut Brion - 50% Merlot, 38% C. Sauvignon and 12% C. Franc. Intensely aromatic redcurrants, tobacco leaf, cigar box, great acidity to support, splendid complexity, vibrant, cashmere-like fruit, finesse, and sophisticated touch. Long and sensual finish. Spectacularly sublime for the vintage. 96-97p.

La Mission Haut Brion - 48% Merlot + 46% C. Sauvignon and 6% C. Franc. A similar blend of grape varieties to the sister property, Haut Brion. Plenty of red- and blackcurrants, violets, mineral,  vibrant, great complexity and pure elegance, finesse, Long and cashmere-clad aftertaste. Sublime stuff. 95+p.

Les Carmes Haut Brion - 40% C. Franc, 35% C. Sauvignon and 23% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. An intense mix of black cherries and morello ones added some violets, crushed rocks, tension, vibrant, finely grained tannin, and splendid complexity, well-structured and persistent finish. Fabulous stuff. 95p.

Malartic Lagraviere white - full-bodied with a deep nose of green apple and pear. Vigorous, rich and complex, refined and with a sophisticated touch. Remarkable acidity and minerality. Long and caressing aftertaste. Classy white Bordeaux! 95p.

Domaine de Chevalier - 80% C. Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 5% P. Verdot. It's the first vintage with that much C. Sauvignon in the blend. 13% alcohol. Intense black- and redcurrants, crushed rocks, coffee beans, cigar box, graphite, fresh, fine structure and complexity. Persistent aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 94-95p.

Haut Bailly - 65% C. Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% P. Verdot and 3% C. Franc. 13% alcohol. 2021 was the first vintage made entirely in the new cellar. The production was only 19hl/ha because of frost. There was less Merlot and more C.Sauvignon and P. Verdot in the blend. Both latter grape varieties ripened perfectly. Dense, mineral, graphite, cigar box, tight, strong structure, finely grained tannin, persistent finish. Impressive stuff. 94-95p.

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A new cellar at Haut Bailly (left) and three 2021s to taste (right) - April 2022

Pape Clement white - potent with bright acidity, vibrancy, crispiness, and plenty of citrus and lemongrass. Strong structure and a long finish. Terrific wine. 94p.

Smith Haut Lafitte - 63% C. Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. Aromatic cherries and redcurrants, tobacco leaves, graphite, juicy, vibrant, elegant, great acidity, magnificent structure and complexity, long and meaty finish. Excellent effort. 94p.

La Tour Martillac - powerful nose of acacia flower, green apple, and lemongrass, fine acidity, vibrant and energetic. Creamy on the palate with freshness and crisp fruit and a delicate aftertaste. 94p.

Carbonnieux white - elegant nose of acacia flower, green apple, and lemongrass, fine acidity, vibrant and tense. Delightful on the palate with freshness and crisp fruit. Delicate aftertaste. 93-94p.

Malartic Lagraviere - 67% C. Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 1% C. Franc. It's under 13% alcohol. Displayed a fine intensity of redcurrants, flowery and minty, tobacco leaves, freshness, minerality, fine structure, and length. Long and meaty finish. Superb effort. 93-94p.

La Louviere white - this property's white wine is always a great value for money. I don't remember ever getting a bad white wine from it. This wine was intense on the nose with a strong aroma of pineapple and pear,  crisp fruit, sublime complexity, bright acidity, elegance, and finesse. Impressive effort. 93-94p.

De Fieuzal white - apple, citrus, and grapefruit on the nose, mineral, crispiness, bright acidity, complex and vibrant. Refined. Persistent finish. Superb effort. 93p.

Olivier white – very intense on the nose and palate, lemongrass and white peaches, crisp fruit, splendid acidity, complex. Long finish. Lovely effort. 93p.

Pape Clement - 60% Merlot + 40% C. Sauvignon. Intense blackcurrants and cherries, graphite, mineral, fine acidity, well-structured, vibrant, complex, and persistent finish. Pretty fine effort. 93p.

Larrivet Haut Brion white - delicate aroma of acacia flower and lemongrass on the nose, crisp fruit on the palate, elegant, splendid acidity, well-structured, lingering finish. 92-93p.

La Clarte de Haut Brion -  55% Semillon + 45% Semillon. Fresh and energetic, lemongrass and green apple, crisp, fine acidity, and lingering finish. 92p.

Cruzeau white - distinct nose of green apple and acacia flower, crispy taste, fresh, nice acidity, lively, fine structure, and lingering finish. 92p.

L'Esprit de Chevalier white - for the second wine of white D.d. Chevalier, it was a great effort and understandably in a less concentrated and lighter form. Still, it had a freshness, tension, crispiness, acidity, and elegance. Highly adorable. 92p.

Lespault Martillac white - acacia flower, pear, lemongrass, crisp, lively, fine acidity, structure, and length. Refreshing lemony finish. Fine effort. 92p.

Rochemorin white – it's the sister property to Cruzeau and of comparable quality. Did display a nose of green apple and acacia flower, crispy taste, fresh, nice acidity, lively, fine structure, and caressing finish. 92p.

La Tour Martillac - 60% C. Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% P. Verdot. Plenty of red- and black redcurrants, minty tobacco leaves, sappy, strong backbone, well-structured, grained tannin and tasty fruit, persistent finish. Lovely effort. 92p.

Bouscaut - freshness, white flowers, crisp fruit, and pleasant acidity worked well together, mineral and complex. Lemony finish. 91-92p.

Carbonnieux - 58% C. Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% C. Franc and 7% P. Verdot. Aromatic redcurrants, minty, coffee beans, freshness, acidity, well-structured, soft tannin, fruity aftertaste. 91-92p.

La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion - 51% Merlot, 45% C. Sauvignon and 4% C. Franc. Cherries and violets, coffee beans, nice tension and freshness, fine acidity, grained tannin, well-defined and smooth on the palate, lingering finish. 91-92p.

Le Clarence de Haut Brion - 70% Merlot , 18% C. Sauvignon and 12% C. Franc. Morello cherries and violets, fresh, lively, mineral, tobacco leaves, well-structured and complex, velvety tannin, cherry aftertaste. 91-92p.

Larrivet Haut Brion - 81% C. Sauvignon + 19% C. Franc. No Merlot in the blend for the first time. Morello cherries, minty, cigar box, spicy, lively, elegant and well-structured, soft fruit and grained tannin. Fruity finish. Tasty and attractive. 91-92p.

La Louviere - 65% C. Sauvignon + 35% Merlot. Redcurrants and crushed rocks on the palate, subtle and elegant on the palate, well-defined, nice complexity and structure, delicate fruit and tannin. Always a great value for the money. 91-92p.

Le C des Carmes Haut Brion - 62% C. Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 2% P. Verdot. Grapes come from a vineyard located in Martillac. Tobacco, leaves, cigar box, smoky and spicy, bright acidity, complex and grained tannin. Fresh aftertaste. Fine effort. 91p.

Clos des Lunes d'Argent - aromatic apples and grapefruit, citrus and oranges, fresh acidity, crisp, tasty, lingering finish. Nice food companion. 91p.

Couhins Lurton - spicy redcurrants and raspberries, fresh, fine acidity and structure, gentle tannin, vibrant, complex, and lingering finish. An excellent effort for the vintage. 91p.

De France white - this wine had an attractive nose of acacia flower, lemongrass, and some freshly cut pineapple. Acidity was discreet but present. Crisp and lively with a pleasant fruity finish. 91p.

Haut Bergey - 55% C. Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% C. Franc and 10% P. Verdot. Redcurrants, coffee beans, cigar box, minty, well-assorted on the palate, acidity, velvety texture, fruity aftertaste. 90-91p.

Bouscaut - 47% Merlot, 44% C. Sauvignon and 9% Malbec. Morello cherries, minty, coffee beans, mineral, nice acidity, well-defined, gentle tannin, soft aftertaste. 90p.

Cruzeau -  fresh, spicy blackcurrants, crushed rocks, sappy, lively, lovely structure and balance, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.  

Haut Bailly II - second wine of Haut Bailly. 70% Merlot, 20% C. Franc, 3% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. Floral. Mineral, coffee beans, spicy, soft fruit, and tannin, nicely structured and with a persistent finish. Fine effort. 90p.

Olivier - 55% C. Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% P. Verdot. Spicy red fruit, smoky, lovely fruit concentration, velvety texture, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.

Picque Caillou white - acacia flower and white peach, fresh, elegant, crisp, nice acidity, smooth aftertaste. Pleasant, tasty, and attractive. 90p.

Rochemorin - fresh, spicy blackcurrants, crushed rocks, sappy, lively, lovely structure and balance, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.

L'Esprit de Chevalier - red- and blackcurrants, smoky, delicate fruit, sappy, minerality, grained tannin. Nuanced complexity and composition. Fine for the second wine of D.d. Chevalier. 89-90p.

Le Pape - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Sauvignon. Fragrant redcurrants have lovely fruit intensity, acidity, soft tannin, and velvety texture. Drinks well. 89p.

Lespault Martillac - mineral, spicy redcurrants, lively, well-defined on the palate, nice acidity, gentle tannin, smooth aftertaste. 88-89p.

Haut Bacalan - flowery, aromatic cherries, neat on the palate with silky fruit and tannin, somewhat light on its feet but attractive and tasty. 88p.

de France - 60% C. Sauvignon + 40% Merlot. Light cherries, some tobacco leaves, cigar box, minty, smoky, lightly textured, pleasant and round, gentle, soft fruit and tannin, smooth aftertaste. One to drink young. 87-88p.

de Fieuzal - 50% Merlot, 40% C. Sauvignon and 10% P. Verdot. Rather skinny, round, pleasant, with lovely fruit intensity and soft tannin. I did expect much more from this property, but the problems with Merlot in 2021 made things difficult. 87p.

Picque Caillou - 60% C. Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% P. Verdot. Skinny and lightly textured, round and pleasant. 85-86p.

MEDOC/HAUT MEDOC

La Lagune - 70% C. Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% P. Verdot. 12.8% alcohol. It was tasted twice with the same impression. Neither a blockbuster nor a skinny wine, just a precise, elegant, stylish, and classy one. Fresh, aromatic with violets, redcurrants, fresh, lively, velvety tannin, and persistent finish. Fine effort. 93+p.

Cantemerle is the first vintage made by Laure Canu, the new technical director, since May 2021. Aromatic, redcurrants, well-defined, delicate complexity, lively, crunchy fruit, silky tannin, lingering aftertaste. Catchy wine. 91-92p.

La Tour de By - surprisingly well-defined wine with crushed stones and graphite aromas, fine structure, ripe fruit and tannin, good concentration, and persistent finish. This under-radar property did exceptionally well in 2021! 91p.

G d'Estournel - 80% Merlot, 19% C. Sauvignon and 1% C. Franc. Spicy raspberries, mineral, nicely constructed, good complexity, velvety tannin, smooth finish. 89p.

Lanessan - had a lovely intensity of redcurrants, minty, sappy, lively on the palate with good structure and depth, and a fruity aftertaste. Approved effort. 88p.

Citran - fresh flowers, nice acidity, minty, fresh coffee beans, nicely put together, good length, and fruity finish. To be consumed young. 87p.

Lamarque - flowery, minty, fresh coffee beans, nicely put together, tasty, good length, and fruity finish. To be consumed young. 87p.

La Tour Carnet - minty, redcurrants, nicely constructed, light, tasty, good length, and fruity finish. To be consumed at a young age. 87p

D'Arcins – light, pleasant, tasty, and with proper structure and length. For early drinking. 86p.

La Cardonne - skinny, soft fruit and tannin, pleasant and round. For early consumption. 86p.

Charmail - kind of skinny wine, fruity and pleasant all right. Tasty. 86p.

LISTRAC 

Fourcas Dupre - similar to F. Hosten but had more fruit intensity and better structure. Nice effort. 87-88p.

Clarke - spicy red fruit, crushed stones, nicely structured, soft fruit, and gentle tannin. Reasonable effort. 87p.

Fonreaud - spicy morello cherries, mineral, nicely structured, soft fruit, and gentle tannin. Good effort. 87p.

Fourcas Hosten - redcurrants, earthy notes, good structure and length, soft fruit, and gentle tannin. Good effort. 87p

MOULIS 

Mauvesin Barton - red fruit, spicy, fresh, pleasant and round, tasty, nicely constructed, soft fruit, and tannin. Fruity finish. 87-88p

Chasse-Spleen - morello cherries, spicy, minty, juicy, reasonable structure, tasty, soft fruit, and tannin, smooth. 87p.

Poujeaux - redcurrants, leather, minty, juicy, reasonable structure, tasty, soft fruit and tannin, smooth. 87p.

Maucaillou -  cherries, pleasant and round, forward, round, easygoing, tasty, fruity finish. 86p.

MARGAUX

This commune produced wines of heterogeneous quality, depending on how winemakers coped with the weather challenges and worked in the vineyard. Nevertheless, a few wines are stunners.

Chateau Margaux - 87% C.Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 13.1% alcohol. Only 36 % of the harvest went into Grand Vin. Philippe Bascaules, Margaux's technical director, told me that in 2021, there was a more feel of acidity and tannin compared to the stunning trio of recent vintages. Nothing to complain about because this property made one of the best wines in 2021! It was very flowery with violets and peonies and displayed the aroma of tobacco leaves, graphite, and the scent of black winter truffle. Precise, focused, vibrant, great complexity and great elegance, sophisticated. Long and persistent finish. 97-98p.

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Mesmerizing wines tasted at Chateau Margaux  - April 2022

Palmer - 56% Merlot, 41% C. Sauvignon and 3% P. Verdot. 13.5% alcohol. Fresh, juicy, violets and red fruit, focused and vibrant, splendid midpalate, striking complexity and length. Sophisticated touch. Superb effort. 95-96p.

Rauzan Segla - 75% C. Sauvignon + 25% Merlot. 13% alcohol. Aromatic approach with roses and violets. Graphite and grilled bacon. Pure, ripe, silky tannin, big backbone and structure, splendid midpalate, great length, and persistent aftertaste. Superb effort. 94-95p.

Brane Cantenac - 65% C. Sauvignon + 30% Merlot, 2% C. Franc, 2% Malbec and 1% P. Verdot. 13.18% alcohol. Fresh, flowery, aromatic redcurrants, ripe and velvety tannin, lovely intensity, fine midpalate and structure, lingering finish. Superb effort for the vintage. 94p.

Alter Ego - 60% C.Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 8% P. Verdot. 13% alcohol. Yield 22 hl/ha. This wine had a refreshing attitude with aromatic flowers on the nose (violets and iris), tobacco and redcurrants, velvety tannin, delicate mid-palate, and splendid complexity. Elegant with finesse.Persistent finish. 93p.

d'Issan - fresh, flowery, elegant, finesse, well-assorted on the palate, soft and tasty fruit, silky tannin, fine midpalate, and persistent finish. Splendid effort for the vintage. 93p.

Pavillon Rouge de Margaux - 73% C.Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 5% P. Verdot. 13.1% alcohol. Freshness, flavourful red fruit, sappy, velvety texture with silky tannin, and tasteful redcurrants and raspberries. Fine midpalate and lingering aftertaste. Superb effort. 93p.

Du Tertre - a very confident appearance from this property which changed the owner in March 2021. Potent, juicy, delicate complexity, midpalate, great structure, and long finish. I did feel this wine was more precise and focused than before. Splendid effort. 93p.

Cantenac Brown - displayed redcurrants and morello cherries, violets, silky texture, ripe tannin, sappy and well-constructed, delicate finish. Fine effort. 92-93p.

Malescot St. Exupery - fresh, flowery, aromatic, silky, well-assorted with fine structure and length. An elegant version of this normally powerful wine. 92-93p.

Prieure Lichine - seductive nose of violets, iris, and redcurrants, juicy and silky on the palate, elegant, bright acidity, nice midpalate, and delicate finish. Fine effort. 92-93p.

Labegorce - freshness, flowery and redcurrants, sappy, bright acidity, well-composed, silky fruit, and tannin, lingering finish. An elegant and stylish effort. 92+p.

Giscours - potent, redcurrants, subtle complexity, well-structured, nice midpalate, persistent finish. Much approved effort. 92p.

Rauzan Gassies -  seductive nose of violets and redcurrants, juicy and silky on the palate, elegant, nice acidity and midpalate, and delicate finish. Well done for the vintage. 92p.

Lascombes - tasted twice with the same impression. It was light but elegant with silky fruit and tannin, a velvety texture, and a delicate finish. This wine will surely mature much sooner than f.i. 2018 and 2019. 92p.

Kirwan - fresh, had a lovely intensity of redcurrants and flowers (violets), and was sappy, elegant, and well-defined with nice length and lingering finish. Catchy wine. 91-92p.

d'Angludet - delicate morello cherries and aromatic violets, silky texture, ripe tannin, sappy and well-constructed, fruity finish. Pretty seductive effort. 91+p

Marquis de Terme - flowery, soft red fruit and silky tannin, very approachable and tasty. Good structure and a nice fruity finish. 91p.

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Great food at Marquis de Terme's "Au Marquis" - this restaurant is strongly recommended. Enjoyed it a lot in April 2022.

Monbrison - fresh, flowery, morello cherries, bright acidity, well-structured, lively, velvety texture, lingering finish. Pretty wine. Seductive effort. 91p.

Dauzac - was aromatic, flowery, complex, silky texture, and well-defined, with soft fruit and tannin. Seductive effort. 90-91p.

Segla - 54% C. Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 3% P. Verdot. Second wine of Rauzan Segla. Aromatic on the nose with red fruit, mineral, sappy and well-defined. Graphite and tobacco. Fine fruity finish. 90-91p.

Baron de Brane - 52% Merlot + 48% C. Sauvignon. 13.11% alcohol. Red fruit and violets are tasty, nicely concentrated, and with a silky texture. Delicate aftertaste. Pretty second wine of Brane Cantenac. 89p. 

Blason d'Issan - aromatic, redcurrants, flowery, tasty, enjoyable, soft texture, pleasingly fruity finish. Second wine of d'Issan. 88-89p.

Le Coteau – flowery, juicy, and well-trimmed. Good structure and length. Delicate aftertaste. A crowd-pleaser. 88p.

Haut Breton Larigaudiere – redcurrants and violets nicely textured with tasty fruit and soft tannin. Charming stuff. 87p.

Desmiral - light, pleasantly fruity, soft tannin, good structure, and pleasant finish. 87p.

Siran - subdued and relatively light with soft fruit and tannin, pleasant and tasty. 86p.

La Tour de Bessan – lightly textured, pleasant, red fruit, uncomplicated, tasty. 86p.

SAINT JULIEN

Ducru Beaucaillou - 98% Cabernet Sauvignon + 2 % Merlot. 12.5% alcohol. Not tasted during primeur week in April, but the first sips of it were during 2021 tasting in Copenhagen in September 2022. Very aromatic and aristocratic on the nose, with aromas of tobacco leaf, cigar box, and winter truffle, intense yet elegant and sophisticated on the palate, vibrant and silky, grained tannin and long aftertaste. Great effort for the vintage. 96p.

Leoville Lascases - 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Franc. 13,2% alcohol. Not tasted during primeur week in April, but the first sips of it were during 2021 tasting in Copenhagen in September 2022. This wine was elegant and refined, with red fruit and tobacco on the nose, great complexity and structure, rich, very long on the palate, vibrant, and with great depth. Long persistent finish. Impressive effort for the vintage. 95+p.

Leoville Poyferre - potent, concentrated redcurrants, coffee beans, and tobacco leaves on the nose, splendid on the palate with vibrancy and energy, refined, silky tannin, superb structure, and complexity. Long and persistent finish. Excellent effort. 94p.

Gruaud Larose - concentrated cherries and fragrant violets on the nose, splendid on the palate with vibrancy and tension, discreet oak, superb structure, and complexity. Long and meaty finish. Superb effort. 93-94p.

Leoville Barton - 84% C. Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% C. Franc. 13.12% alcohol. Full, intense redcurrants. Tobacco leaves and leather. Sappy, strong structure and backbone, vibrant, great complexity and length. Refined and sophisticated touch. Lingering finish. Excellent one. 93-94p.

Lagrange - superb aromas of black- and morello cherries mixed with the fragrance of violets and roses. Elegant and finesse. Velvety texture with gentle tannin, vibrant and well-structured. Great pleasure to taste. 92-93p.

Beychevelle - intense crunchy cherries, minty, leather, mineral, elegance and finesse, complex, gentle tannin, discreet oak, velvety texture, and lingering finish. Very stylish and attractive wine. 92-93p.

Branaire Ducru - neighbor to Beychevelle (on the other side of the road). Similar in style with elegance and finesse, tasty fruit, gentle tannin, and fruity aftertaste. 92p.

Langoa Barton - 61% C. Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 3% C. Franc. 13.03% alcohol. A softer version of its sister property, more round and accessible. Elegant and finesse. Superb quality. 92p

Saint Pierre - plenty of redcurrants and morello cherries, minty tobacco leaves, lively, finely grained tannin, polished, complex, persistent finish. 91-92p.

Gloria - aromatic redcurrants, flowery coffee beans, fresh, sappy, vibrant, complex, delicate fruit, gentle tannin, and well-built. Smooth finish. Well-made. 91p.

Moulin Riche - same owner as Leoville Poyferre. Potent, redcurrants, freshly mauled coffee beans, well-structured and complex, lively, persistent finish. Fine effort. 91p.

PAUILLAC

Also, here, you find wines of heterogeneous quality. There are a lot of well-made and characterful wines to choose from. 

Mouton Rothschild - 89% C. Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 1% P.Verdot. 13.1% alcohol. Potent yet elegant and distinguished. Redcurrants and tobacco leaves in significant numbers, graphite, black truffle, finely grained tannin, firm structure, and great midpalate. Long and persistent aftertaste. In my honest opinion, it ranks among the vintage's best wines. Kudos to Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy for his debut vintage! 96-98p.

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Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy, technical director at Mouton Rothschild since 2021.

Lafite Rothschild - 96% C. Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 1% P. Verdot. 12.6% alcohol. This wine had understandably many layers to rely on. Everything was great, from an aromatic nose of great intensity to an excellently structured palate with cashmere-like fruit and tannin, splendid midpalate, and a long finish with excellent persistency. Tremendous effort. 96-98p.

Pichon Comtesse - 88% C.Sauvignon, 10% C. Franc and 2% Merlot. 12.9% alcohol. This property had to put more C. Sauvignon in the blend due to a significant loss on Merlots (coulure and mildew). Therefore low yield, which landed on 15 hl/ha. Cabernets had greatly profited from fine weather conditions in October. Redcurrants, crushed stones, fresh coffee beans, potent yet elegant, medium concentration, fine midpalate, and persistent finish. Very successful for the vintage. 95p.

Pichon Baron - 88% C.Sauvignon + 12% Merlot. Highest amount ever of C. Sauvignon in the blend and the last vintage made by Jean-Rene Matignon, technical director of the estate. Minty, tobacco leaf, redcurrants, and blackcurrants, fleshy, vibrant, well-integrated tannin, fine midpalate, and long-lasting finish. Excellent effort. 94-95p.

Lynch Bages - second vintage made in the new cellars. 2/3 of the blend is C. Sauvignon. Freshness, red berries, violets, tobacco leaf, crushed rocks, delicate complexity, big tannins but well-controlled, vibrant, harmonious, fine midpalate, rich aftertaste. Stylish. Splendid effort. 94p.

Carruaders de Lafite - 55% C.Sauvignon, 36% Merlot , 5% C. Franc and 4% P. Verdot. Strong, plenty of redcurrants, graphite, cigar box, concentrated, strong backbone, bright acidity, persistent finish. Fine second wine of Lafite. 93p.

Clerc Milon - 59% C.Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% C. Franc, 1.5% Carmenere and 1.5% P. Verdot. 13% alcohol. Aromatic redcurrants, tobacco leaf, crushed rocks, sappy, bright acidity, and grained tannin, well-structured, delicate complexity and length. Persistent finish. Terrific effort. 93p.

Grand Puy Lacoste - crunchy red- and blackcurrants, leather, cigar box, a slice or two of black winter truffle, juicy, vibrant, tension, firm structure and backbone, subtle complexity, and meaty finish. Classic style for this property and the commune. 93p.

Duhart Milon - 81% C. Sauvignon + 19% Merlot. Intense redcurrants, crushed rocks, and coffee beans. Potent, sappy, firm structure, finely grained tannin, vibrant, long aftertaste. Well-crafted wine. 92-93p.

Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild - redcurrants, mineral, tobacco leaf, cigar box, fine structure, silky tannin, vibrant, lasting finish. Superb effort. 92-93p.

d'Armailhac - 63% C.Sauvignon, 22% Merlot , 13% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 13% alcohol. Fine aroma mix of redcurrants, raspberries, and coffee beans on the nose, lively, juicy, well-integrated tannin on the palate, fine structure, and complexity. Long aftertaste. Well done for the vintage. 92p.

Batailley - crunchy red- and blackcurrants, leather, tobacco leaves, sappy, vibrant, fine structure, and complexity. Meaty finish. Classic style for this property and the commune. 92p.

Grand Puy Ducasse - plenty of ripe redcurrants and fragrant violets, minty, potent, well-defined, sappy, well provided with silky fruit and tannin on the palate, delicate balance and complexity, fresh aftertaste of cherries. Well-made. 92p.

Pauillac - a unique selection of grapes from owners of Fonbadet. Fresh, potent, lively redcurrants and tobacco box, ripe tannin, fine acidity, structure and depth, Persistent finish. Terrific effort. 92p.

Les Griffons de Pichon Baron - 45% C. Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 11% P. Verdot. More P. Verdot in the blend for two years. Tasted like a lighter version of Grand Vin. Fine quality. 91p.

Lynch Moussas - fresh, aromatic, tasty redcurrants and morello cherries, minty, tobacco, barely powerful yet elegant. Finesse. Round and quite approachable. Soft finish. 91p.

Pibran - 63% C. Sauvignon + 37% Merlot. Minty, spicy redcurrants, soft tannin, nice complexity and structure, lively, velvety texture, smooth aftertaste. Adorable effort. 90p.

Les Tourelles de Longueville - 66% Merlot, 28% C. Sauvignon and 6% C. Franc. Different from Griffons due to bigger Merlot content in the blend. Softer, more elegant, less intense, lighter structure, and more developed with a fruitier aftertaste. 90p.

Croizet Bages - a nicely structured wine with aromatic black- and redcurrants, violets, velvety texture, and soft finish. Relatively light but quite attractive. Easygoing. 88p.

Moulin de Duhart - 64% Merlot + 36% C. Sauvignon. Tasty redcurrants and raspberries, juicy, ripe tannin, sleek and caressing finish. 88p.

Pastourelle de Clerc Milon - 54% C. Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 2% Carmenere and 1% P. Verdot. 13.1% alcohol. Red fruit, sappy, ripe tannin, round and pleasant, gentle, sleek, caressing finish. 88p.

SAINT ESTEPHE

This commune was one of the most consistent and successful in Bordeaux. Winegrowers were rarely troubled by caprices of weather like f.i. rain. Close location to the banks of the Gironde river had a significant advantage in preventing frost.

Calon Segur - 81% C. Sauvignon, 11% C. Franc, 7% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 12.93% alcohol. 50% less Merlot in the blend. It displayed an elegant nose of black- and redcurrants, violet, graphite, and pencil. There are intense aromas, great complexity, firm structure, fresh, vibrant, superb balance, depth, and length. Less abundant than in recent vintages but did compensate for that with a big brush of elegance and finesse. Excellent! Imposing effort. 95-96p.

Cos d'Estournel - 64% C. Sauvignon, 4% C. Franc, 30% Merlot and 2% P. Verdot. 12.74% alcohol. C. Sauvignon was shining here. Gentler extraction and less oak in 2021, Tight, intense violets, some black winter truffle, minty, mineral (crushed rocks), great depth, vibrant, utterly complex, and sophisticated. Long and persistent finish. Sheer class! 95-96p.

Montrose - 62% C. Sauvignon, 6% C. Franc, 31% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 13% alcohol. More elegant than powerful in 2021. Tight and quite mineral. Silky tannin. Great complexity and fine mid-palate. Knowing that this property is always a long-time runner and needs many years to show its glory, I'll not exclude a higher rating after bottling. 94-95p.

Phelan Segur - 75% C.Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% P.Verdot. 13.5% alcohol. There's 50% less Merlot and 50% more C.Sauvignon in the blend than f.I in 2020 and 2019. This property's been on the great run in recent vintages. 2021 here is a juicy and vibrant wine with great complexity, strong structure, and splendid length. Very C.Sauvignon with sappy black-/redcurrantsand flavors of tobacco leaves and black winter truffle. Impressive stuff. 93-94p.

Pagodes de Cos - 60% Merlot, 36% C. Sauvignon,3% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot.  Flowery, violets, minty, tobacco, crushed rocks, freshness and vibrancy, Splendid effort for the vintage. 93p.

Capbern - 70% C. Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 2% P. Verdot. 12.8% alcohol. Same owner as C. Segur. Freshness, mint, tobacco, fragrant black-/redcurrants on the nose, juicy on the palate with fine acidity and minerality. Persistent aftertaste. Splendid stuff. 92-93p.

Le Crock - redcurrants, juicy, potent, luscious, strong backbone, well-defined and persistent finish. A sleeper. 91-92p.

La Dame de Montrose - 53% Merlot, 38% C.Sauvignon, 6% P.Verdot and 3% C. Franc. Spicy and mineral, fine ripe tannin, and nice complexity. 90-91p.

La Haye - ripe blackberries and redcurrants, juicy and fleshy, Mineral, grained tannin, nice midpalate, and persistent aftertaste. It was a fine effort indeed. 90-91p.

Tour des Termes - medium-bodied, ripe blackberries and redcurrants, crushed stones, sappy, grained tannin, firm aftertaste. Well-made. 90-91p.

Tour Saint Fort - fleshy, aromatic blackberries and redcurrants, juicy and fleshy, Mineral, finely grained tannin, well-balanced and lingering aftertaste. Nice effort. 90-91p.

Marquis de Calon - 58% Merlot + 42% C. Sauvignon. 13.2% alcohol. C. Segur's second wine. Red fruit, elegant, fruity, Merlot dominant on the palate with the softness of fruit and tannin, silky texture, and lingering finish. 90p.

Tronquoy Lalande - red fruit, well-defined, nicely structured. Delicate ripe tannin, good length, and fruity finish. 89-90p.

RIGHT BANK

CASTILLON COTES DE BORDEAUX

It's always been one of my favorite districts in Bordeaux. Here, you get total value for your money, and the wines are difficult to resist! 

Montlandrie - 75% Merlot + 20% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 14% alcohol. Intensely aromatic roses/rosebush and extremely fragrant roses, splendid structure and length, bright acidity, quite complex and vibrant, velvety texture, and long fruity finish. Impressive effort. 92-93p.

Cote Monpezat – intense flowers like roses and violets, vibrant, acidity, soft fruit, mineral, delicate balance, well-structured, lingering finish. Delightful effort. 92p

de Monbadon - 55% C. Franc + 45% Merlot. First vintage here from Jean-Philippe Janoueix (La Confession and La Croix St. Georges). Aging in 66% new oak and 34% amphoras. Very attractive on the nose with aromatic redcurrants and raspberries, roses, juicy, well-present acidity, ripe tannin, lively and well-structured on the palate. Great start! 91-92p.

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Tasting of Jean-Philippe Janoueix wines - April 2022

Clos Puy Arnaud - flowery, rosebush, morello cherries, lovely fruit intensity, mineral, acidity, finely grained tannin, fresh fruity finish. Heartbreaker wine. 91+p.

Ampelia – roses, polished, fresh, nice acidity and minerality. Delicate with delicate and tasty fruit, soft tannin, and a smooth finish. Catchy effort. 91p.

Clos Puy Arnaud - flowery, rosebush, morello cherries, lovely fruit intensity, mineral, acidity, finely grained tannin, fresh fruity finish. Heartbreaker wine. 91+p.

Joanin Becot - aromatic, rosebush, raspberries, an aroma of coffee beans added a pinch of cocoa powder, lively, delicate fruit and tannin, elegant, soft texture, caressing aftertaste. 90-91p.

La Brande - 67% Merlot, 22% C. Franc, 8% C. Sauvignon and 3% P. Verdot. Rose bush and fragrant raspberries, fresh and sleek on the palate with soft fruit and tannin. Tasteful, round, nicely structured, and with a caressing finish. Very nice effort. 89-90p.

Cap de Faugeres - roses, violets, spicy raspberries, polished on the palate with soft fruit and tannin. Tasty. Pleasant and round. Modern style. 88p.

COTES DE BOURG

Roc de Cambes - fresh, quite intense on the nose with violets and roses, mineral, spicy, discreet oak, vibrant on the palate, splendid structure and complexity. Just superb winemaking from Francois Mitjaville and a gem to enjoy in 10-15 years. 92+p.

FRONSAC/CANON-FRONSAC

Fontenil – splendid cherry nose, sappy, well-assorted, potent, and well-structured on the palate. Mineral. Acidity. Long finish. Superb winemaking. 92-93p.

La Vieille Cure - aromatic ripe raspberries and morello cherries, potent, sappy, modern style, well-structured, grained tannin, discreet oak, vibrant and persistent finish. Splendid effort. 92p.

Villars – aromatic morello cherries and fragrant violets, well-defined on the palate with grained tannin, elegant, lively, lingering finish. Well-crafted wine. 91-92p.

Dalem – potent, aromatic, redcurrants and raspberries, sappy, fine acidity, polished tannin, discreet oak. Fine structure and lingering finish. Lovely wine. 91-92p.

De la Huste - similar to its sister property, Dalem. Spicier fruit and a slightly longer finish. 91-92p.

La Dauphine – lovely fruity nose of redcurrants. Round and pleasant, nice concentration on the palate. Silky texture and gentle tannin. Caressing finish. 91p.

Moulin Pey Labrie – aromatic cherries, flowery, crushed rocks, nicely structured on the palate, fresh and tasty, silky texture, elegant and finesse. A very seductive effort. 91p.

Les Troix Croix – sappy redcurrants and raspberries on the nose, concentrated on the nose and palate. Big tannins were kept well in control. Firm aftertaste. Admirable wine. 90-91p.

De La Riviere – elegant nose of spicy cherries, roses, and violets, acidity, finesse, lighter than usual, soft fruit and tannin, fruity finish. 90p.

GRAVES DE VAYRES AND SAINT-GEORGES DE SAINT EMILION

Bel Air Effel (GdV) - this property is owned by the heirs of Gustav Eiffel, who constructed this famous tower in Paris. Located in Graves de Vayres and 2021 was the first vintage made by Jean-Philippe Janoueix (La Confession). Fresh raspberries and violets, lively, velvety structure, tasty tannin, smooth and caressing aftertaste. Very nice effort. 88-89p.

Cap St.George - aromatic morello cherries and raspberries, sappy, lively, subtle, and well-defined on the palate. Grained tannin and lingering finish. Fine effort. 92p.

LUSSAC, PUISSEGUIN AND MONTAGNE DE SAINT EMILION

La Rose Perriere (Lussac St.E.) – catchy nose of fresh raspberries and fragrant roses, juicy, lively, and accessible on the palate. Soft tannins and smooth aftertaste. Pleasant drinking. 88p.

Clos de Bouard (Montagne St.E.) - flowery (roses), cherries, spicy, mineral, velvety texture, soft fruit and tannin, smooth aftertaste. Nicely made. 87p

Vieux Chateau Palon (Montagne St.E.) – morello cherries, some roses, sappy, round, velvet texture, smooth aftertaste. Nicely made. 87p.

LALANDE DE POMEROL

Les Cruzelles - 65% Merlot + 35% C. Franc. 13.5% alcohol. Morello cherries, grated chocolate, cocoa powder,  fruit, sweetness, lively,  fine structure with a solid backbone, bright acidity, and persistent finish. Lovely wine and an immediate attraction. 92p.

La Chenade - 100% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Roses and violets, fresh, sweet fruit and gentle tannin, nicely structured, round and pleasant, silky texture, caressing finish. Attractive effort. 90p.

La Fleur de Bouard -  modern style with ripe raspberries and morello cherries, sappy, sweet fruit, round, gentle, soft tannin, cherry finish. Seductive effort. 90p.

Domaine des Sabines - floral, crushed stones, juicy, spicy, excellent intensity and length on the palate, nice structure, gentle and fruity finish. 88p.

Haut Chaigneau – aromatic cherries, spicy, nicely constructed on the palate with gentle fruit and tannin, smooth aftertaste. 88p

Bertineau St. Vincent - spicy raspberries and crushed rocks, round and pleasant, tasty, reasonable structure, soft tannin, fruity finish. 87p.

POMEROL

This little district offered some stunningly memorable wines and some not that. Challenging weather conditions didn't make it easy for winegrowers who had to fight frost and mildew.

Petrus - 100% Merlot. 13% alcohol. Fresh, intense violets, iris, some licorice, raspberries, classy and sophisticated, exquisite fruit and tannin, strong structure, and long aftertaste. A lighter version of wine from this property, which isn't a surprise considering the challenging weather conditions. 96p. 

Lafleur - 52% de Bouchet (local version of C. Franc) + 48% Merlot. Red fruit, roses, more elegant than powerful, finesse, sophisticated, superb structure, remarkable midpalate, and length. Sublime stuff. 96p.

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The wine menu at Lafleur - April 2022

L'Eglise Clinet - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. 14% alcohol. Denis Durantou's daughters, Constance (in charge of tastings and receiving visitors) and Nöemie (the winemaker), continue their father's great work with grace. 2021 here was dazzling. Traditionally tight with a strong backbone, plenty of morello cherries added, a couple of violets, and a few slices of black winter truffle. Mineral, vibrant and sophisticated. Sublime stuff. 95-96p.

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Two daughters of late Denis Durantou, Constance (left) and Noëmie (right) + Olivier Gautrat, the cellar master - April 2022

Trotanoy - 100% Merlot. Dense color, robust approach, floral nose of violets, crunchy raspberries and dark chocolate, black winter truffle, great structure, midpalate, and length. Strong mineral finish. Outstanding effort. 95-96p.

Vieux Chateau Certan - 77% Merlot, 20% C. Franc and 1% C. Sauvignon. 13.2% alcohol. Floral with violets, redcurrants, delicate and fresh, focused and precise, velvety texture, vibrant, superb mid-palate, long and caressing finish. Mesmerizing effort. 95+p.

Le Pin - 100% Merlot, 13.4% alcohol. Violets, a scent of black winter truffles, seamless structure, excellent midpalate, vibrancy, refined and sophisticated. The texture was like a liquid cashmere. Hedonistic effort. 95+p.

La Conseillante - 85% Merlot + 15% Cabernet Franc. 13.3% alcohol. Fresh, lively, violets and iris, raspberries, stylish elegance and finesse, sophisticated touch. Superb effort. 95p.

La Fleur Petrus - 95% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 1% P.Verdot. Fresh roses, violets, and some dark chocolate, vibrant and juicy on the palate, with great complexity and length, grained tannin, and a long lingering finish. Imposing effort for the vintage. 94+p.

L'Evangile - 69% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 1% C. Sauvignon. Twice as much C. Franc in the blend than usual. Violets, red fruit, freshness, bright acidity, sappy, firm structure, and persistent aftertaste. Made by a new winemaking team in a more refined and less oaky version than in recent vintages. Splendid for the vintage. 94p.

Clinet - 75% Merlot + 25% C.Franc. 13.1% alcohol. Floral on the nose (violets), red berries, pure, sappy, velvety fruit and tannin, fine concentration, lingering finish. 93-94p.

La Croix St. Georges - 92% Merlot + 8% C. Franc. Fresh, floral, morello cherries, bright acidity, well-integrated oak, fine-grained tannin, vibrant, long, and persistent finish. Great stuff. 93-94p.

Petit Village - 60% Merlot, 32% C. Franc and 8% C. Sauvignon., 13.5% alcohol. Floral with violets, raspberries, sappy, strong backbone provided by C. Franc, complex, fine midpalate and structure, persistent aftertaste. More elegant and lighter than 2020 and 2019, but still very fine for the vintage. 93+p.

Bourgneuf - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. Floral, aromatic, elegant with velvety tannin, juicy, delicate with finesse, fine structure, and lingering finish. Fine effort. 93p.

Certan de May - 60% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 10% C. Sauvignon. Fresh, potent, crunchy morello cherries, violets, vibrant, quite complex, fine midpalate, and persistent finish. Fine effort. 93p.

Hosanna - 75% Merlot + 25% C. Franc. Fresh, fleshy, morello cherries, violets, and cocoa powder, lively, complex, fine structure, midpalate, and persistent finish. Fine effort. 93p.

La Violette - fragrant violets were present here, plus aromatic morello cherries. Elegant with finesse, vibrant, sweet, and grained tannin, delicate complexity, and persistent finish. A pretty successful effort for the vintage. 93p.

Bon Pasteur - potent, violets, morello cherries and black cherries, black winter truffle, finely scaled structure, and length, persistent finish. Fine effort for the vintage. 92-93p.

Pensees de Lafleur - 59% Merlot + 41% de Bouchet. Violets and iris, intense aroma of morello cherries, finely grained tannin, vibrant complexity, and long aftertaste. Delightful effort. 92-93p.

Beauregard - 70% Merlot + 30% C. Franc. 13% alcohol. The same winemaker here as for Petit Village (Vincent Priou). Pretty seductive nose of violets and iris, fresh, juicy, silky red fruit, and finely grained tannin. Elegant with finesse. Delicate stuff. 92p.

Belle Brise - fresh, very cherry (both black and morello ones), some violets, vibrant, layered, complex, and focused. Caressing finish. Delightfully stylish wine. 92p.

Le Gay - rich, oaky, modern with glossy fruit and sweet ripe tannin. Well-constructed, polished, complex, and with a persistent finish. 92p.

Gazin - aromatic, sweetness, flashy ripe fruit, fine intensity, discreet oak, sleek and tasty on the palate with grained tannin, complexity, and lingering finish. Well done for the vintage. 92p.

Guillot Clauzel - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Made by Guillaume Thienpont from VCC. Floral, aromatic raspberries, silky tannin, vibrant, delicate complexity and structure, finesse, and elegance. Delightful effort. 92p.

Mazeyres - pretty aromatic nose of dark cherries and morello cherries, lovely intensity and concentration, nice complexity and length, smooth, ripe tannin, velvety texture. Very adorable effort. 92p.

Seraphine - 90% Merlot and 10% C. Franc. A discovery for me. Tasted at the Syndicate de Pomerol in April 2022. Made by the experienced Krajewski family (father and daughter) from two plots (2.2 ha), one in Plince hamlet and the second in Mazeyres. The first vintage was in 2017. Very aromatic on the nose with morello cherries, violets, a tad of black winter truffle, silky, vibrant, fine structure, and a lingering finish. Remarkable effort. 92p.

La Commanderie –  potent, fragrant raspberries and violets, sappy, lively, fine tannins, silky texture, persistent finish. Seductive appearance. 91-92p.

Latour-a-Pomerol - 100% Merlot. Fragrant raspberries and cocoa powder. It was well-defined and elegant on the palate. Lively with crunchy fruit and soft tannin. Smooth aftertaste. 91-92p.

Porte Chic - 70% Merlot, 25% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. I first encountered this wine when I tasted it at Syndicate de Pomerol in April 2022. Revealed the hallmarks of Pomerol soil with violets and black winter truffles. Sappy, lively, nuanced complexity, velvety texture, and delicate finish. Delightful effort. 91-92p.

Cantelauze - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. Potent and spicy, morello cherries, crushed rocks, mineral, nicely concentrated, discreet oak, well-structured and persistent finish. One to lay down for several years. 91p.

Clos du Clocher - raspberry fruit, violets, sappy, nice acidity to support fruit and tannin, well-defined, lively, polished on the palate with tasty berries and soft tannin. Fine effort. 91p.

Feytit Clinet – fragrant nose of morello cherries and iris/violets, nice complexity, concentration, and length on the palate, ripe tannin, velvety texture, and sleek finish. Adorable effort. 91p.

La Fleur de Gay - cherries on the nose, coffee beans, black truffle, well-knitted, lively, polished, good length, and lingering aftertaste. 91p.

Lafleur Gazin - 100% Merlot. Crunchy morello cherries and violets on the nose, well-defined on the palate, velvety structure, delicate complexity, and length, lingering finish. 91p.

La Petite Eglise - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 14% alcohol. Second wine of L'Eglise Clinet and more open and softer than Grand Vin. Lighter but lovely aromatic and flavourful, the sweetness of fruit, velvety clad texture, and lovely finish made this wine very attractive. 91p.

La Pointe - aromatic, red berries, a scent of black truffle, violets, sappy, well-defined, vibrant, polished on the palate with tasty berries and grained tannin. Fine effort. 91p.

Rouget - fresh and potent, morello cherries, mineral, mocha, well-structured, layered on the palate, polished, persistent finish. Stylish wine. 91p.

Taillefer - aromatic nose of violets and morello cherries, good intensity on the palate, nice complexity and length, ripe tannin, velvety texture. Smooth aftertaste. Adorable effort. 91p.

Tour Maillet - fresh, intense, morello cherries and raspberries, acidity, well-defined, fine length, and smooth aftertaste. 91p.

La Clemence – scaled-down compared to recent vintages, gentle, aromatic, discreet oak, polished, persistent aftertaste. 90p.

Clos de Beau Pere - fragrant roses and violets on the nose, crushed rocks, well-trimmed palate, lively, delicate fruit and tannin, velvety texture, smooth finish. Some fine effort here. 90p.

Lagrange - 100% Merlot. Fresh, flowery, aromatic. Nicely structured and tasty on the palate. Velvety texture and delicate finish. 90p.

La Cabanne - aromatic raspberries and morello cherries, ripe tannin, lively, tasty, nicely structured, glossy palate, and sleek aftertaste. Seductive effort. 89p.

La Patache - elegant, nicely structured, and tasty on the palate - red berries, coffee beans, and dark chocolate. Velvety texture and delicate finish. 89p.

Pierhem - chewy, modern style with flashy fruit and ripe tannin, tasty, nicely structured, glossy. Sleek aftertaste. 89p.

Blason de L'Evangile - 12.5% alcohol. Mineral, sappy, well-structured, silky, and potent. Nice effort for the second wine of top Pomerol, L'Evangile. 88-89p.

La Grave - 96% Merlot + 4% C. Franc. Straightforward, fresh, roses, spicy, round and pleasant. Tasty. Soft fruity finish. One to drink young. 88-89p.

La Croix de Gay - very raspberry, violets, polished, soft tannin, tasty, good structure and length. Forward, smooth and sleek. 88p.

Vray Croix de Gay - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Fragrant raspberries, fresh, nicely constructed, silky tannin, soft texture, tasty, delicate aftertaste. 88p.

Bonalgue - red berries, juicy acidity, silky fruit, and soft tannin. Nicely structured and tasty on the palate. Soft finish. 87p.

Vieux Maillet – morello cherries, lively, silky fruit, and soft tannin. Nicely structured and tasty on the palate. Delicate finish. 87p.

Clos Vieux Taillefer – aromatic, delicate, on the light side with soft fruit and tannin, polished and smooth. Tasty. One to drink young. 87p

Maillet – light, a bit four-square soft fruit, and soft tannin. Round, pleasant and tasty on the palate. Smooth finish. 86p.

SAINT EMILION

Tertre Roteboeuf - had a sensual and extraordinary nose of black and red berries, an enormous palette of flavors, complexity, and excellent midpalate. Seamless, silky berries, grained tannin, and sophisticated touch. Long caressing finish. A stunning and unique wine, which is a strong candidate for the wine of the vintage. 96-97p.

Cheval Blanc - 43% Merlot, 52% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 13.3% alcohol. Low yield of 28 hl/ha due to mildew. A late harvest ended in mid-October. A lighter version of the wine from this property, subtle and elegant, fragrant violets and redcurrants/raspberries, impeccably structured on the palate with splendid midpalate and silky texture. Gorgeous effort. 96+p.

Angelus - 60% C. Franc + 40% Merlot. The blend is historic as it's the first time with that high percentage of C. Franc, which ripened excellently. Usually, the blend is 60% Merlot and 40% C. Franc. Fresh, morello cherries, crushed rocks, mineral, elegant, strong backbone, great complexity and length, splendid midpalate, and persistent aftertaste. 95+p.

Canon - 71% Merlot + 29% C. Franc. 13.5% alcohol. Flowery with roses, violets, iris (limestone soil), morello cherries, powerful, intense, concentrated, splendid midpalate, grained tannin, persistent finish. Superbly made and stylish effort. 95p.

Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse - 73% Merlot + 27% C.Franc, 13.5% alcohol. The vineyard here wasn't affected by frost. Harvest finished quite late in mid-October due to getting C.Franc perfectly ripe. 2021 is the first vintage made by Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse. Dark red, fresh, pure, mineral, violets and roses, raspberries, C.Franc shined through, precise, focused, and superb midpalate, structure, and length. Quite an achievement for her first vintage. A great future awaits! 94-95p.

Belair Monange - 99% Merlot + 1% C. Franc. Fresh roses, violets, and some coffee beans, vibrant and sappy on the palate, great complexity and length, finesse, velvety tannin, and a long lingering finish. Imposing effort for the vintage. 94+p.

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Tasted wines at Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix - April 2022

Valandraud - big, intense, and concentrated, plenty of morello cherries and raspberries, violets, layered, great complexity, finely grained tannin, structure, and length. Just unanimously superb effort! 94+p.

Le Dôme - 80% C. Franc + 20% Merlot. 13.3% alcohol. Intense blackcurrants, crushed stones, morello cherries, powerful and concentrated on the palate, vibrant, finely grained tannin, focused great complexity, and strong cherry finish. Superbly created wine. 94-95p.  

Croix de Labrie - 90% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 13.98% alcohol. Production was only 20hl/ha. Floral with violets and roses, Elegant and refined with finesse. Silky tannin and delicate texture. Vibrant. Lingering finish. It's superb winemaking here. 94p.

L'If - 79% Merlot + 21% C. Franc. 13.5% alcohol. Fragrant roses, iris, and violets, ripe raspberries on the nose, mineral on the palate with juiciness, impressive structure, and midpalate. Long aftertaste. Impressive effort for the vintage. 94p.

La Confession - raspberries and crushed morello cherries, subtle and splendidly textured, fine acidity, vibrant and splendid structure. Persistent finish. Very clever winemaking. Superb effort. 93-94p.

Corbin - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 13% alcohol. Anabelle Cruse Bardinet used so-called densimetric sorting in 2021, which allowed only grapes with the desired sugar level to pass the selection process. Aromatic redcurrants, roses, and violets. A hint of cocoa and freshly prepared coffee. Fresh, sweet berries, grained tannin, and velvety texture on the palate. Discreet acidity. Elegant package with finesse and sophisticated touch. Impressive for the vintage. 93-94p.

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Anabelle Cruse Bardinet, Corbin's owner, was thrilled when I brought this bottle from Copenhagen to taste it with her. It was indeed a great bottle!

Pavie Macquin - fresh, crunchy morello cherries, violets, fine acidity and tension, sappy, fine complexity and midpalate, vibrant and meaty cherry aftertaste. Splendid effort. 93-94p.

Fleur Cardinale - 60% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 10% C. Sauvignon. 13.5% alcohol. Potent, morello cherries, some dark chocolate and cocoa powder, intense, sappy, vibrant, great complexity, structure, long and persistent finish. Caroline and Ludovic Decoster deserve considerable praise for constantly improving the quality of the property. Impressive for the vintage. 93+p.

Clos Fourtet - was barely powerful and voluptuous in this vintage as it usually is, merely elegant and scaled-down. Floral, charming with the softness of fruit and tannin, lightweight on the palate, with finesse and caressing finish. A promising future awaits. 93p.

Clos Saint Martin - 80% Merlot, 15% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. Freshness, roses, redcurrants, and raspberries, fine acidity and complexity, vibrant, fine midpalate, velvety texture, lingering finish. Superb effort. 93p.

La Couspaude - aromatic raspberries, violets, sappy, elegant, and finesse, splendid structure, lively, grained tannin, and long lingering finish. Gorgeous wine. 93p.

Canon-La-Gaffeliere - crunchy red fruit, violets, spicy, vibrant, fine structure, silky texture, soft and delicate aftertaste. Fine effort. 92-93p.

Peby Faugeres - similar to Faugeres but with more intensity, concentration, and length. Fine midpalate. Cool-styled wine was more like the district's style than modern appearances in 2018, 2019, and 2020. 92-93p.

Soutard - flowery, cherries, fleshy on the palate, vibrant, grained tannin, well-defined, complex, and delicious cherry finish. Splendid effort. 92-93p.

La Tour Figeac - potent, aromatic raspberries, sappy, vibrant, well-structured. Nice mid-palate, persistent aftertaste. Lovely wine. 92-93p.

Vieux Chateau Mazerat - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 13.65% alcohol. Crushed cherries, sesame, mineral, sappy, acidity well-present, silky tannin, pleasing complexity, and persistent finish. Splendid effort. 92-93p.

Larcis Ducasse - had enough flesh to cover the bones, but just. Lighter and more elegant than usual. Soft, charming, lively, and lingering. Hopefully, it'll gain some weight after aging in the barrel. 92+p.

Todeschini Distique 14 - 100% C. Franc. It was made from a 2 ha selection inside the vineyards of Mangot. Very fragrant with morello cherries, roses, crushed rock on the nose, mineral, fine intensity, discreet oak well-supporting soft fruit, and grained tannin. Persistent finish. Quite successful for the vintage. 92+p.

Clos des Jacobins - same owner ass de Candale and La Commanderie. Intense red fruit with fragrant roses, sappy, fine structure and complexity, vibrant, velvety texture, and lingering finish. A fine performance here. 92p.

Corbin Michotte - fragrant roses and violets, crunchy raspberries, nice complexity, grained tannin, gentle and nice structure, caressing finish. Lovely wine. 92p.

Petit Cheval - 60% Merlot, 33% C. Sauvignon and 7% C Franc. Aromatic redcurrants and raspberries, violets, Elegant with finesse, silky fruit, and velvety tannin on the palate, lingering finish. Quite successful for the vintage. 92p.

Faugeres - potent and juicy, aromatic cherries and raspberries, well-structured, polished on the palate, fine ripe tannin, velvety texture, lingering aftertaste. Very true to the soil. Fine quality indeed here. 92p.

Ripeau - flowery on the nose with roses and violets, cherries, fresh, sappy, well-defined on the palate with silky tannin, delicate complexity, and structure, polished, lingering aftertaste. Gorgeous wine. 92p

Tour St. Christophe - fresh, juicy, aromatic red berries, well-composed, mineral, excellent length, finely grained tannin, and lingering aftertaste. Well done for the vintage. 92p.

Berliquet - 61% Merlot + 30% C. Franc. There are three different soils here - limestones and clay with sand. Intense, rose bush, raspberries, mineral, bright acidity, velvety tannin, well-structured, smooth aftertaste. 91-92p.

Cap de Mourlin - sister property to Balestard La Tonnelle. This wine just edged sister property with more concentration. Bright acidity, excellent structure, elegance, and persistent finish. 91-92p.

Clos Dubreuil - displayed sufficient intensity of violets and aromatic raspberries on the nose, nice complexity and structure, silky tannin, and caressing aftertaste. Catchy wine. 91-92p

Laforge - 92% Merlot + 8% C. Franc. 13.3% alcohol. Red fruit with spices, well-structured on the palate with fine acidity. Mineral, juicy, vanilla, velvety tannin, persistent aftertaste. Fine effort. 91-92p.

Larmande - crushed morello cherries and crushed rocks, violets, spicy on the palate, lively, nice complexity and length, fine structure, meaty aftertaste. Fine. 91-92p.

Magrez Fombrauge –  aromatic, red fruit, juicy, nice concentration and structure on the palate, tasty and silky tannin. Lingering finish. 91-92p.

De Pressac – on the light side, aromatic and graceful, flowery, red fruit, grained tannin, gentle, smooth, lingering finish. Nice effort. 91-92p.

Sansonnet - floral with roses and violets, crushed cherries, juicy, tender, and subtle on the palate with lovely fruit, silky tannin, fine structure, and delicate finish. Catchy wine. 91-92p.

Virginie de Valandraud - aromatic, red fruit and cocoa powder, sappy, elegant, and well structured on the palate, gently fruity and silky tannin. Caressing finish. Seductive effort. 91-92p.

Balestard La Tonnelle - typical for the vintage with aromatic red berries (raspberries and morello cherries), vibrancy, the softness of tannin, silky texture, and lingering finish. 91p.

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Nice view from Balestard La Tonnelle towards Saint-Emilion - April 2022

Cadet Bon - fresh, flowery, morello cherries, lively, nicely structured with grained tannin, velvety texture, and caressing finish. Seductive effort. 91p.

Carillon d'Angelus - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Floral with roses and violets, fragrant raspberries, delicate on the palate with a velvety texture, lively, well-defined, and caressing aftertaste. Catchy wine. 91p.'

Cote de Baleau - violets, raspberries, soft fruit, and tannin, polished, well-defined, sappy, attractive, and pleasant. Lovely appearance. 91p.

Croix Cardinale - crushed cherries, violets, grated milk chocolate, energetic, well-defined on the palate, tender, silky tannin, and delicate finish. Seductive effort. 91p.

La Dominique - aromatic raspberries, soft tannin, tasty, gentle on the palate, pleasant, smooth, velvety texture, charm, caressing finish. 91p.

Mangot - 75% Merlot, 20% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. Floral, coffee beans, grated dark chocolate, elegant, silky fruit and soft tannin, delicate structure, and smooth aftertaste. Slick and seductive effort. 91p.

Moulin du Cadet - morello cherries and raspberries on the nose, lively, polished on the palate with soft fruit and delicate tannin, balanced, nicely structured, and smooth aftertaste. 91p.

La Serre - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Floral with roses, silky fruit and tannin, fine structure and fruit intensity, lively, caressing cherry finish. Delicate. 91p

Soutard Cadet -  aromatic, morello cherries, crushed rocks, juicy, fine acidity to complement ripe fruit, well defined, polished, and with a lingering finish. Well-made. 91p.

La Voute - violets, iris, cherries, soft fruit, and tannin, polished, attractive, and pleasant. Adorable effort. 90+p.

Grand Mayne - fragrant, roses and raspberries, juicy, soft fruit and tannin, lovely intensity, silky texture, savory, lingering finish. Well-made. 90-91p.

Laroze – potent, morello cherries, roses, and iris, sappy, lovely structure and tannin, elegance and finesse, gentle texture. A true charmer. 90-91p.

Villemaurine - aromatic and tasty raspberries, roses, juicy, well-defined on the palate, acidity, soft texture, delicious and fruity aftertaste. Fine. 90-91p

Montlabert – raspberry, some spiciness, juicy, pleasant, polished, soft tannin, nice sweetness, sleek and seductive. 90p

SaintemSaintayme - 100% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Aromatic cherries, violets, fresh acidity, lively, ripe, gentle tannin. Tasty and seductive. This wine was straightforward to make friends with. 90p.

Rolland Maillet - freshly crushed raspberries, soft fruit, and tannin, polished, seductive, round, tender finish. 90p.

Tour Baladoz – fruity, red berries, violets, lively, elegant, tasty, and well-made. Soft tannin. 90p.

Dassault - a bit skinny on the palate but had a lot of charm. Gentle fruit and tannin, velvety texture, tasty and delicate finish. 89-90p.

Grand Corbin Despagne – lovely aromatic nose of cherries and violets, juicy, soft fruit and tannin, polished on the palate, smooth finish. Somewhat lighter and less intense compared to recent vintages. 89-90p.

Haut Brisson - red fruit, sappy, nice acidity, soft fruit and soft tannin on the palate, pleasant and smooth finish. 89-90p,

La Marzelle - flowery, crushed cherries, polished, silky fruit, and smooth tannin, attractive and pleasant. Nice effort. 89-90p.

Clos Badon - morello cherries, violets, spicy, well-composed, juicy, well-managed tannin, and velvety texture. Smooth aftertaste. Quite an admirable effort. 89p.

La Croizille – roses and red berries. Juicy, nice acidity, pleasant and tasty. Gentle tannin. Crowd pleaser. 89p.

Teyssier - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 13.3% alcohol. Spicy black fruit and figs, mineral, corpulent, well-integrated tannin, lovely structure, fruity finish. Adorable effort. 89p

Clos Romanile - violets and cherries, juicy, well-assorted on the palate, lively, soft fruit and grained tannin, gentle finish. 88-89p.

La Commanderie - raspberries and violets, seductive, silky fruit and gentle tannin, good balance and caressing finish. On the light side but offered a good deal of pleasure. 88-89p.

Clavis Orea - flowery, cherries, spicy, polished, soft tannin, attractive and pleasant. Adorable effort. 88p

Destieux – roses and raspberries, coffee beans, sappy, well-constructed, pleasant tannin, polished, fruity finish. Understandably lighter here than in recent vintages due to gentler vinification. 88p.

Lynsolence – modern style with extraction, sweetness, polished palate, good structure, and soft finish. 88p.

Virginie Thunevin - fragrant roses and violets, raspberries, round, pleasant and tasty, delicate and attractive. To drink early in its life. 88p.

De Candale - red fruit, roses, aromatic, soft texture, pleasant and tasty, attractive, fruity finish. Already drinkable. 87p.

No. 3 d'Angelus - 85% Merlot, 10% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. Second wine of Carillon d'Angelus. Roses, soft fruit and tannin, roundness, tasty and seductive on the palate. To drink shortly after release. 87p.

Fonroque - flowery, soft, elegant, polished. Nice fruitiness on the palate, gentle tannin. This wine could use some more intensity and length. Pretty but skinny. 87p

Valandraud 3 - aromatic red fruit, round and gentle on the palate, pleasant and tasty, straightforward, fruity finish. 87p

Yon Figeac - cherries and violets, pleasant, round and tasty, delicate fruit and tannin, polished and smooth. To drink at a young age. 86-87p.

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