This label is celebrating Olivier Bernard's 40 years at D.d. Chevalier
I spent two weeks in Bordeaux from mid-April, tasting approximately 360 barrel samples of 2022 vintage.
I will write an ultra-short poem about the weather. My dear colleagues in the wine writing business have fully covered this topic. You can find details about it month by month in many places on the Internet, so I only will put the essential info here.
2022 was a year of extremes in Bordeaux with frost, forest fires, lack of rain, and several heat waves. Winemakers had to be careful in the vineyard and not do the green harvest. Some properties sprayed leaves in the vineyard with finely pulverized white clay mixture to cool vines down.
Alfred Tesseron told me while tasting his 2022 at Pontet Canet – ”It was difficult to do nothing in 2022 vintage!”. Why? Because this vintage required minimum intervention in the vinification cellar, meaning gentle extraction/maceration at max. 25-26 degrees C and very few pump-overs/punching down the cap. This was how to handle these very concentrated small grapes Mother Nature presented for winemakers.
Because of high temperatures, and lack of water, you will see low yields in several places in Bordeaux, but only in some areas. It was an early harvest for many years, taking place at the beginning of September.
Although the 2022 vintage can be similar to 2003 weather-like, you can't compare them. Technology, vineyard management, and vinification were much better in 2022. Vines adapted exceptionally well to highly challenging weather conditions, producing grapes of outstanding quality. You will find a few over-extracted and overripe wines here and there in Bordeaux, but there were a few around them.
Red wines are powerful on both banks, and there are some potential legends among these with the prospect of achieving three-digit scores. They're followed by a large group of impeccably made wines with ratings in the high nineties. You can't say 2022 is a consistent vintage everywhere in Bordeaux, but several properties have made their best wine ever. It's difficult to say which commune/district/area is the best-performing one, and you would immediately think wines produced from limestone/clay soils are the best. Yes, it's true, but many properties on gravelly/stony soils did as astonishingly well.
White dry wines are of excellent quality, tasting very lemony among many wines and with fine minerality. They could use more acidity, but weather conditions didn't allow it. Wines are similar in style to 2020 vintage.
White sweet wines will enjoy a tremendous vintage thanks to the excellent quality of botrytized grapes harvested in October/November, meaning immense concentration and great acidity.
Primeur prices have just started coming out (mid-May 2023), which are higher than the 2020 vintage. To buy or not to buy? Difficult question because Bordeaux already has 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020. It's totally up to the wine consumer and his money!
I tasted all the important wines except Latour, Leoville Lascases, and Pavie. I will check on these, hopefully later this year. Some other thoughts:
1. I like it when the owner/manager/technical director shows up and tastes together with me during the visit!
2. UGCB and Domaine de Chevalier arranged a wonderful welcome evening for the press on Monday, the 24th of April. Plenty of excellent food and wines. Many friends met again. My favorite stand was the Torrencinas (Salamanca) which served fabulously tasty Bellota ham. I loved it!!
3. I lost my wallet with money and credit cards at Bordeaux St. Jean train station the same day as above in the morning while buying a ticket for the tramway, but a very kind soul found it on the floor and passed it to a woman clerk in the sale office. Merci beaucoup to he/she!
4. This article was written while listening to French-English guitar virtuoso Laura Cox, who plays blues-rock-country songs she writes. I dedicate her song to all winemakers in Bordeaux with a perfect title concerning their work, “Wiser”. I video-recorded it in Hamburg in March of this year. Wiser – you were well prepared to solve the challenges the weather treated you with. Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbrKPFpQOgg
How I graded ratings of tasted wines:
98-100p - perfectly made wines, well on the way to becoming legends.
97-99p - truly remarkable wines with a lot of style and class, great potential, and fabulously made.
96-98p - very focused wines with great precision, personality, and complexity.
94-95p - remarkable wines with style and grace.
92-94p – splendid wines with character and focus.
90-92p – well-made wines.
88-90p - admirable quality.
Outstanding in 2022 vintage with different price levels. If you can afford the expensive ones, buy them:
Ch. Margaux (Margaux), Angelus, Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse, Canon, Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Le Dôme, Tertre Roteboeuf and Troplong Mondot (St. Emilion), Haut Brion, Les Carmes Haut Brion, Domaine de Chevalier (red and white), Haut Bailly and La Mission Haut Brion red and white, Smith Haut Lafitte red and white, (Pessac-Leognan), Ducru Beaucaillou (St. Julien), Clinet, La Conseillante, L’Eglise Clinet, Lafleur, Le Pin, Petrus and Vieux Ch. Certan (Pomerol), Lafite, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Baron and Pichon Comtesse (Pauillac), Montrose, Calon Segur and Cos d’Estournel (St. Estephe), Extravagant de Doisy Daëne and de Fargues (Sauternes and Barsac)
Best value for the money:
La Lagune (Haut Medoc), La Rose Perriere (Lussac St. Emilion), Cap St. George (Saint Georges Saint Emilion), Bourgneuf and La Croix St. Georges (Pomerol), Clarisse Cuvee Vieilles Vignes (Puisseguin St. Emilion), de Montadon (Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux), Corbin, Clos de Jacobins, La Confession, Fleur Cardinale and Mangot (St.Emilion), Pauillac (Pauillac), La Haye, Haut Marbuzet, Meyney and Phelan Segur (all St.Estephe), Seguin (Pessac-Leognan)
Big, big thanks to Alex Rychlewski from Bordeaux and Ivar Bjurner with his wife Anne from Copenhagen, Denmark, for bringing me around during the hectic primeur times!
WINES BY COMMUNE/DISTRICT:
All the wines mentioned here were tasted with labels visible - no blind tasting.
Just so you know, the feeling, pleasure, and excitement when I like a given wine are the same whenever I write 3 or 25 lines.
BORDEAUX AND BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR
Valandraud white – 45% S. Gris, 40% S. Blanc and 15% Semillon. Plenty of aromas of acacia flower, peaches, pineapple, and mango, vibrant, multi-faceted, splendid complexity, acidity, and energetic aftertaste. Superb effort. 94-95p.
Cos d'Estournel white - 74% S. Blanc + 26% Semillon. Fresh, intense, citrus, lemongrass, pineapple, crisp, bright acidity, energetic, persistent finish. Splendid effort. 94p.
Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux - 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp intensity of green apples, citrus, and lemongrass with well-matched great minerality and acidity. Vibrant with tension and complexity. Impressive effort. 94p.
Aile d'Argent - white wine from Mouton Rothschild. Lemony, citrus, pineapple, bright acidity, crisp, vibrant, savory, complex, and lingering aftertaste. Superb effort. 93-94p.
Nardian - 70% S. Blanc, 15% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle. A strong aroma of pineapple and green apples, lemony, complex, crisp, bright acidity, and length. Splendid effort. 93+p.
Les Champs Libres - 100% Sauvignon - grapefruit, pear, crisp and fresh on the palate, fine acidity, vibrant, well-structured, lingering finish. Delightful wine and a perfect seafood companion. 93p.
Les Perrieres de Lafleur – 50% de Bouchet + 50% Merlot. Aromatic, blueberries and blackberries, roses, sappy, grained tannin, well-defined, fine structure, and persistent finish. Delicious effort. 93p.
Pagodes de Cos white - 57% S. Blanc + 43% Semillon. Very grapefruity, lemongrass, crisp, acidity, refreshing lemony finish. Lovely second wine of white Cos d'Estournel. 92-93p.
Virginie de Valandraud white - it's the second label of white Valandraud. 60% Semillon + 40% Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and lively, aromas of pineapple and grapefruit, fine acidity, crispy and delicate on the palate with a lingering fruity finish. 92p.
Grand Village white - 70% Sauvignons + 30% Semillon. Freshly cut pineapple. Acacia flower and lemongrass, crispiness, fine acidity, tasty, lingering finish. Fine effort for the vintage. 92p
Grand Village - 80% Merlot + 20% de Bouchet. Black cherries and crushed morello cherries, luscious berries, mineral, fat tannin, and lovely structure. Persistent aftertaste. 92p.
S de Suduiraut dry white Vieilles Vignes – 100% Semillon. Exotic with dried apricot and pineapple, pear, minerality, acidity, lively, persistent finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Virginie de Valandraud white - it's the second label of white Valandraud. 60% Semillon + 40% Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and lively, aromas of pineapple and grapefruit, fine acidity, crispy and delicate on the palate with a lingering fruity finish. 92p.
Reaut white - acacia, pineapple, lemongrass, nice acidity. Nice. 91+p.
Suduiraut dry white - lemony, green apple, acacia flower, nice acidity, crispy and delicate on the palate, lingering finish. 91-92p.
Domaine de Cambes - this is a part of Roc de Cambes vineyard, located close to the banks of the Gironde river. Seductive black cherries, velvety texture, silky fruit and tannin, and lush finish. 91p.
Clos de Beau Pere white - 100% Sauvignon (60% S. Gris and 40% S. Blanc). It'd an aroma of pineapple, lemongrass, bright acidity, fresh and crispy on the palate, and a nice aftertaste. 90p.
De Reignac – subtle fruity nose, polished on the palate with well-integrated tannin. Soft texture. Pleasant. 90p.
Bad Boy – fresh, chewy, soft fruit and tannin, nice concentration, pleasant and tasty. Nice. 90p.
Blanc de Chateau Reaut - pineapple, lemony, nice acidity, crispy on the palate, and a refreshing aftertaste. 90p.
Tempo d’Angelus – grapes for this wine come from vineyards in Castillon-de Batailley and Sainte Colombe, purchased in 2017 and located a few kilometers from St.Emilion. It’s a more straightforward and earlier maturing wine compared with Carillon d’Angelus. Red berries, roses, silky, pleasant, and smooth aftertaste. 90p.
Clos de Lune d’Or – 70% Semillon + 30% S. Blanc. Similar to d’Argent with a touch of sweetness and more intensity. Suits shellfish dishes well. 90p.
Lafont Fourcat - flowery, pleasant, round, and tasty. Some minerality. 88p.
Clos Lune d’Argent – 70% Semillon + 30% S. Blanc. Acacia flower. Lemongrass, pear, pleasant, nice acidity, soft texture, tasty, smooth finish. 89p.
Virginie Thunevin – floral with raspberries, pleasant, soft, tasty, and smooth finish. 89p.
Lafont Fourcat - flowery, pleasant, round, and tasty. Some minerality. 88p.
CADILLAC COTES DE BORDEAUX
Reaut – lovely nose of cherries and violets, sappy, lively, soft fruit, polished tannin. Smooth and lingering aftertaste. Nice effort. 91-92p.
Carat de Chateau Reaut – more concentration here, intensity, and length than in standard cuvee. Fine quality. 92p.
Reynon – aromatic cherries and violets, sappy, spicy, nicely constructed, and polished on the palate. Fruity finish. Pleasant and tasty. 91p.
SAUTERNES & BARSAC
Extravagant de Doisy Daëne – 100% Semillon. Unctuous with acacia/heather honey, a fabulous interplay between sweetness and acidity, candied oranges and apricots, rich with many layers, mega long aftertaste. Exceptional effort! 98-99p.
Climens – 100% Semillon. I tasted it at Bill Blatch Sauternes’ stand during the Vintex tasting at Ripeau. Patrimonia Development now runs Climens, and the previous owner, Berenice Lurton, will consult the new owners over the next few years. The recent vintages weren’t kind for Climens due to the huge loss of grapes wiped out by frost and no wine to sell. 2022 is a great comeback for the property, with stylish wine having lots of finesse, sophisticated touch, great sweetness, and acidity. Sheer class here. 97+p.
De Fargues - had a high intensity of botrytized flavors such as heather honey, apricot, and orange peel, with the acidity perfectly complementing the sweet fruit. Excellent complexity, richness, and length. It was sophisticated and refined. Luxurious finish. Great effort. 96-97p.
Lafaurie Peyraguey - 94% Semillon, 5% S. Blanc and 1% Muscadelle. Intense aromas of sweet oranges, heather honey, and bright acidity. Concentrated on the palate yet with flair and grace. Layered, great complexity, and sophisticated touch. Sublimely long finish. 96-97p.
Suduiraut – 100% Semillon. Intense on the nose with acacia honey, apricot, and mango, great complexity, structure, and length on the palate, acidity, and sweetness made a great pair. Vibrant, refined, and sophisticated. Fabulous stuff. 96-97p.
Raymond Lafon – 80% Semillon + 20% S. Blanc. It was a subtle, sophisticated wine with botrytised guava, candied oranges, and dried apricot aromas. Fine acidity, vibrant, finesse, and honeyed finish. Excellent effort. 95-96p.
Additionally, I tasted delicious vintages, such as 2021 (93p), 2020 (94p), 2019 (94p), and 2013 (95p).
Nairac – last year (2022), the owner, Nicole Tari, agreed with Terres Bordelaises (a subsidiary of Grands Chais de France. owned by the Helfrich family from Alsace) to rent the property to them for 25 years. Grand Chais de France already owns a property in Sauternes, Bastor Lamontagne (since 2018). Jean-Marc Dulong from Terres Bordelaises, who manages both properties, made the 2022 vintage. A massive modernization of the cellar and cleaning/replanting/adjusting in the vineyard will be done soon.
2022 - 92% Semillon, 6% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Muscadelle. Intense acacia honey, walnuts, great sweetness, bright acidity, vibrant, finesse, elegance, and persistent finish. Great comeback for the property, and hope for more stability. 94+p.
Jean-Marc Dulong was kind to additionally serve the delightful two vintages of Nairac, 2015 (94p) and 2010 (96p).
Doisy Daene – 100% Semillon. Very intense on the nose with botrytised pineapple flavors, orange peel, acacia flower, bright acidity, complex, refined with great length on the palate. Honeyed aftertaste. Simply delicious. 94p.
Guiraud - 70% Semillon + 30% S. Blanc. Intense flavors of sweet grapefruit and honey melon, elegant with finesse, bright acidity, refined, pleasing sweetness, and lingering finish. Delicious stuff. 94p.
Rayne Vigneau - 75% Semillon + 25% S. Blanc. Aromas of acacia honey, candied apricots, lively, fine acidity to complement sweetness, complex and vibrant on the palate, long honeyed aftertaste. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
Sigalas Rabaud – 100% Semillon. We had a splendid nose of honey melon, heather honey, and candied orange peel, well-defined on the palate with bright acidity, layered, striking complexity, refined, and with a long lingering finish. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
D’Arche – 95% Semillon + 5% S. Blanc. Intense botrytized flavors of guava, mango, candied orange peel, fine acidity, well-balanced and well-composed. Delicate honeyed finish. Lovely effort. 92-93p.
Tasted 2020, 2013, and 1998 vintages as well. 2020 (91p), 2013 (93p) and 1998 (93+p). This property produces a luxury cuvee in exceptional vintages – I tasted the beautiful and very concentrated 2016 Arche-Lafaurie Crème de Tete, which I rated 95-96p.
Bastor Lamontagne - a nice portion of botrytised orange peel, candied apricots, great supporting acidity, nicely constructed, delicate, and honeyed palate. Caressing finish. Fine effort. 92-93p.
Broustet – 90% Semillon, 7% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle. Acacia honey and orange peel on the nose, lovely structure, acidity and sweetness, honeyed finish. Seductive and tasty. 91p.
Soleil d’Arche – second wine of D’Arche. Exotic, watermelon and candied apricot, nice acidity, delicate and tasty, honeyed aftertaste. 90p.
2020 vintage – 88-89p.
Lions de Suduiraut – sweet pineapple, sweetness, acidity, tasty and pleasant. Soft with a smooth finish. 89-90p.
Notice: Yquem didn’t offer 2022 to taste from the barrel, but they kindly agreed to let me taste 2020, 2019, 2018, 2013, and 2011 of Grand Vin. The new cellar master, Toni El Khawand (see picture below on the right), who assisted Sandrine Garbay for several years before she left Yquem last year, conducted the tasting. All vintages tasted excellent, but the ones I liked the most were 2019, 2013, and 2011. You will find a more detailed description of these five vintages in the Yquem profile on my website.
GRAVES red and white
Chantegrive "Cuvée Caroline" (white) - acacia flower and apple, fresh, elegant, crispy, fine acidity, well-defined, smooth aftertaste. Very adorable. 91-92p.
De Cerons white - acacia flower, pineapple, and lemon, nice acidity, crispiness, delicate balance, tasty. Fruity finish. A perfect wine for a garden party. 90-91p.
De Cerons – spicy raspberries, mineral, licorice, nicely constructed, velvety texture. Pleasant, round, and tasty. Smooth finish. 89p.
Chantegrive – spicy/smoky berries, pleasant and round, nicely structured, tasty, and smooth on the palate. 89p.
Rahoul – spicy blackcurrants, smoky, sappy, pleasant, nice structure, smooth, tasty, soft finish. 89p.
Rahoul white – fresh, green apple and lemon, crispy, nice acidity, round and pleasant. Fruity finish. 89p.
Clos Floridene – spicy blackcurrants, licorice, mineral on the nose and palate, soft, round, harmonious, and tasty. 88p.
PESSAC LEOGNAN red
Les Carmes Haut Brion - 40% C. Franc, 34% C. Sauvignon and 26% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. 70% whole bunches to keep ABV down! An intense mix of black cherries and blackcurrants spiced up with roses, minerality, vibrant, great structure, and a strong backbone, incredibly sensual, sophisticated, and many layers. A strong candidate to compete for the wine of the vintage! 98-100p.
2020 (bottled in February 2023) – 98p. 1943 – a great bottle to enjoy. 95p.
We are trying the new vintage - left. Colorful vats - right
Haut Brion – 53.6% Merlot, 35.4% C. Sauvignon and 11% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Intensely aromatic blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, cigar box, great acidity, splendid complexity, vibrant and sophisticated-Long and sensual finish. Spectacularly sublime for the vintage. 99p.
La Mission Haut Brion – 51.7% C. Sauvignon + 43.2% % Merlot and 5.1% C. Franc. 14.1% alcohol. More C. Sauvignon in the blend in this vintage. Plenty of blackcurrants and cherries were tobacco, mineral, vibrant, great complexity, refined, fine midpalate, and finesse. Long aftertaste. Sublime stuff. 98+p.
Domaine de Chevalier - 65% C. Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 14% alcohol. Intense black- and redcurrants, chewy, mineral, concentrated, great depth and length, great complexity, and midpalate. Long and persistent aftertaste. Exceptional effort for the vintage. It’s Olivier Bernards’ 40th vintage here and will be celebrated with a special label (running horse). 98p.
2020 vintage - 97-98p.
Haut Bailly - 56% C. Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% P. Verdot and 2% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. The production was only 30 hl/ha. Strong, noticeable minerality, graphite, tobacco, tight, strong structure, many layers, excellent mid-palate, and long, meaty aftertaste. Fabulous stuff. 98p.
Smith Haut Lafitte – 64% C. Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Aromatic cherries, blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, great acidity, powerful on the palate with a strong backbone, big concentration, multilayered, and great length. Long, long finish. Impressive effort. 98p.
Pape Clement - 60% Merlot + 40% C. Sauvignon. 14% alcohol. Intense blackcurrants and cherries, graphite, mineral, fine acidity, lush, well-structured, vibrant, great midpalate, complex, and persistent finish. Excellent wine. 96p.
Malartic Lagraviere - displayed a fine intensity of blackcurrants, minty flavor, tobacco leaves, freshness, minerality, fine structure, and length. Vibrant. Long and meaty finish. Superb effort. 95p.
Seguin – 55% C. Sauvignon + 45% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Derenoncourt Consulting advises here. Powerful and tight, blueberries, violets, and roses, smoky, mineral, vibrant, bright acidity, silky texture, fine midpalate, long finish. Excellent effort. 95p.
Larrivet Haut Brion – 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc and 18% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Intense black cherries/blackcurrants garnished with violets and roses, sappy, fine complexity, lively, finesse, well-structured, luscious fruit, and grained tannin. Lingering finish. This property makes better and better wine and is reasonably priced as well. Superb. 94p.
Latour Martillac - 50% C. Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 8% P. Verdot. Plenty of blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, minty, sappy, strong backbone, well-structured, grained tannin, vibrant, persistent finish.Splendid effort. 94p.
Carbonnieux - 50% C. Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 5% P. Verdot. Aromatic blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, cigar box, freshness, acidity, well-structured, grained tannin, meaty and persistent aftertaste. 93p.
La Louviere -. Intense cherries and blackcurrants on the nose, subtle and elegant on the palate, well-defined, nice complexity and structure, delicate fruit and tannin. Spicy aftertaste. Always a great value for the money. 93p.
Le C des Carmes Haut Brion - 60% C. Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 30% whole bunches. Spicy blackcurrants, tobacco, freshness, bright acidity, delicate and sensual, silky texture, fine balance, and lingering aftertaste. Superb effort. 93-94p. 2020 vintage - 93p.
Le Clarence de Haut Brion - 62.1 % Merlot, 21.9 % C. Sauvignon, 14.5% C. Franc and 1.5% P. Verdot. Cherries, fresh, lively, mineral, tobacco leaves, well-structured and complex, vibrant, velvety tannin, and cherry aftertaste. Splendid second wine of Haut Brion. 93+p.
La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion – 55.9% Merlot Noir, 35.7% C. Sauvignon and 8.4% C. Franc. Blackcurrant, mineral, nice tension and freshness, fine acidity, well-defined and smooth on the palate, nice length, and persistent finish. 93p.
L'Esprit de Chevalier - 65% C. Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5 % P. Verdot. 14% alcohol. Plenty of red- and blackcurrants, smoky, delicate fruit, sappy, minerality. Vibrant. Subtle complexity and bright acidity. Splendid second wine for D.d. Chevalier. 93p.
de Fieuzal - 50% Merlot, 45% C. Sauvignon and 5% P. Verdot. Blackcurrants, sappy and lively, elegance, finesse, silky texture, well-composed, polished, smooth aftertaste. Well-made wine. 93p.
Le Petit Smith de Haut Lafitte – 14% alcohol. Powerful and intense on the nose with aromatic blackcurrants, plenty of crunchy fruit with well-trimmed tannin on the palate, lovely complexity, fine balance, and meaty aftertaste. 93p.
Haut Bailly II - second wine of Haut Bailly. 65% Merlot, 30% C. Sauvignon, 3% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. Mineral, coffee beans, spicy blackcurrants, tension, vibrant, well-structured, and persistent aftertaste. Splendid effort. 92p.
Haut Bergey - blackcurrants, roses, minty, well-assorted on the palate, acidity, velvety texture, complex, persistent aftertaste. Lovely wine. 92p.
Les Hauts de Smith – 14% alcohol. Spicy black-/redcurrants, juicy, vibrant, fine balance, chewy, well-structured. Persistent finish. Adorable effort. 92p.
Lespault Martillac – 65% Merlot, 30% C. Sauvignon and 5 % P. Verdot. 14% alcohol. Spicy blackcurrants, mineral, lively, well-defined on the palate, nice acidity, gentle tannin, smooth aftertaste. Fine effort. 92p.
Bouscaut - 55% Merlot, 40% C. Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. 14.1% alcohol. Minty, mineral, sappy, nice acidity, well-defined, spicy fruit, gentle tannin, round, soft aftertaste. Adorable wine. 91p.
Le Thil - dark aromatic berries, strong, mineral. A nicely constructed wine with a solid backbone and delicate finish. 91p.
de France - 60% C. Sauvignon + 40% Merlot. Cherries, minty, smoky, lightly textured, pleasant and round, gentle, soft fruit and tannin, smooth aftertaste. One to drink young. 90-91p.
Cruzeau - fresh, spicy blackcurrants, crushed rocks, sappy, lively, lovely structure and balance, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.
Olivier - spicy blackcurrants, smoky, lovely fruit concentration, velvety texture, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.
Rochemorin - fresh, spicy blackcurrants, crushed rocks, sappy, lively, lovely structure and balance, soft tannin, smooth finish. 90p.
Domaine de La Solitude – 60% C. Sauvignon + 40% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Spicy black fruit and big tannin, juicy, nicely structured on the palate with good length and fruity aftertaste. 90p.
Picque Caillou – fragrant violets and roses on the nose, spicy black currants, lightly textured, round, and pleasant. Tasty. 88-89p.
PESSAC LEOGNAN white
Haut Brion – 51.4% Semillon + 48.6% S. Blanc. Great intensity of green apple, pear, and pineapple, acidity, crispiness, structure, and length. Vibrant. Long lemony aftertaste. Sheer class. 98-99p.
La Mission Haut Brion - 72% Semillon + 28% S. Blanc. Significantly more Semillon in the blend compared to recent vintages. Aromatic pineapple and citrus, white peach, great acidity and complexity on the palate. Finesse and elegance. Long and lingering finish. Tremendous effort. 97+p.
Domaine de Chevalier white - dignified nose of green apple, pear, and lemongrass. Great acidity. Vibrant and sophisticated on the palate with great complexity, depth, and length. Many layers. Classic and distinguished effort for the property. Amazing stuff! 97p.
2020 vintage - 96p.
Smith Haut Lafitte – 80% Semillon + 20% S.Blanc. Powerful, very lemony, green apple and grapefruit, great acidity, great structure, crispy, vibrant, and multilayered on the palate. Long and persistent aftertaste. Tremendous effort. 96-97p.
Malartic Lagraviere - 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. Classic and classy white Bordeaux! 95-96p.
Pape Clement - potent with bright acidity, vibrancy, crispiness, and plenty of acacia flower, citrus, and lemongrass. Strong structure and a long lemony finish. Excellent wine. 95p.
Larrivet Haut Brion – had an intense and delicate aroma of acacia flower, grapefruit, and lemongrass on the nose, crisp fruit on the palate, tension, splendid acidity, well-structured, lingering finish. Great style. 94p.
Latour 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 lemony aftertaste. Superb effort. 94p.
La Louviere - this property's white wine never disappoints and always has been a great value for money. 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. 94p.
Carbonnieux - elegant nose of acacia flower, green apple, and lemongrass, fine acidity, vibrant and tense. Delightful on the palate with freshness and crisp fruit. Lingering aftertaste. 93-94p.
De Fieuzal - apple, citrus, and grapefruit on the nose, mineral, crispiness, bright acidity, complex and vibrant. Refined. Persistent finish with a lemony scent. Superb effort. 93p
La Clarte de Haut Brion – 53.7% S. Blanc + 46.3% Semillon. Fresh and energetic, lemongrass, green apple, lemon grass, crisp, fine acidity, and lingering finish. 92p.
L'Esprit de Chevalier – for a second wine of 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.
Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte - had more spiciness and green apple flavor here than LHdS. More detailed and long finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Lespault Martillac - acacia flower, pear, lemongrass, crisp, lively, fine acidity, structure, and length. Refreshing lemony finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Olivier – intense on the nose and palate, grapefruit and lemongrass, crisp fruit, fine acidity, complex. Persistent finish. Adorable effort. 92p.
Bouscaut - freshness, white flowers, crisp fruit, and pleasant acidity worked well together, mineral and complex. Lemony finish. 91-92p.
Cruzeau - distinct nose of green apple and acacia flower, crispy taste, fresh, nice acidity, lively, fine structure, and lingering finish. 91-92p.
Les Hauts de Smith – 100% Semillon. Exotic with pineapple and white peach flavors, nice acidity, crisp, delicate on the palate, and tasty. Lemony finish. Seductive effort. 91-92p.
De Rochemorin – 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. 91-92p.
De France white - 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.
Domaine de La Solitude – reminded me a great deal of Lespault Martillac but was a bit lighter and shorter on the aftertaste. Otherwise, a pleasant and catchy wine. 91p.
Picque Caillou white - acacia flower and white peach, fresh, crisp, nice acidity, smooth aftertaste. Pleasant, tasty, and attractive. 90p.
La Lagune (HM) - 52% C. Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 3% P. Verdot. 13.85% alcohol. More Merlot in the blend in 2022. This property offered a precise, focused, elegant, refined wine, as usual. Layered. Fresh, aromatic with blackcurrants and violets, tension, and meaty finish. On the level with 2020, and may excel it after bottling. One of my favorite wines among lower classified ones! 95-96p.
I also tasted the wonderfully made 2020 (95-96p) and the more classic vintage 2021 (94p).
Lamarque (HM) – intense aromatic blackcurrants, tobacco, minty, lush, well-defined, delicate, and complex on the palate. Silky texture. Very seductive. Lingering finish. Splendid effort. 93p.
Belgrave (HM) - delicate nose of ripe blackcurrants and cherries, well-balanced and silky on the palate with well-grained tannin. Vibrant, finely textured, and with a firm finish. Lovely effort. 92-93p.
Beaumont (HM) – aromatic nose of black fruit and roses, lush and silky berries on the palate, ripe tannin, sappy, vibrant, fine acidity, well-balanced, and persistent finish. A wine with a nice personality. 92p.
G d'Estournel (M) - 67% Merlot, 29% C. Sauvignon, 3.6% C. Franc and 0.4% P. Verdot. More C. Sauvignon in the blend resulting in powerful wine with a strong backbone. Spicy blackberries and raspberries, tobacco, minerality, sappy, grained tannin, meaty finish. Best ever vintage here. 92p.
Cantemerle (HM) – seductive nose of blackcurrants. Sappy and lively, smooth, with nice structure, depth, and length. 91-92p.
La Tour Carnet (HM) – spicy black/redcurrants, lively, nicely constructed, energetic, acidity, harmonious, spicy finish. Nice effort. 91-92p.
Camensac (HM) - fresh blackcurrants on the nose, meaty palate with strong structure, ripe tannins, silky texture, and fine acidity. More than a solid effort. 91p.
Citran (HM) – similar in style and quality to Camensac. The only slight difference is the presence of a more flowery nose (violets). 91p.
La Tour de By (M) – spicy blackcurrants and cherries, graphite, nice acidity to keep everything in good order, nicely structured, sappy, medium body, smooth tannin, fruity finish. 91p.
Charmail (HM) – aromatic and lush blackcurrants, polished and juicy on the palate, silky berries and tannin, nicely structured, fruity finish. Catchy wine. 90-91p.
Coufran (HM) – aromatic black fruit and some flowers (roses and violets) on the nose, mineral and sappy on the palate, lush, nice structure and length, nice fruity finish. Adorable. 90-91p.
La Cardonne (M) - black cherries and roses on the nose, lively, sappy, spicy, nice acidity, well-defined with nice structure. Adorable effort. 90p.
Madame de Beaucaillou (HM)– blackcurrants and blueberries, delicate, silky texture, round and smooth, nicely structured, tasty, fruity aftertaste. 90p.
Chateau Margaux - 92% C. Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, and 2% C. Franc. No P. Verdot in the blend this time. 13.1% alcohol. Tiny C. Sauvignon berries were in 2022 35% smaller than in a normal year. Only 40 % of the harvest went into Grand Vin. Lots of concentrated blackcurrants and a strong aroma of tobacco leaves, graphite, and violets. Precise, focused, vibrant, exceptional complexity and great elegance, sophisticated. Monumental finish. A giant moving like a ballerina! 98-100p.
Palmer - 45% Merlot, 51% C. Sauvignon and 4% P. Verdot. 14.4% alcohol. 22 hl/ha. Harvest lasted nearly a month, and the final assemblage was already concluded in November. This wine was a textbook Palmer in a great vintage. Fresh, violets and black fruit, pencil, tobacco leaves, concentrated, precise and vibrant, splendid midpalate, striking complexity, and great length. Sophisticated touch. Outstanding effort. 98p.
Rauzan Segla - 72% C. Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and 2% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Strong and mineral with black cherries and violets. Graphite and tobacco leaves. Great acidity, a big backbone, velvet texture, splendid midpalate, great length, and long meaty finish. Superb effort. 97p.
Brane Cantenac - 74% C. Sauvignon + 23% Merlot, 1% C. Franc, 1% Carmenere and 1% P. Verdot. 14.3% alcohol. Henri Lurton, the present owner, took over BC 30 years ago from his father. Intense cherries on the nose, bright acidity, elegance and finesse, lush berries and velvety tannin, tension, fine midpalate and structure, classy finish. Classic style for Margaux commune. Superb effort for the vintage. 96-97p.
I was offered to taste 1983 BC (92p), a delicate and mature wine with a delightfully scented nose.
Giscours – intense blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, and graphite, luscious berries on the palate, potent, juicy, great complexity, midpalate, great structure, and long finish. Impeccably made. 95p.
Pavillon Rouge de Margaux - 64% C. Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 7% P. Verdot. 14.8% alcohol. 25hl/ha. Powerful with a strong backbone, very concentrated with intense black fruit. Thick texture on the palate, vibrant and excellent mid-palate. Long meaty aftertaste. Masculine wine with grace and elegance. Excellent effort. 94+p.
Alter Ego - 43% C. Sauvignon, 51% Merlot and 6% P. Verdot. 14.2% alcohol. Yield 22 hl/ha. Significantly more Merlot in the blend in 2022. This wine had a refreshing attitude with aromatic blackcurrants and black cherries on the nose, tobacco leaves, polished tannin, delicate mid-palate, and splendid complexity. Vibrant and layered. Persistent finish. Superb stuff. 94p.
Lascombes – aromatic and intense blackcurrants, sappy, lively, elegant, creamy berries on the palate, medium body, splendid complexity and midpalate, vibrant, delicate aftertaste. Delicious. 94p.
Marquis de Terme – an upgrade on the beautifully made 2020. An attractive wine with plenty of luscious black fruit impeccably supported by grained tannin and bright acidity. Fleshy and elegant at the same time, with a delicate yet long finish. Best MdT I’ve tasted in recent vintages! 94p.
NB. This property’s restaurant, “Au Marquis de Terme,” is very affordable and serves excellent local dishes. I ate there in April 2022. Highly recommended.
Prieure Lichine - seductive nose of violets, iris, and blackcurrants, juicy and silky on the palate, elegant, bright acidity, great structure, fine midpalate, and delicate finish. Superb wine. 94p.
Rauzan Gassies - seductive nose of violets and blackcurrants, lush and complex on the palate, elegant, nice acidity and midpalate, and delicate finish. Well done for the vintage. 93+p.
Dauzac - aromatic nose of grilled bacon, black fruit, and tobacco, fresh and livid, potent with splendid structure and balance, fine midpalate, lush, velvety tannin, and lingering aftertaste. High quality here. 93-94p.
Kirwan was fresh and had a lovely intensity of blackcurrants and flowers (violets). Juicy, elegant, vibrant, splendidly structured, and well-defined with a fine length and lingering finish. Excellent effort. 93-94p.
Labegorce - freshness, flowery and blackcurrants, sappy, bright acidity, well-composed, silky fruit and tannin, vibrant, complex, finesse, lingering finish. An excellent and stylish effort. 93-94p.
Cantenac Brown - displayed intense blackcurrants and morello cherries, violets, silky texture, ripe tannin, sappy and well-constructed, delicate aftertaste. Delicious effort. 93p.
Monbrison - fresh, flowery, morello cherries, bright acidity, well-structured, lively, luscious berries, grained tannin, velvety texture, lingering finish. Splendid effort. 93p.
Segla - 58% C. Sauvignon + 42% Merlot. 14.5% alcohol. Second wine of Rauzan Segla. Aromatic and intense on the nose with blackcurrants and roses, tobacco, mineral, sappy and well-structured. Persistent finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Baron de Brane - 65% Merlot, 30% C. Sauvignon, 4% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. 14% alcohol. Flowery, black fruit, nicely concentrated, silky texture. Elegant and smooth. Delicate aftertaste. Pretty second wine of Brane Cantenac. 91+p.
Le Coteau – flowery, spicy blackcurrant, juicy. Good structure and length. Delicate aftertaste. A crowd-pleaser. 90p.
Ducru Beaucaillou - 81% Cabernet Sauvignon + 19% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Very aromatic and aristocratic on the nose, with aromas of black fruit, tobacco leaf, and graphite, intense yet elegant and sophisticated on the palate, vibrant, great complexity, big tannin, and mega long aftertaste. Great effort for the vintage. 98-99p.
Leoville Poyferre – 58% C. Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 4% P. Verdot. 14.4% alcohol. Rich and elegant, concentrated blackcurrants, graphite, and tobacco leaves on the nose, splendid on the palate with vibrancy and complexity, refined, silky tannin, superb structure, vibrant. Long and mineral finish. Exceptional effort. 98p.
Left - the door is open. Right - wines to taste
Leoville Barton – more than three-quarters of the blend is C. Sauvignon. 14.1% alcohol. Intense blackcurrants. Graphite and leather. Sappy, acidity, strong structure, solid backbone, vibrant, great complexity, and length. Refined and sophisticated touch. Lingering finish. Excellent one. 97p.
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. 96p
Beychevelle - 54% C. Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Intense crunchy cherries, minty, leather, mineral, elegance and finesse, complex, gentle tannin, vibrant, discreet oak, velvety texture, and fine finish. Very stylish wine. 95-96p.
Branaire Ducru – fragrant black fruit on the nose, elegant with finesse on the palate, vibrant, well-structured, refined, sleek with fine balance and delicate finish. Superb stuff. 94-95p.
Langoa Barton – C. Sauvignon is more than half of the blend. 14.2% alcohol. A softer version of its sister property, Leoville Barton. A bit less concentrated and with a shorter aftertaste. Superb quality. 94p.
Moulin Riche - same owner as Leoville Poyferre. 65% C. Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 10% P. Verdot. 14.09% alcohol. I always look forward to tasting this wine as it delivers in every vintage! Great quality for the money. Rich, black fruit, graphite, tobacco, great acidity, and a strong backbone, focused with superb balance. Complex, lively, long mineral aftertaste. Terrific stuff. 94p.
Talbot – spicy blackcurrants, graphite, tobacco, violets, fresh, sappy, well-constructed, solid backbone, fine structure. Vibrant. Firm finish. Strong effort. 94p.
Saint Pierre – flowery, plenty of blackcurrants and morello cherries, minty, tobacco leaves, lively, finely grained tannin, polished, complex, persistent finish. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
La Croix Ducru Beaucaillou – second wine of Ducru Beaucaillou. Powerful, earthy, black cherries, minty, tobacco, lush, well-structured, vibrant, persistent finish. Superb quality. 93p.
Gloria - aromatic black fruit, violets, tobacco, fresh, sappy, vibrant, complex, delicate fruit, gentle tannin, and well-built. Smooth finish. Well-made. 93p.
Lagrange – fine aromas of black cherries mixed with the fragrance of violets and roses. Elegant and finesse. Velvety texture with gentle tannin, vibrant and well-structured. Kind of light-footed wine but a nice treat to taste. 92p.
Pavillon de Poyferre - the second label of Leoville Poyferre, shows the same excellent characteristics as Grand Vin but in a less intense and less concentrated fashion. Spicy raspberries, sappy, silky, and polished on the palate. Carresing finish. Catchy effort. 91-92p.
Le Petit Ducru – aromatic cherries on the nose, well-assorted with crunchy berries and soft tannin on the palate, lively, nice acidity, delicate finish. 91-92p.
Lafite Rothschild - 94% C. Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 13.7% alcohol. This wine had, as always, wildly many layers to rely on. Everything was stunning, from a deeply intense nose of perfectly aromatic black fruit and flowers to an excellently structured palate covered with cashmere and full of luscious fruit and silky tannin, seamless, fabulous midpalate, and a mega-long finish lasting more than one minute. A legend in the making! 99-100p.
Mouton Rothschild - 92% C. Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Potent and distinguished. Not as exuberant as f.i. 2020 version, but tighter. Plenty of blackcurrants and crushed cherries spiced up with tobacco, graphite, and leather. Creamy and luscious on the palate with great structure, complexity, depth, and length. Vibrant, sophisticated, and with excellent mid-palate. A future legend, for sure! 98-100p.
2020 vintage – 99p.
Pichon Comtesse - 78% C. Sauvignon, 17% C. Franc and 5% Merlot. 13.65% alcohol. Nicolas Glumineau told me during the tasting that he’s very pleased when he can smell/taste blue fruit, iris, peonies, and raspberries in the newly born wine. That was exactly what happened in 2022! When you add a sophisticated touch, impressive mid-palate, riveting structure and vibrancy, great complexity, and a never-ending aftertaste, then you have superstar wine! 98-100p.
2021 vintage – 95p. 2020 vintage – 99p.
Pichon Baron - 81% C. Sauvignon + 19% Merlot. Very intense nose of blackcurrants and tobacco, minty, tight, dense, fatty, and luscious on the palate with a strong backbone. Vibrant with great mid-palate. A complete wine with great complexity, rich, and excellent length. Mega long aftertaste. Tremendous effort. 98-99p.
2020 vintage – 98+p.
Busy time in the new tasting room at Pichon Baron
Pontet Canet – 57% C. Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 4% P. Verdot. 35% of concrete amphoras have been used to age the wine. Very intense aroma of black fruit on the nose, well supported by fragrant roses and a scent of tobacco leaves. Great structure, depth, and length on the palate, vibrant and excellent mid-palate. Refined and sophisticated. Stunning effort. 97-98p.
Alfred Tesseron explains the challenges he met in vintage 2022 at Pontet Canet
Lynch Bages - 2/3 of the blend is C. Sauvignon. 14,2% alcohol. Freshness, blackberries, violets, tobacco leaf, graphite, splendid complexity, big tannins, and big concentration but well-controlled, vibrant, splendid midpalate, rich aftertaste. Stylish. Excellent effort. 97p.
Grand Puy Lacoste - crunchy cherries and blackcurrants, leather, cigar box, juicy, vibrant, tension, firm structure, strong backbone, great mid-palate, subtle complexity, and meaty finish. Once again, a classic style for this property and the commune. Fabulous stuff. 96p.
Carruaders de Lafite - 53% C. Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 3% P. Verdot. 13.76% alcohol. Plenty of blackcurrants and black cherries, violets, graphite, leather, concentrated, vivid, strong backbone, bright acidity, and persistent finish. Excellent second wine of Lafite. 95p.
Clerc Milon - 59% C. Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 8% C. Franc, 1% Carmenere. 14% alcohol. Aromatic blackberries and blueberries, tobacco leaves, graphite, tight and powerful, vivid, bright acidity, lush berries and grained tannin, well-structured, strong backbone, complex and long. Meaty finish. Terrific effort. 95p.
2020 vintage – 94p.
Grand Puy Ducasse – 58% C. Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 2% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Plenty of crushed black cherries, fragrant violets, mint, and tobacco, well-defined, sappy, well provided with silky fruit and tannin on the palate, fine balance, finesse, and complexity, Well-made. 95p.
Haut Batailley – same ownership as Lynch Bages. It was similar to its big brother but showed more elegance, finesse, and less concentration. 94-95p.
Pauillac – 95% C. Sauvignon + 5% Merlot. This is a unique selection of grapes from the owners of Fonbadet. Fresh, intense cherries, potent, chewy, tobacco box, earthy, fine acidity, structure and depth, Persistent finish. Terrific effort. 94-95p.
Batailley – 75% C. Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 3% P. Verdot. 14.2% alcohol. Crunchy red- and blackcurrants, leather, tobacco leaves, sappy, vibrant, fine structure, and complexity. Meaty finish. Splendid. Classic style for this property and the commune. 94p.
Duhart Milon - 78% C. Sauvignon + 22% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Plenty of crushed blackcurrants and crunchy cherries on the nose. Potent, sappy, firm structure, finely grained tannin, splendid complexity, vibrant, long aftertaste. Well-crafted wine. 94p.
2020 vintage – 93-94p.
d'Armailhac - 60% C. Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 16% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. A fine aromatic mix of blackcurrants, redcurrants, and raspberries. Juicy, subtle, well-integrated tannin on the palate, vivid, fine structure, and complexity. Long aftertaste. Strong effort. 93-94p.
2020 vintage – 93-94p.
Croizet Bages – same owner as Rauzan Gassies in Margaux. Both properties are on the rise quality-wise. Aromatic black- and redcurrants, violets, leather and tobacco tones, sappy, velvety texture, vibrant, well-structured, and fine length. A wine with a splendid personality. 93-94p.
Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild – 71% C. Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 7% C. Franc and 3% P. Verdot. 14.2% alcohol. Spicy blackcurrants, leather, graphite, mineral, fine structure, silky tannin, vibrant, lasting finish. Fine effort. 93-94p.
2020 – 93-94p.
Les Griffons de Pichon Baron - 50% Merlot, 46% C. Sauvignon and 4% P. Verdot. Aromatic black cherries, blackcurrants, grated dark chocolate, tobacco, elegant and subtle, creamy berries, grained tannin, bright acidity, lingering finish. Delicious effort. 93p.
Reserve de La Comtesse – 54% C. Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% P. Verdot and 2% C. Franc. Black cherries and violets on the nose, mineral, vivid, strong backbone, well-defined on the palate with fine structure. Meaty aftertaste. Pretty successful second wine. 93p.
2021 vintage – 91-92p. 2020 vintage – 92-93p.
Lynch Moussas - fresh, aromatic, tasty blackcurrants and cherries, minty, tobacco, polished on the palate with silky texture, elegant, well-structured, tasty, soft finish. 92p.
Pibran - 55% C. Sauvignon + 45% Merlot. Minty, spicy blackcurrants and raspberries, robust tannin, fine complexity and structure, lively, velvety texture, fruit-scented aftertaste. Splendid performance. 92p.
Les Tourelles de Longueville - 65% Merlot, 26% C. Sauvignon and 9% C. Franc. Softer and lighter than Griffon. Juicy, lively, well-assorted on the palate, smooth, nice fruity finish. 92p.
Pastourelle de Clerc Milon - 52% C. Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% C. Franc, 2% Carmenere and 1% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Blueberries and blackberries, sappy, spicy, nice texture, pleasant, gentle, sleek, caressing finish. Catchy wine. 90p.
2020 vintage – 90p.
Prelude de Grand Puy Ducasse – 53% Merlot + 47% C. Sauvignon. 14.5% alcohol. Second wine of GPD. Aromatic, spicy, and crunchy blackcurrants, tobacco, lively, smooth, silky texture, polished, fruity finish. Attractive and pleasant. 90p.
Moulin de Duhart - 87% Merlot + 13% C. Sauvignon. 13.9% alcohol. Round and charming, spicy black fruit and soft tannin, delicate on the palate, sleek and caressing finish. 89p.
Cos d'Estournel - 61% C. Sauvignon, 8% C. Franc, 37% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 14.04% alcohol. Tight, intense violets and crushed cherries/blackcurrants, minty, mineral, yogurt, strong backbone, vibrant, utterly complex, and sophisticated. Long and persistent finish. Upper class! 98-99p.
Michel Reybier (right), the owner of Cos d'Estournel, showed up at our tasting! On the left, it's Dominique Arangoîts, technical director, and in the middle, Anne Bjurner
Montrose - 66% C. Sauvignon, 6% C. Franc, 25% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Tight and concentrated. Intense blackcurrant and cherries on the nose, creamy, voluptuous, and thick texture on the palate. Vibrant. Great complexity and fine mid-palate. Sophisticated. Exceptional effort. 98-99p.
During the visit, I tasted two other vintages, classic for the property 2021 (95p) and emphatic 2020 (99p).
Calon Segur - 70% C. Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. 15% alcohol. Big mouthful! Packed with luscious berries and fat tannin, great complexity, strong structure, bright acidity, splendid mid-palate, vibrant, superb balance, depth, and length. The high alcohol is kept quiet by cascades of creamy fruit. Imposing effort. 98p.
Phelan Segur - 56% Merlot, 40% C. Sauvignon, 2% C. Franc and 2% P. Verdot. 14.2% alcohol. This property's been on the great run during recent vintages, and 2022 is no exception. A powerful one with a strong backbone, juicy and vibrant wine with great complexity, strong structure, and superb mid-palate. Long aftertaste. Impressive stuff. Excellent value for the money! 95-96p.
Haut Marbuzet – 50% Merlot, 45% C. Sauvignon, 3% P. Verdot and 2% C. Franc. 13.5% alcohol. One of Bordeaux's sexiest wines! This property often delivers a sensual, seductive, subtle, and delicate wine. 2022 fits the description perfectly! 95p.
Meyney – 58% C. Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 13% P. Verdot. 13.5% alcohol. Violets and truffles, luscious blackcurrants, seductive, vibrant, great midpalate, strong backbone, great structure, and long mineral finish. This wine represents an incredible value for the money. 95p.
La Dame de Montrose - 71% Merlot, 23% C. Sauvignon, 5% P. Verdot and 1% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Black cherries, violets, leather. Spicy and mineral, opulent, lush, complex, and tense on the palate. Long and persistent aftertaste. Terrific second wine of Montrose. 93-94p.
During the visit, I tasted two other vintages, classic for the property 2021 (92p) and splendid 2020 (93p).
Pagodes de Cos - 50% C. Sauvignon, 49% C. Sauvignon, and 1% C. Franc. Intense blackcurrants, violets, tobacco, and leather, juicy, well-assorted on the palate, and vibrancy. Complex. Long aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 93-94p.
Capbern - 53% C. Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 2% P. Verdot and 1% C. Franc. 15% alcohol. Same owner as C. Segur. Freshness, mint, tobacco, fragrant black-/redcurrants on the nose, juicy on the palate with fine acidity and minerality. ABV is high but disguised by fruit. Persistent aftertaste. Splendid stuff. 93p.
Cos Labory – 55% C. Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% P. Verdot and 2% C. Franc. 14.46% alcohol. 2022 vintage is the last one made by the owner, Bernard Audoy, as this property was sold to neighbor Cos d’Estournel in spring 2023. Stylish, classic, vibrant, complex, luscious blackcurrants and finely scaled tannin. Leather and tobacco. Sleek and well-knitted on the palate with a good length. 93p.
Le Crock – 44% Merlot, 40% C. Sauvignon, 11% C. Franc and 5% P. Verdot.14.71% alcohol. 20.7 hl/ha. Same owner as Leoville Poyferre and Moulin Riche. Spicy black fruit, fine minerality, acidity, luscious, strong backbone, well-defined and persistent finish. Great value for the money. 93p.
Les Ormes de Pez – fresh, spicy black cherries and blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, juicy, well-knitted on the palate, vibrant, lush, strong backbone, long and persistent finish. 93p.
De Pez – same owner as Pichon Comtesse. 59% Merlot, 38% C. Sauvignon, 2% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. 14.54% alcohol. Plenty of blackberries and blackcurrants, sappy and lively, mineral, acidity, polished on the palate with fine structure and silky texture. Stylish effort. 93p.
I also tasted this property's classically styled 2021 (91p) and stylish 2020 (92-93p).
Marquis de Calon - 58% Merlot + 42% C. Sauvignon. 13.2% alcohol. C. Segur's second label. Black fruit, cherries, creamy, sappy, vibrant, bright acidity, well-defined on the palate, persistent finish. Fine effort. 92-93p.
La Haye – intense nose of blackberries and blueberries, juicy and fleshy, Mineral, grained tannin, nice midpalate, and persistent aftertaste. Lovely effort. 92p.
Tour des Termes - potent, crushed blackberries and cherries, sappy, grained tannin, strong backbone, and firm aftertaste. Well-made. 92p.
Tronquoy – 59% C. Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 6% P. Verdot. Before, this property had the name, Tronquoy Lalande. From the 2022 vintage, Lalande won’t appear anymore on the label. Spicy black fruit, mineral, chewy, well-defined, finely structured. Solid backbone. Meaty aftertaste with earthy tones. 91-92p.
Prieur de Meyney – 68% C. Sauvignon + 32% Merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Second wine of Meyney. Strong, plenty of blackcurrants spiced up with leather, tobacco, and graphite, sappy, nice structure, firm finish. Not bad for the second wine at Meyney. 90p.
Tour Saint Fort - aromatic blackberries and redcurrants, but bordering overripeness. Juicy and fleshy, sweet fruit, smooth tannin, nicely balanced and soft aftertaste. OK effort. 89p.
Charme de Cos Labory – 52% C. Sauvignon, 28% C. Franc and 20% Merlot. 14.3% alcohol. Violets and blackcurrants. Pleasant and delicate, lively and sappy, silky texture. Soft fruity finish. Good second wine of Cos Labory. 88p.
CASTILLON COTES DE BORDEAUX
de Monbadon - 55% C. Franc + 45% Merlot. 14.8.% alcohol. Second vintage from Jean-Philippe Janoueix (La Confession). Intense on the nose with black cherries, licorice, and violets, lush, well-present acidity, complex, voluptuous, and well-structured on the palate. Meaty finish. A real stunner wine. 94-95p.
La Brande - 60% Merlot, 30% C. Franc, 8% C. Sauvignon and 2% P. Verdot. 14.5% alcohol. Rose bush and fragrant raspberries, sappy and sleek on the palate with creamy fruit and grained tannin. Finely structured, vibrant, fine length. Lingering finish. It might be the best vintage ever here. 93p.
Montlandrie - 75% Merlot + 20% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 14.5% alcohol. Intensely aromatic roses/rosebush and cherries, splendid structure and length, bright acidity, quite complex and vibrant, velvety texture. Fine aftertaste with some dark chocolate flavor. Fine effort. 93p.
L’Aurage – Louis Mitjavile, son of Francois Mitjavile (Tertre Roteboeuf), owns this property and makes wine here. It had a seductive fragrance of roses/rose bush, silky fruit, and tannin, smooth and tasty. Very catchy and attractive wine. 92p.
De Lussac Cuvée Sacha -. There is a special selection from a part of the vineyard (old vines and low yield) with grapes undergoing more "luxury" vinification. Similar to standard cuvée but understandably with more intensity, concentration, and length. Super. 92p.
Indie de Monbadon – 51% C. Franc and 49% Merlot. 14% alcohol. Second wine of de Monbadon. Very cherry, fresh, mineral, lively, creamy fruit and smooth tannin on the palate, lingering finish. Tasty. 91-92p.
Ampelia – aromatic, rosebush, nice acidity, and minerality. Delicate and polished on the palate with crunchy fruit and soft tannin. Catchy effort. 91p.
Clarisse – 100% Merlot. Spicy raspberries and rosebush on the nose, finely composed on the palate with juicy berries and smooth tannin. Lingering aftertaste. Catchy wine. 91p.
De Lussac - rosebush fragrance for all the money on the nose, tasty raspberries on the palate, fresh and lively, nice structure, round, lingering aftertaste. Seductive effort. 91p.
Veyry – aromatic cherries and blueberries on the nose, juicy, good structure, pleasant and tasty, nice length, slightly dry finish. 90-91p.
Clos Puy Arnaud - rosebush, morello cherries, raspberries, lovely fruit intensity, sleek, smooth tannin. 90p.
Cote Montpezat – violets and roses on the nose, delicious on the palate with tasty berries, charming and smooth, nice structure. Fruity finish. Seductive effort. 90p.
Les Troix Croix – dark aromatic berries, tension, luscious, creamy fruit- well supported by finely grained tannin, strong structure, vibrant and complex, great mid-palate, long-lasting aftertaste. Excellent effort. 94-95p.
Dalem – spicy black cherries, raspberries, and some licorice- well-structured, lively, vibrant, and splendidly balanced. Grained tannin. Fine depth and length, meaty finish. Superb effort. 94p.
La Dauphine – masculine, powerful, tight, fat tannin, concentrated cherries, blueberries, strong backbone, fine midpalate, great structure, and persistent finish. Very characterful wine. 94p.
Fontenil – splendid cherry nose spiked with violets, sappy, well-assorted, potent, and well-structured on the palate. Mineral. Bright acidity. Long finish. Superb winemaking. 94p.
2020 Fontenil white - 43% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Sémillon, 17% Sauvignon Gris, 12% Chardonnay and 7% Muscadelle. It's the second vintage of this wine. Fresh, vigorous, and crispy with acacia flowers, lemony flavor, and fine acidity. 92p.
Dany Rolland here with two delicious wines from Fontenil, which she served after I tasted 60 wines from 2020 vintage in her laboratory in Catusseau. Fontenil white on the right.
De la Huste - similar to its sister property, Dalem. A bit more mineral and a bit more nuanced. 94p.
Moulin Pey Labrie – aromatic cherries and blueberries, roses, sappy, tension, creamy berries, grained tannin, complex, long finish. Superb effort. 94p.
De La Riviere – as always, pure and stylish, with great flair, vivid and vibrant, lush berries with the great support of grained tannin, great complexity, and a long finish. Stable quality as a rock! 94p.
Villars – powerful, tight, intense cherries and raspberries, sappy, mineral, strong structure, and splendid length. Long and persistent finish. Impressive wine. 94p.
Belloy – spicy cherries and roses, round and elegant, silky texture, nicely structured, good length, lingering finish. Seductive effort. 91-92p.
La Vieille Cure - sappy, modern style, well-structured, discreet oak, lively and persistent finish.. 91-92p.
Roullet – 95% Merlot + 5% C. Franc. Raspberries and roses. Aromatic, lot of charm, smooth and polished on the palate. 91p.
Moulin Haut Laroque – bordering overripeness, otherwise nicely constructed, silky texture, sappy, and with good length. 88p.
COTES DE BOURG AND SAINT-GEORGES DE SAINT EMILION
Roc de Cambes (Cotes de Bourg) - made by magician winemaker Francois Mitjavile from Tertre Roteboeuf. Fresh, quite intense on the nose with violets and roses, mineral, spicy, discreet oak, vibrant on the palate, Excellent mid-palate, great structure, and long-lasting finish. Sublime stuff. 94p.
Cap St. George – made by Jean-Philippe Janoueix (La Confession). 80% Merlot, 11% C. Franc and 9% C. Sauvignon. 14.54% alcohol. Black cherries and raspberries, licorice, sappy, lush, creamy, lively, and well-defined on the palate. Well-structured, meaty aftertaste. Lingering finish. Splendid effort. 94p.
2020 vintage - 93p.
Cap d’Or – 85% Merlot, 8% C. Franc and 7% C. Sauvignon. 13.9% alcohol. Second wine of Cap St. George. A lighter version of Grand Vin, more elegant, smoother, and delicate finish. Seductive. 93p.
LUSSAC, PUISSEGUIN AND MONTAGNE SAINT EMILION
Clarisse Vieilles Vignes (Puisseguin) – 50% Merlot, 45% C. Franc and 5% Carmenere. Seventy-five years old Merlot vines. It had a splendid aromatic intensity of blueberries and violets on the nose, well-constructed, lush, and sappy on the palate, nice midpalate, sleek, lingering finish. Fine effort. 92-93p.
Reclos de la Couronne (Montagne) - 100% Merlot. It’s a selection of grapes from Couronne's vineyard's oldest and best plots. Intense cherries and fragrant roses. Chewy, vibrant, lush, finely scaled tannin, strong structure, persistent finish. 92-93p.
La Rose Perriere (Lussac) – intense and elegant nose of cherries, violets, and roses, luscious berries on the palate, finely grained tannin, vibrant, discreet acidity, lovely length, and lingering aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 92-93p.
Tour Bayard L’Angelot (Montagne) – 90% Malbec + 10% Merlot. It’s an atypical blend with so much of Malbec in it. Plenty of violets, roses on the nose garnished with morello cherries on the palate, a robust backbone, well-marked acidity, and fine structure. Long and lingering finish. Terrific wine. 92-93p.
Bernon Becot (Puisseguin) – 95% Merlot + 5% C. Franc. Spicy cherries, sappy, well-defined on the palate, polished, smooth, nice length, and pleasing aftertaste. 91p.
Pontet Bayard (Puisseguin) – 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Lightweighty with nice cherry/raspberry fruit. Round and pleasant. Smooth aftertaste. 89p.
Tour Bayard (Montagne) - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Very similar to Pontet Bayard. 89p.
LALANDE DE POMEROL
Les Cruzelles - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 14.6% alcohol. Morello cherries, grated chocolate, luscious, vibrant. Fine structure with a solid backbone, bright acidity, and persistent finish. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
2020 as impressive – 93p.
La Chenade – 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 14.4% alcohol. It’s a second wine to Les Cruzelles. 100% Merlot. 14.4% alcohol. Roses and violets, delightfully crunchy cherry fruit, gentle tannin, silky texture, lively, caressing finish. Beautiful effort. 92p.
2020 was similarly delightful – 92p.
Jean de Gue – delicate nose of aromatic cherries and blueberries, crunchy berries on the palate, soft tannin, lively, nice acidity to keep everything in order, and caressing finish to round it up. Adorable effort. 92p.
La Sergue – intense black cherries on the nose, tension, chewy, grained tannin, strong yet elegant, robust structure, and flair. Meaty finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Haut Chaigneau - fragrant dark cherries and blueberries, well-knitted, lovely intensity, structure, and concentration, nice complexity. Very attractive and tasty. Lingering aftertaste. 91-92p
Moncets – same owners as de Chambrun. More power here, more of everything. 91-92p.
Bel-Air – blueberries and violets, juicy, pleasant, soft tannin, pleasant and round. Tasty. Smooth finish. 91p,
Grand Ormeau - pretty nose of black cherries and raspberries on the palate, nicely structured, juicy, well-balanced, sleek, and elegant. Smooth tannin. Much pleasure here. 91p.
Domaine des Sabines – cherries and blueberries, juicy, spicy, fine intensity and length on the palate, well-structured, gentle, smooth, fruity finish. 91p.
De Chambrun – spicy morello cherries and raspberries, fresh and lively, nicely structured, silky texture, nice balance, and lingering finish. 90p.
Petrus - 100% Merlot. 14.5% alcohol. 20 hl/ha. Harvested between the 1st and 7th of September. Liquid cashmere, velvety fruit, and tannin. Incredibly complex, sophisticated, focused, and precise. Wow, a legend in the making! 99-100p.
L'Eglise Clinet - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 14.6% alcohol. Denis Durantou's daughters, Constance (in charge of tastings and receiving visitors) and Nöemie (the winemaker), gracefully continue their father's great work with the assistance from the property's experienced cellar master, Olivier Gautraut. 2022 here is a dazzling beauty. Traditionally tight and powerful with a strong backbone, very concentrated, multilayered with plenty of black cherries and blueberries. Vibrant and sophisticated. Long fatty finish. Sheer delight! 98-100p.
I also tasted the exceptionally multilayered and sophisticated 2020. 98-99p.
From left to right - Constance (marketing) and Nöemie Durantou (winemaker). Denis Durantou looks like watching over them from the picture on the wall and saying, "You did an excellent job, Constance and Noëmie," because the 2022 vintage is fantastic here!!
Le Pin - 100% Merlot, 14.4% alcohol, 29 hl/ha. Violets, black cherries with grated black winter truffle, seamless structure, excellent midpalate, vibrancy, refined and sophisticated. The texture was like a liquid cashmere. Hedonistic effort. 98-100p.
Trotanoy - 96% Merlot + 4% C. Franc. 14.7% alcohol. Dense color, intense nose of violets, black cherries, dark chocolate, black winter truffle, great complexity, midpalate, and length. Strong mineral finish. Outstanding effort. 98-100p.
Lafleur - 51% de Bouchet + 49% Merlot. 14.5% alcohol. This barrel sample was quite shut down when tasted. Sleeping giant with enormous potential. All the beautiful ingredients are there waiting for the right moment to appear. 98-99p.
Vieux Chateau Certan - 75% Merlot, 20% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 14.4% alcohol. Violets and blueberries, dense, concentrated on the palate, focused and precise, vibrant, superb mid-palate, long and caressing finish. Mesmerizing effort. 98+p.
La Conseillante - 85% Merlot + 15% Cabernet Franc. 14% alcohol. Very aromatic, lively, violets and iris, blueberries and blackberries, stylish with great elegance and finesse, sophisticated and rich, many layers. Delicate aftertaste. Outstanding effort. 97-98p.
La Fleur Petrus – 96.5% Merlot, 3% C. Franc and 0.5% P. Verdot. Crushed cherries and blueberries, violets, dark chocolate, vibrant and juicy on the palate, with great complexity and length, grained tannin. This was classy stuff with a lingering finish. Excellent effort for the vintage. 97-98p.
L'Evangile – violets, morello cherries, elegance and finesse, many layers, sappy, vibrant, sophisticated, persistent finish. The style change is obvious to taste, from a very concentrated and oaky wine up to 2020 vintage to a refined and elegant wine with less oak in 2021 and 2022 vintages. 97p.
Hosanna - 74% Merlot + 26% C. Franc. Fresh, fleshy, crushed cherries, violets, superb balance, lively, complex, fine structure, midpalate, and persistent finish. Great effort. 96+p.
Clinet - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Cherries and blueberries, sappy, velvety fruit and tannin, vibrant, finely grained tannin, excellent complexity, and long aftertaste. Graceful effort. 96-97p.
La Croix St. Georges – 100% Merlot. 14.6% alcohol. Potent and tight, freshness, strong backbone, plenty of creamy black cherries/blueberries, grained tannin, lively, bright acidity, excellent complexity, very concentrated and long-lasting finish. Superb for the vintage. 96-97p.
2020 vintage - 96p.
Petit Village - 65% Merlot, 28% C. Franc and 7% C. Sauvignon. 14% alcohol. Dark, powerful, quite massive with violets and creamy wild cherries, juicy, strong backbone, complex, fluent midpalate and structure, long and persistent aftertaste. Excellent effort. 96-97p.
2020 vintage - 96p.
Certan de May - 60% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 10% C. Sauvignon. Floral, potent, crunchy black cherries, violets, vibrant, splendid structure and complexity, fine midpalate, and persistent finish. A bit old-school Pomerol style, but who is complaining? Not me, for sure! 96p.
2021 vintage - 93p, 2020 vintage - 96p and 2019 vintage - 95-96p.
New cellar at Certan de May
Le Gay – 90% Merlot +10% C. Franc. Potent, juicy, creamy black fruit and grained tannin. Well-constructed, bright acidity, complex, delicious, and lingering finish. 96p.
Bourgneuf - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. Aromatic, corpulent with minerality and grained tannin, juicy, vibrant, powerful structure, and persistent finish. Splendid effort. 95-96p.
2020 vintage - 96p. 2012 vintage - 92p.
Sacre Coeur - 100% Merlot. 14.65% alcohol. Made from the selected parcel in La Croix vineyard and vinified by Jean-Philippe Janoueix (La Croix St.Georges). Plenty of creamy black cherries on the nose, vibrant, luscious berries, fat tannin, and a long aftertaste. Brilliant wine. 95p.
Belle Brise - very cherry (both black and morello ones), intense, violets, vibrant, layered, complex, and focused. Persistent finish. Excellent effort. 94-95p.
2021 vintage - 93p.
My friend, Ivar Bjurner, brought this bottle with him from Copenhagen for Bruno de Coincy to taste. It was a delightful and well-preserved wine, still very much alive
Les Pensees de Lafleur - 57% Merlot + 43% de Bouchet. Intense wild cherries, fragrant violets, splendid acidity and minerality, strong structure, vibrant, persistent finish. Splendid effort. 94-95p.
Bon Pasteur - potent, violets, morello, and black cherries, mineral with the scent of black winter truffle, strong backbone, creamy fruit, and fat-grained tannin. Long-lasting finish. Splendid effort for the vintage. 94p.
La Petite Eglise - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Second wine of L'Eglise Clinet. Fresh and lively, intense nose of violets and cherries, luscious black cherries on the palate, bright acidity, splendid structure and complexity, and a strong finish. 93-94p.
Vray Croix de Gay - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Sweet blackberries and blueberries, violets, lively, silky texture, complex. Delicate and finely constructed on the palate. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
Maillet - intense black fruit, fragrant roses on the nose, luscious fruit, and grained tannin. Rich and complex on the palate, well-defined, persistent finish. Splendid effort. 93+p.
Beauregard - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. The same winemaker here as for Petit Village (Vincent Priou). Intense black fruit, fragrant violets on the nose, mineral, sappy, truffy scent, lively, grained tannin, fine complexity, and meaty aftertaste. 93p.
Cantelauze - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. Floral with violets, cherries, mineral, nicely concentrated, ripe tannin, discreet oak, well-structured and persistent finish. Traditional Pomerol without modern tweaks. Fine quality. 93p.
Lafleur Gazin - 100% Merlot. Crunchy black cherries, fragrant roses, violets on the nose, lush, silky fruit and tannin on the palate, mineral, velvety structure, seductive, lingering finish. 93p.
Plince - 85% Merlot + 15% C. Franc. An aromatic mix of morello and black cherries, lively, fresh, grained tannin, fine structure, length, and persistent finish. Delightful wine. 93p.
Seraphine - 95% Merlot and 5% C. Franc. 14% alcohol. Very aromatic on the nose, with black cherries mixed with grated dark chocolate. Finesse, silky, vibrant, fine structure, and a lingering finish. Splendid effort. 93p.
Clos de Beau Pere - deliciously fragrant dark berries on the nose, powerful and dense on the palate, bright acidity, lush berries, and fat tannin. Complex with persistent finish. Splendid effort. 92-93p.
La Clemence – pretty careful winemaking, which resulted in a chewy but gentle wine, aromatic black cherries, discreet oak, nice structure, sappy and lively, persistent aftertaste. Too much oak and too much extraction are long gone! 92-93p.
Latour-a-Pomerol - 100% Merlot. Fragrant cherries and violets. It was well-defined and elegant on the palate. Lively with crunchy fruit and soft tannin. Persistent aftertaste. 92-93p.
Lecuyer – purchased in July 2022 by Ronan Laborde from Clinet. 75% Merlot + 25% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. It had a delicate nose of black cherries, blueberries, and cocoa powder. Perfect structure, minerality, silky fruit, and gentle tannin on the palate. Delicate fruity aftertaste. 92p.
Montviel – 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Fruity, attractive, aromatic, tasty cherries, iris, sappy, well-defined, lively, silky, lingering finish. Fine effort indeed. 92p.
Taillefer - violets and black cherries on the nose, juicy, vibrant, and finely composed on the palate. Grained tannin. Lingering finish. Lovely stuff and miles above the 2020 version. 92p.
Vieux Maillet – very ripe with licorice and cherries, acidity, sappy, smooth tannin. Well-structured on the palate, fine length. Persistent finish. Inviting effort. 92p.
Clos Vieux Taillefer – aromatic black cherries and dark chocolate on the nose, well-assorted on the palate with crushed berries and silky tannin. Quite complex and tasteful. Lovely effort. 91-92p
Lagrange - 100% Merlot. Fresh, flowery, aromatic. Spicy raspberries and morello cherries. Nicely structured and tasty on the palate. Delicate fruity finish. 91-92p.
La Grave - 89% Merlot + 11% C. Franc. Nice fruity nose of black cherries and blueberries, spicy, silky tannin, smooth, and nicely structured on the palate. Soft fruity finish. 91p.
Blason de L'Evangile - violets, spicy raspberries, fine structure, elegant, pleasant tannin, tasty, smooth aftertaste. 90-91p.
La Commanderie – cherries, flowery (roses), fresh, pleasant, seductive, Quite nice, charming, and tasty. 90-91p. Mazeyres and Le Moulin were similar to LC with violets and silky texture. 90-91p rating for both.
Le Petit Petit Village - second wine of Petit Village. 85% Merlot, 28% C. Franc and 7% C. Sauvignon. 14% alcohol. Aromatic black fruit, juicy, mineral, silky tannin, tasty fruit, smooth finish. Nicely made. 90-91p.
La Truffe – violets, iris, blueberries, velvety texture, nicely composed on the palate with energy and tasteful fruit. Lingering finish. 90-91p.
Benjamin de Beauregard – 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc fresh, violets and blueberries, juicy, nicely constructed, tasty, soft texture, smooth finish. 90p.
La Croix – cherries, pleasant and tasty, nice structure, soft texture, good length, and smooth aftertaste. 90p.
Chantalouette – 72% Merlot, 15% C. Franc and 13% C. Sauvignon. Second wine of Hosanna. Rose petals and violets, silky fruit and tannin, soft texture, smooth and seductive. Tasty. 89p.
Ausone - 50% Merlot + 50% Cabernet Franc. This wine was moving around like a giant with ballerina steps, powerful yet elegant. Vibrant, multilayered, great acidity. Massive, refined, and sophisticated, with enormous depth and density. Long aftertaste, which won’t end. Future wine legend for sure. 99-100p.
Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse - Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse arrived at BDL in April 2021 after working for Bernard Magrez. Before her stint with Bernard Magrez, she gained a lot of winemaking experience in Napa Valley, New Zeeland, Mexico, and Burgundy (Domaine Georges Noëllat in Vosne Romanée). She corrected the blend of 2020 BDL (done originally by Nicolas Thienpont and David Suire) by adding more Cabernet Franc at the expense of Merlot. 2021 was the first vintage of her own.
The soil here, a limestone one, is exceptional, and during the hot period in the summer of 2022, it has “cooled” down the vines with a fantastic result! For me, 2022 marks a style change towards a more elegant, refined, and sophisticated one than vintages 2019, 2018, and 2016. A wine with a well-integrated mix of finesse and power, minerality, and Burgundian delicacy and opulence of highly-esteemed Grand Cru wines from Chambolle Musigny/Gevrey Chambertin. The blend has 10% more C. Franc than in previous vintages - 69% Merlot + 31% C. Franc; the harvest of Merlot took place from the 6th to the 9th of September, and C. Franc was collected on the 23rd of September. ABV is 14.9%, but you can’t feel it while tasting. This is a mind-boggling effort and clear proof of extraordinary winemaking skills from Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse. Bravo!! 98-100p.
I also tasted excellent and still improving 2021 (95+p) and fabulous 2020 (98+p), and the tasting was a perfect opportunity to compare all three vintages.
Cheval Blanc - 46% C. Franc, 53% Merlot and 1% C. Sauvignon, no press wine, no second wine. 13.9% alcohol. The yield was under 30hl/ha. It bursts with aromatic violets and creamy redcurrants/raspberries, impeccably structured on the palate with fabulous midpalate and silky texture. Vibrant and with stunning richness. Eternal effort. 98-100p.
I also tasted the astonishingly made 2020 (98-99p).
Angelus - 60% Merlot + 40% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Fresh, floral with roses, morello cherries, crushed rocks, mineral, elegant, strong backbone, great complexity, and length, sophisticated, multilayered. Great mid-palate and long aftertaste. Stephanie Rivoal-de Bouard, the present director/manager, has transformed this property into incredibly refined and intellectual wine in recent vintages. Stunning quality. She explained how she accomplished the recent changes at Angelus. 98-99p.
I also tasted 2020 Angelus. Same exceptional quality as 2022. 98-99p.
Benjamin, the man in charge of the tasting, and Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, the CEO
Belair Monange - 99% Merlot + 1% C. Franc. Fresh roses and violets, vibrant and sappy on the palate, great complexity and length, finesse, velvety tannin, and a long lingering finish. Imposing effort for the vintage. 98-99p.
Figeac – 35% Merlot, 34% C. Franc and 31% C. Sauvignon. 14% alcohol. Fabulous nose of well-scented raspberries and redcurrants, mineral, vibrant, sophisticated, rich, tremendous on the mid-palate with creamy berries and grained tannin. Exquisitely long finish. Best vintage in recent times. 98-99p.
Canon - 75% Merlot + 25% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Very flavorful with old roses, violets, iris (limestone soil), licorice, and tea, with great complexity and structure, intense, concentrated, splendid midpalate, many layers, grained tannin, and long aftertaste. Exceptional wine! 98+p.
I also tasted two other vintages during my visit: a spectacular 2020 (98p) and the more classic vintage 2021 (95p).
Nicolas Audebert, Canon's winemaker, just came by and said hello to us
Valandraud - had an intense nose of high-quality black cherries and fresh coffee beans with excellent purity, precision, focus, great complexity and fabulous structure, great midpalate, sophisticated touch, and great length. Highly impressive. 98p.
Le Dôme - 80% C. Franc + 20% Merlot. 15.1% alcohol. Intense black cherries, luscious, strong backbone, great structure, vibrant, great mid-palate. Great length and a long meaty finish. There’s enough fruit and acidity to balance the high ABV, which you can’t detect when tasting! Fabulous wine. 97p.
Tertre Roteboeuf - had an intense nose of black and red berries, a big palette of flavors, complexity, and excellent midpalate. Seamless, silky berries, grained tannin, and sophisticated touch. Long caressing finish. Excellent effort, as usual. 97p.
Troplong Mondot – 85% Merlot, 13% C. Sauvignon and 2% C. Franc. 14.9% alcohol. 55% new oak. Big scaled, loads of creamy fruit and fat tannin, vibrant, great midpalate, strong backbone, long finish. Top wine in modern style. 97p.
2020 tasted during the separate visit to the property in April 2023 – elegant and refined. 96p.
Clos Fourtet – second vintage with a new enology consultant (Stephane Derenencourt). Change of style to less new oak and gentler extraction. Intense cherries, minerality, vibrant, creamy berries, and grained tannin. Excellent mid-palate. Great complexity. Long finish. Excellent effort. 96-97p.
Croix de Labrie - 84% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.5% alcohol. Classy nose with fragrant raspberries and black cherries, great complexity, vibrant, luscious fruit and grained tannin, fine acidity, and intense finish. It is a sophisticated wine with a great personality. Kudos to Axelle and Pierre Courdurie! 96-97p.
La Gaffeliere – intense black cherries and raspberries, violets, silky. Complex and long on the palate, refined and vibrant. Sophisticated with great mid-palate. Long finish. If this superb wine carries over its great stride until after bottling, it will be the best wine produced in the last 50 years! 96-97p.
Pavie Macquin - fresh, crunchy morello cherries and raspberries, roses. Very intense, with many strings to play on, lush and creamy, with voluptuous fruit on the palate balanced by fat tannin. Powerfully structured and with exquisite complexity. Persistent finish. Terrific wine. 96-97p.
La Confession - 70% Merlot, 27% C. Franc and 3% Malbec. 14.5% alcohol. Raspberries and crushed morello cherries, large quantities of everything. Licorice, black cherries, lush, strong backbone, fine acidity, vibrant and splendid structure. Persistent finish. Superb effort. 96p.
Vintage 2020 - 95-96p
Corbin - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 14% alcohol. A captivating fragrance of roses and violets. Creamy cherries. Grained tannin and velvety texture. Great midpalate. Strikingly elegant with finesse and sophisticated touch. Very sensual wine and maybe the owner’s best vintage yet. 96p.
Larcis Ducasse – was very similar to Pavie Macquin in appearance and quality. Had more black fruit flavors on the nose and palate. 96p.
L'If - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 14.3% alcohol. Very floral with roses, iris, and violets. Aromatic cherries, sophisticated, great acidity, impressive structure, and midpalate. Long aftertaste. Impressive effort for the vintage. 96p.
Fleur Cardinale - 75% Merlot, 20% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 14.77% alcohol. Intense and lush, creamy black cherries, dark chocolate, sappy, vibrant, great complexity, structure, long and persistent finish. Caroline and Ludovic Decoster deserve much praise for constantly improving the quality of the property. They are true rock star vignerons! Impressive for the vintage. 95-96p.
2020 vintage - 94-95p.
Ludovic and Caroline Decoster
La Couspaude - aromatic raspberries, fragrant roses and violets, sappy, elegant, and finesse, splendid structure, bright acidity, grained tannin, and long lingering finish. Gorgeous wine. 95p.
Larmande – was similar in style and quality to its sister property Soutard. Slightly more intense on the palate and with a longer finish. 95p.
Chapelle d’Ausone – 60% C. Franc, 35% Merlot and 5% C. Sauvignon. Mineral and with a strong backbone. Full-bodied, with great acidity, plenty of creamy black cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and fat tannin. Big structure and a meaty finish. Superb second wine of Ausone. 94-95p.
Clos des Jacobins - 80% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. 15% alcohol. Same owner as de Candale and La Commanderie. Their wines are certainly worth trying, and they are reasonably priced. Great cherry nose, very distinct. Dense, luscious, and silky on the palate. Grained tannin, excellent complexity, and structure. Long-lasting aftertaste. Alcohol is well-kept in check by the lush fruit and acidity. Excellent performance. 94-95p.
Also, the distinguished 2016 (94p), concentrated and vibrant 2018 (94p, delicate and luscious 2019 (93p), and potent and intense 2020 (94p) were tasted.
Thibault Decoster presents family wines in four vintages
Soutard – intense cherries on the nose, fleshy on the palate, acidity, vibrant, grained tannin, well-defined, complex, and delicious cherry finish. Splendid effort. 94-95p.
Canon-La-Gaffeliere - crunchy red fruit, roses, violets, spicy, vibrant, fine structure, silky texture, soft and delicate aftertaste. Fine effort. 94p.
Corbin Michotte – 60% Merlot + 40% C. Franc. Fresh, crunchy cherries and raspberries, splendid complexity, grained tannin, vibrant, bright acidity, long finish. Superb wine. 94p.
Franc Mayne – potent and juicy, aromatic cherries and raspberries, violets, lively, well-structured, complex and vibrant on the palate, fine ripe tannin, velvety texture, lingering aftertaste. Superb effort. 94p.
Mangot - 65% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. Some part of the Distique cuvee went into a blend of Mangot. Floral, coffee beans, grated dark chocolate, juicy, silky fruit, and grained tannin, vibrant, well-composed, and well-balanced on the mid-palate, and a persistent finish. A splendid effort. 94p.
Mangot was elevated to Grand Cru Classe in the latest classification
De Pressac – plenty of spicy dark berries well matched by fat tannin and bright acidity. Splendid structure, delicate complexity, and fine balance as well. Persistent aftertaste. Terrific wine. 94p.
Vieux Chateau Mazerat - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 15.5% alcohol but well disguised. Powerful, very concentrated, quite tannic, sappy, and lively. Well-structured and with a meaty finish. Superb effort. 94p.
Pindefleurs – 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. Intense nose of morello cherries and raspberries, fine concentration, vibrancy, and structure on the palate. Creamy red fruit and velvety tannin. Fine mid-palate and persistent aftertaste. My first “meeting” with this property, and the wine was surprisingly splendid. 93+p.
Balestard La Tonnelle – intense cherries and violets, sappy, well-defined, sleek, lively, fine acidity, silky fruit, and grained tannin. Lingering finish. Lovely wine. This wine is, imho the best vintage yet for the property! 93-94p.
Berliquet - 65% Merlot + 35% C. Franc. 14.5% alcohol. Rosebush, redcurrant, raspberries, mineral, bright acidity, sappy, fine complexity, vibrant, meaty aftertaste. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
I also tasted the delicate 2020 (92-93p) and the mineral 2021 (92p) during my visit.
Grand Mayne - fragrant roses and aromatic raspberries, juicy, creamy fruit and grained tannin, lovely intensity, silky texture, complex, savory, lingering finish. Splendid effort. 93-94p.
La Tour Figeac - potent, fragrant roses, aromatic raspberries, silky, lively, well-structured. Nice mid-palate, persistent aftertaste. Lovely wine. 93-94p.
Carillon d'Angelus - 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. Floral with fragrant roses and violets, aromatic raspberries, delicate on the palate, velvety texture, lively, well-defined, grained tannin, and caressing aftertaste. Catchy wine. 93+p.
2020 tasted together with 2022 was as delicious and catchy. 93+p.
Clos Badon – 65% Merlot + 35% C. Franc. Spicy cherries, fresh and vibrant, well-composed, juicy, well-managed tannin, fine structure, and velvety texture. Persistent aftertaste. 93p.
Croix Canon – 41% Merlot + 59% C. Franc. 2022 is the first vintage, with the majority of C. Franc in the blend. 14.5% alcohol. Intense roses and strawberries, splendid minerality, bright acidity, subtle complexity, strongly structured and with a meaty finish. The best vintage for this wine yet. 93p.
2020 vintage - 92p and 2021 vintage - 91p.
La Dominique - aromatic cherries and raspberries, soft tannin, tasty, gentle on the palate, luscious, velvety texture, well-structured, vibrant, harmonious, caressing finish. 93p.
Grand Corbin Despagne – lovely aromatic nose of cherries and violets. A potent, juicy, well-structured wine, harmonious, luscious on the palate, and complex. Lingering aftertaste. Fine effort. 93p.
Laforge - 92% Merlot + 8% C. Franc. 14.25% alcohol. Spicy cherries and blueberries, tannic, well-structured on the palate with fine acidity. Full-bodied with a fine depth. Lovely effort. 93p.
Quinault L’Enclos – 63% Merlot, 20% C. Sauvignon and 17% C. Franc. Cherries and blackcurrants. Juicy, lively, well-composed on the palate, mineral, silky texture, well-balanced, and persistent aftertaste. Fine effort. 93p.
Villemaurine - was strong and chewy, packed with dark berries, fat tannin juicy, lively, well-defined on the palate, bright acidity, and well-structured with a persistent finish. Splendid effort. 93p.
Virginie de Valandraud - aromatic, cherries and blueberries, lush, fine tannin, well-structured on the palate, vibrant, delicate, complex. Lingering finish. Seductive effort. 93p.
La Clotte - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Similar to Simard but more elegant, roses, slightly better structure, and long finish. 92+p.
Cap de Mourlin - sister property to Balestard La Tonnelle. This wine was similar to BLT, with more spiciness in the fruit, a rawer taste, and a dry touch in the aftertaste, which didn’t matter. 92-93p.
Clos Romanile – it’s the wine produced by Remi Dalmasso, the winemaker at Jean-Luc Thunevin’s properties. Violets and cherries, juicy, well-assorted on the palate, lively, aromatic, and grained tannin, seductive, subtle cherry finish. Delicious wine. 92-93p.
De Candale - 75% Merlot + 25% C. Franc. 15% alcohol. Aromatic cherries and raspberries, lush and sappy, lively and well-defined, silky tannin, deliciously tasty, and with a seductive cherry finish. Splendid effort. 92-93p. Magali and Thibaut Decoster, the owners, run here a trendy restaurant at the site, Atelier de Candale, which serves great and tasty dishes. Absolut worth eating there.
In addition to 2022, I tasted well-made 2016, 2018, and 2020, all rated 92p.
La Serre - 75% Merlot + 25% C. Franc. Floral with roses and violets, silky fruit and tannin, fine structure and fruit intensity, lively, caressing cherry finish. Delicate and lingering finish. 92-93p.
Soutard Cadet - aromatic, morello and black cherries, crushed rocks, juicy, fine acidity to complement ripe fruit, well defined, polished, and with a lingering finish. Well-made. 92-93p.
Clos Cantenac – made by the owner of Seraphine in Pomerol, Aromatic, violets, dark chocolate, lush fruit, and silky tannin, lively, well-defined, lingering aftertaste. 92p.
Croix Cardinale – 65% Merlot, 30% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. 13.79% alcohol. Beginning with the 2022 vintage, grapes from the vineyard on the northern slope were included in Fleur Cardinale, while grapes from the vineyard planted with C. Sauvignon on the southern slope were included in Croix Cardinale. It’s the first time C. Sauvignon is in the blend. Lush cherries, violets, dark chocolate, energetic, well-defined on the palate, silky tannin, and delicate finish. Seductive effort. 92p.
2020 vintage - 91-92p.
De Fonbel – 85% Merlot, 10% C. Sauvignon and 6% Carmenere. Similar in taste and quality to Simard. 92p.
Haut Simard – 70% C. Franc and 30% Merlot. Cherries and roses, bright acidity, sappy, spicy fruit on the palate, mineral, well-structured, persistent finish. 92p.
Mondot - second wine of Troplong Mondot. A relaxed version of Grand Vin med creamy cherries and blueberries, fat tannin, and finely structured. 92p.
Moulin St. Georges – 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. Black cherries and violets, fine acidity, sappy, well-defined, well-composed on the palate, meaty finish. Lingering finish. Fine effort. 92p.
Tour St. Christophe - fresh, juicy, aromatic black and red berries, well-composed, mineral, fine length, grained tannin, and lingering aftertaste. Catchy wine. 92p.
Trimoulet – 100% Merlot. Very cherry on the nose, elegant, round and seductive, silky texture, grained tannin, nice structure, and lingering finish. Catchy wine. 92p.
Fonroque – roses and violets on the nose, some black fruit. Crunchy berries on the palate, lively, gentle tannin. Nicely structured and with good length. Smooth aftertaste. Pretty wine. 91-92p.
La Commanderie – 67% Merlot + 33% C. Franc. 15% alcohol. Cherries, violets, seductive, silky fruit, gentle tannin, good balance, and caressing finish. Nice effort. 91p.
2016, 2018, and 2020 – all pleasant, seductive, and well-deserving 90p.
La Croizille – roses and black fruit. Juicy, nice acidity, pleasant and tasty. Gentle tannin. Crowd pleaser. 91p.
Dassault - Elegant, polished, aromatic raspberries and blueberries, and silky, nice structure and length. Smooth finish. Nice effort. 91p.
La Grace Fonrazade – licorice, chewy, black and red fruit, lively, tannic, well-knitted with a persistent finish. Good quality here. 91p.
Grand Corbin – spicy cherries, round and attractive, juicy, soft tannin, silky texture, tasty and polished on the palate. Smooth aftertaste. 91p.
La Marzelle – roses and violets, crushed cherries, polished, silky fruit, smooth tannin, attractive and pleasant. Nice effort. 91p.
Peymouton – 89% Merlot, 10% C. Franc and 1% C. Sauvignon. Juicy red fruit, nicely concentrated, silky fruit and tannin, soft texture, and smooth finish. 91p.
SaintemSaintayme - 100% Merlot. 14.4% alcohol. Aromatic cherries, roses, violets, acidity, lively, ripe, silky tannin. Nicely structured. Tasty and seductive. This wine was very easy to make friends with! 91p.
La Voute – 100% Merlot. Violets, iris, cherries, silky fruit, and tannin. Sleek, attractive, and pleasant. Adorable effort. 91p.
Tour Baladoz – fruity, red berries, violets, lively, elegant, tasty, and well-made. Soft tannin. 91p.
La Grace Fonrazade – licorice, chewy, black and red fruit, lively, tannic, well-knitted with a persistent finish. Good quality here. 91p.
Reserve des Jacobins – second wine of Clos des Jacobins. Same blend as Grand Vin. Deliciously fruity with cherries and dark chocolate, velvety tannin, tasty and delicate on the palate. Lingering finish. Seductive stuff. 91p.
Tour de Pressac - delicate morello cherries and raspberries, polished palate with lush fruit and gentle tannin, soft texture, lingering finish. Tasty and pleasant wine. 91p.
Yon Figeac - cherries and violets. Very ripe fruit bordering overripeness. Apart from that, it was a pleasant, round, and tasty wine, smooth and lingering. To drink at a young age. 91p.
Roc de Candale – 90% Merlot + 10% C. Franc. 14% alcohol. Neighbor to de Candale and same owners. It’s a softer and earlier maturing wine than de Candale and provides a lot of charm, tasty fruit, and silky tannin. Very seductive, It’s a great value for the money. 90-91p.
In addition to 2022, I tasted pleasant and round 2016, 2018, and 2020, all rated 90p.
Teyssier - 80% Merlot + 20% C. Franc. 14.2% alcohol. Spicy black fruit and roses, some violets, round, velvety texture, nicely structured, smooth finish. Adorable effort. 90-91p.
Clavis Orea - flowery, cherries, spicy, polished, soft tannin, attractive and pleasant. Adorable effort. 90p.
3 de Valandraud - aromatic black fruit, round and gentle on the palate, delicate and tasty, pleasant, fruity finish. 89-90p.
No. 3 d'Angelus - 85% Merlot, 10% C. Franc and 5% C. Sauvignon. Second wine of Carillon d'Angelus. Roses, silky fruit, and smooth tannin. Tasty and seductive on the palate. Delicate aftertaste. 89p.
Some memorable and precious moments I experienced during two weeks of primeur tastings in April 2023
1. My friends and I participated in a highly entertaining lunch at Carmes Haut Brion on the 20th of April, where a group of quite excited employees from a very famous wine merchant in London, Corney & Barrow, joined us. Guillaume Pouthier treated us with some ethereal wines, like 1998 Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres from Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay, Chateau Grillet 2017, Chateau Rayas 2003, and at the end, remarkably well-preserved 1943 Carmes Haut Brion. See below.
Three guys from Corney & Barrow. The one in the middle is Adam Brett-Smith, managing director, who was responsible for the delivery of wines to the coronation of King Charles III
2. On Saturday, the 22nd of April, it was a highly thrilling evening at Domaine de Chevalier. The theme was wines from different vintages, but they had one thing in common. The vintage on the bottle ended with “3”. I didn’t take notes, but the ones I have well-pinned in my memory and which “stole” my wine heart were: Petrus 1983, Ch. Margaux 1953 and Coutet 1953, Palmer 1983 and Domaine de Chevalier 1983, Haut Brion 1943 and Laville Haut Brion 1943 and 1983, plus Taylor’s Vintage Port 1963. Thank you a lot Olivier Bernard for an unforgettable evening!
Some famous wine critics are swarming around here! From left to right, Adrien Bernard, Neal Martin, Anne Bjurner, Lisa Perrotti Brown, and Chris Kissack
"3" wines we tasted that evening at D.d. Chevalier
3. It was a glorious welcome evening organized by the Union des Grand de Bordeaux for the press and chateau owners, at Domaine de Chevalier, on the 24th of April. Bellota time!
4. I had a fun lunch at Leoville Poyferre with (from left to right) Sara Lecompte-Cuvelier, Anne Cuvelier, Anne and Ivar Bjurner, and Alex Rychlewski. We tasted several vintages of Leoville Poyferre. Claire Ridley took the selfie below!