Bordeaux 2014 En Primeur

04 June 2015 - The round-up

2014 has been a vintage full of surprises. The miraculous late summer not only rescued the crop, but it also produced wines of staggering beauty and finesse. We cannot remember tasting such fine and aromatic Cabernet Francs. Lafleur and Cheval Blanc deserve special mention as particularly complex and seductive examples of this varietal. However, as is the way with Bordeaux it is not all about one grape; Merlots from Petrus, Le Pin, VCC and La Fleur Petrus are stunning and over on the Left Bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely king. We discovered wines at almost every level worth getting very excited about.

By way of a round up, we will highlight some of the wines we feel are too good to miss from this vintage, catering for all budgets. To get us started, we have chosen the Guinaudeau’s most humble offering, Grand Village. This exquisite little claret benefits from all the savour faire of this great wine-making team. Sure, it can’t compete with the majesty of Chateau Lafleur, but at a 37th of the price, it isn’t half good. Our team were lucky enough to taste a bottle of the 1990 recently that was still singing. This is serious and utterly delicious claret at just £100 per case. Or £1900 for a whole barrel, offering in effect, 10 cases absolutely free. Coming in a variety of bottle sizes this would make an astute choice for those planning parties a few years down the line.

Another bargain that caught our eye was Montlandrie. Denis Durantou of Chateau L’Eglise Clinet fame produces this stunner from a steep clay and limestone site close to the windmill in Castillon. It may not be the glitziest commune, but this is super-sleek juice and we were very impressed!

Pichon Lalande was one of the wines of the vintage. Nicolas Glumineau has turned this Roederer owned Chateau’s fortunes around. The second label, Reserve de la Comtesse is a gem too. We loved its classic Pauillac style and grace. This will be an absolute delight to drink in five years’ time – we can’t wait! Our next selection also hails from the gravel strewn vineyards of Pauillac - Xavier Borie’s magnificent Grand Puy Lacoste. This sleek and refined 5th growth is as ever punching well above its weight. The 2014 is a particularly refined and polished effort.

Briefly hopping back over the Gironde to the Cote de Bourg and Francois Mitjavile’s wonderful estate, Roc de Cambes. This is often a match for Tertre Roteboeuf and this year many of our intrepid team thought it actually stole Tertre’s thunder! This is a really impressive, decadent, gourmand wine in the very best of Mitjavile traditions.

Back to Pauillac and one of our must buy wines of the vintage, Duhart Milon. Made by Charles Chevallier and the Lafite team, this is a regal, Lafitesque offering. It is brooding, mineral, powerful, serious and athletic, and at £400 per case is a hell of a lot of wine for the money!

It would appear that Pauillac had its fair share of success stories in 2014, and we’re not done yet. Alfred Tesseron’s Pontet Canet is back to its very best. Bordeaux’s leading biodynamic pioneer has converted many of his peers to his traditional farming methods. Whatever he and Jean-Michel Comme are doing, it certainly worked in 2014. This is a spellbinding wine with all the glorious perfume one expects from Pontet Canet allied to a commanding sense of presence. It harks back to the style that Pontet built their reputation on. Bravo!

Now we have the two standout performers from St Julien. We’ve already mentioned his older brother’s estate Grand Puy Lacoste, but Bruno Borie has also made it into our ‘top selection’. Ducru Beaucaillou is widely touted as one of the wines of the vintage. It is a classic, modern Ducru, marrying tremendous power and concentration with a sweetness and seductive character that is most appealing – we were captivated. In a rather more masculine and serious mould, we were smitten with Leoville Las Cases. This is a statuesque, grand wine, which to our mind is rather reminiscent of its immediate neighbour Chateau Latour. This is just about as profound a wine as you’ll find in the Medoc from 2014. Kudos to Monsieur Delon.

We have already mentioned Denis Durantou’s wonderful Castillon estate in our list, but it seems if not rude, certainly remiss not to talk about L’Eglise Clinet. This has consistently been one of if not our wine of the vintage for as long as we care to remember. Maybe a few Pomerol estates stole the headlines this year, but this is without question another splendid wine in the long list of successes.

We finish our round up with two first growths. Haut Brion is a magnificent terroir wine, with a stoney mineral core and a flourish of decadent fruit, and our wine of the Left Bank, Chateau Lafite. The latter is just sublime, a wine of pure class. It is initially tightly wound and introspective, but with aeration it develops classic Pauillac nuances of violets, graphite and inky black fruit. The palate is precision personified; we couldn’t remember tasting a wine with such finely detailed flavours – it is immensely powerful, yet utterly refined; it is a complete and athletic Lafite that will wow collectors for decades to come. It is also worth pointing out that both these wines are just about the cheapest available vintages from their respective Chateau in the market today. If you want something really special for laying down, these will not disappoint.

If you require any advice, please do not hesitate to call our team of Account Managers, who will be very happy to assist on +44(0)20 7484 6400

 

02 June 2015 - ‘a brilliant Montrose’ – Neal Martin

This morning’s release of Chateau Montrose marks the last significant release from the left bank.

We absolutely loved Montrose. It was undoubtedly our favourite wine from St Estèphe; indeed it sits amongst a handful of the very finest left bank wines of the entire campaign. The 2014 is made entirely in the Montrose mould; profound yet fresh, dark fruited and mineral. Kudos must be given to the winemaking team for this effort. The combination of power and finesse is regal, almost First Growth like, and while the price may seem ambitious, so is the wine. To our mind this is up there with some of the greatest vintages from this estate in recent years. Neal Martin goes so far as to say “this is one grand vin that comes perilously close to matching the heights of the 2009 and 2010”.

Please note that there is currently no stock available

 

29 May 2015 - Ducru Beaucaillou - Sublime St Juliens

Owner Bruno Borie is one of the most convivial, charming hosts in Bordeaux. But underneath his jovial and welcoming façade he is one of the most talented and astute Chateaux owners in the Medoc. Here is a man who is committed to just one thing – producing the very best Ducru Beaucaillou possible, and over the past decade or so he has consistently made one of the finest wines in Bordeaux.

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of our favourite wines from St Julien in ’14. And whereas Leoville Las Cases has an unyielding majesty to it, Ducru has a gorgeously silky richness to it, graphite and blackcurrants then fills the glass and lingers on the tongue. It is a thrilling 2014.

Also, worthy of mention are the second wine, Croix de Beaucaillou and sister property, Lalande Borie. Both are wines of purity and freshness, which very much resemble the Ducru style. They are both impressive, stylish St Juliens and look very good value for money.

Please note that there is currently no stock available

 

28 May 2015 - Château Lafite; Medoc nobility

Lafite Rothschild is habitually the most refined and nuanced of all the first growths. In 2014 our tasting with Charles Chevalier required the customary levels of patience as perhaps the most serious wine of the Medoc took its time to unfurl and stretch it’s tightly wound core of pure Pauillac character. Lafite Rothschild represents the very essence of this appellation; handsome, powerful, yet refined and utterly compelling. The 2014 simply blew us away with its absolute classicism and the transparent sense of terroir – again a characteristic of the best wines in 2014. Lafite has poise in 2014; you will find power, minerality and a deeply brooding core of fruit infused with the most glorious Cabernet perfume imaginable.

This is a gorgeous Lafite.

Please note that there is currently no stock available

 

14 May 2015 - Justerini & Brooks' Roundup - so far ...

Amid the excitement of the First Growth releases (Mouton, Margaux and Haut Brion have already released – we await Lafite), a few wines have inevitably slipped through the cracks. In fact, quite a few big names have glided under the radar: Rauzan Segla, Gloria, Cantemerle, St Pierre, Clos du Marquis, Canon, Larcis Ducasse, Pavie Macquin, Beauséjour Duffau Lagorrosse, Haut Bailly, Calon Segur and very probably more…

The Chanel owned Rauzan Segla and Canon are both excellent wines, full of purity and charm. They have been very well received by the critics and, at £375 per case, they should be commended for their sensible pricing. The Nicholas Thienpont/Stephan Derenoncourt wines are often controversial. Larcis Ducasse (£175 per 6), Pavie Macquin (£200 per 6), and Beauséjour Duffau Lagorrosse (£525 per case) occupy wonderful terroirs and are capable of producing epic wines. They are unashamedly modern and uncompromising, they are not for everyone, but they do have a legion of fans. Beauséjour Duffau Lagorrosse in particular has become a firm favourite of Robert Parker.

Back in the Medoc, Leoville Las Cases’ Clos du Marquis (£150 per 6) is very smart stuff. This parcel situated between Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton and Pichon Lalande has produced a serious, dark and mineral effort with more than a passing resemblance to its still-to-release big brother.

Sibling estates, Gloria (£205 per case) and St Pierre (£150 per 6) have been on fine form recently. Gloria regularly features in our ‘best value’ selections, while St Pierre has received some towering scores from Mr Parker. Their 2014s are big, gutsy offerings, which deliver good value for money.

Veronique Sanders’ Haut Bailly 2014 (£215 per 6) got the purists in our group very excited. It was easy to be seduced by the transparency and elegance of this noble Pessac Leognan. It is a wine of exquisite delicacy and elegance. Bravo!

Finally, we have Calon Segur (£210 per 6) and their greatly improved second wine, Marquis de Calon (£145 per case). The Grand Vin is always one of the most sought after wines from Bordeaux, and still on the upward trajectory of the last few years. We still have a handful of cases left, but we don’t expect our allocation to last long…

 

13 May 2015 - A beguiling Pontet

After last year’s premature release, it’s back to form for Pontet Canet. This high flying Pauillac estate, situated next to Mouton Rothschild was the first cru Classé to flirt with biodynamism. Now they are 100% biodynamic and many of their neighbours who watched guardedly to their experiment have been converted. Technical director, Jean-Michel Comme has been a driving force behind the revolution here. Perhaps the reason why his wines are held in such high regard is that they are more than just the product of perfectionist wine-making. The wines conjure up emotion, they are soulful, sumptuous and utterly enthralling.

We were captivated by the beautiful 2014. This is less blowsy than recent offerings and is a return to the serious, thought-provoking style that we have come to know and love. There is all the customary grace and charm one would expect, but there is a serious core and backbone; this is a wine with real gravitas and presence. Many in our group ranked this up among not only the true ‘super seconds’, but also with the First Growths. It is indeed a spectacular Pauillac and one that we can wholeheartedly recommend.

 

11 May 2015 - A Margaux of ethereal grace and poise

Of the First Growths, Haut Brion stakes a claim to being the most alluring and mineral, Lafite is arguably the most regal and athletic, and Chateau Margaux is undoubtedly the most ethereal and graceful. It doesn’t usually compete in terms of sheer power with the Pauillacs, but that is to misunderstand this wine and its terroir. It can be grand, vintages such as 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 are proof, but what sets this wine apart from the others is its nobility and charm. There is an effortlessness and understated grandeur that is uniquely Chateau Margaux.

Paul Pontallier in his 32nd vintage has a pretty good understanding of the vineyards and what makes a ‘great’ Margaux. Of the 2014, he says ‘it’s either the least good of this century’s ‘great’ vintages, or the greatest of the ‘good’ vintages; either way, we love it. The reds possess a purity and definition that is quite uncommon. Laser like precision of flavour and a quite multidimensional profile makes these some of the most compelling 2014s we tasted. Even greater selection has particularly enhanced the Pavillon Rouge, which must rank as one of their finest second wines produced to date.

We should also mention the Pavillon Blanc. The 12 hectare vineyard situated outside the Margaux AOC, has produced an electric 2014. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc cuvee is so vibrant with gorgeous crystalline flavours that it definitely ranks amongst the ‘great’ vintages for this particular cuvee; it is truly an outstanding Pavillon Blanc.

 

06 May 2015 - The wines of Denis Durantou

Our annual visit to Denis Durantou seldom disappoints. A litmus test for the quality of the vintage, recent years have seen Denis habitually turning out one of the most uniformly high level ranges in our entire week in Bordeaux. At one end the likes of Montlandrie, La Chenade and Petite Eglise provide the sort of wonderful drinking value that finds its way into the cellars of many an astute collector, while at the other l’Eglise Clinet generally provides a reference point for some of the finest wines of the vintage.

In 2014 Denis appears to have made a very pure range of wines, one not afraid to major on taut structure, freshness and effortless balance. Once flesh is added during elevage, these will no doubt emerge as thrilling, vibrant and energy filled wines. Depending on your budget, the range crescendos nicely from the extremely well priced La Chenade right up to an Eglise Clinet of rippling tannic structure, purity and profound minerality.

Bravo Denis, this is once again, a range of wines that can be recommended wholeheartedly.

 

05 May 2015 - Château Tertre Rôteboeuf: Vendanges Tardives

Francois Mitjavile is never afraid a bit of degradation or confit, in fact he welcomes it. The wonderful, slow ripening conditions in September and October, with warm days and cool nights, allowed this exponent of long hang times to achieve a perfect balance of ripeness and freshness. Tertre Roteboeuf was harvested on the 15th of October, while sister estate, Roc de Cambes in the Cote de Bourg finished in the first week of November!

Unsurprisingly, Francois’ wines are some of the most debauched and exuberant we tasted from 2014. These are sensational, seductive wines, which offer a smorgasbord of decadent fruit and richly complex aromatics. They are opulent with that classic Mitjavile ‘confit’ character, yet there is a real tension and energy that runs through them. And perhaps more than ever, the difference between Roc and Tertre is negligible. At £198 per six, the Roc de Cambes punches many divisions above its price tag!

As ever, when you have a wordsmith like Francois, it is best to let him have the last word. “Superbe millesime, representant l’elegance Bordelaise…ces vins seront charmeurs des leur jeunesse, et dans les saveurs de l’age.”

 

05 May 2015 - Château Haut-Brion: Suburban Serenity

Nestled in the concrete jungle of Pessac are two eminent and historic Chateaux. The celebrated terroirs of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion produce unique wines of power and grace in equal measure. These are certainly wines that those in the trade have a real affinity with. They are peerless in terms of quality and consistency, however, for reasons unknown to us they don’t have the same appeal in the market as their fellow First Growths - fashion can be so fickle!

Jean-Philippe Delmas continues the family legacy at Haut Brion. He was born 100 metres from estate while his father Jean-Bernard Delmas was the incumbent wine-maker. We wouldn’t be surprised if Haut Brion courses through his veins. His 2014s are clearly very impressive wines. There is perhaps more than ever that classical, stony, minerality, the Graves terroir at the very heart of these wines. They have a formidable presence yet are also graceful and charming. One could wax lyrical about the various virtues of these wines, particularly the hugely impressive La Mission and Haut Brion, but you have either fallen under their spell or they pass you by – anything we say probably won’t make a difference. If you love ethereal, profound Claret, you’ll love these…

As ever, we closed our tasting with the spectacular whites. The 2.6 hectare vineyard planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris will produce about 500 cases of Haut Brion Blanc. This is a dazzling example even by Haut Brion Blanc standards and among the very best that we have tasted from this estate in recent years. With its noble minerality, razor sharp intensity and incredible length it is a true tour de force and one of brightest stars of the vintage. In La Mission Haut Brion Blanc salt and stones meet a refined and beautifully balanced line of lime soaked fruit and once again, incredible length. In qualitative terms, it’s almost impossible to separate the two. Regular followers of these noble whites will not want to miss the 2014 vintage.

 

04 May 2015 - Bank holiday releases!

It may be a bank holiday in the UK, but the Bordelais are keeping up the momentum. With so many public holidays in May, it would seem that the need to ‘get-on-with-it’ has finally been heeded. The ever popular Chateau Talbot has released at £290 per dozen. With most physical vintages trading at £400 per case or more this solid St Julien is a pretty safe bet. Next we have one of our ‘best value’ picks, Chateau Chasse Spleen. Along with Cantemerle this was the class act of the Haut Medoc, Moulis, Listrac tasting. It is a surprisingly sophisticated and classy glass of wine for £175 per case! Something that is less likely to be found in our glass is Troplong Mondot. This bruising St Emilion is never short of alcohol, tannin and extract. It’s not our cup of tea – but each to their own (£280/6).

The wines of Pauline Calvet are perennial favourites of ours. Made from his estate close to the Rocade, and not far from Haut Brion, the wines of Picque Caillou are classy and very affordable Pessac Leognans. The Blanc is made in minute quantities and is often a match for the big names in the commune. At £140 per dozen, this zesty, mineral, racy number is an absolute bargain! Pauline’s red is less consistent, but when it is good it’s very good indeed. The 2014 is spot on with lots of ripe berry fruit and nothing too forced or aggressive - a very honest and well-priced Pessac (£120/dozen).

Finally we have Olivier Bernard’s Chateau Guiraud from Sauternes (£150 per 6). This has received some stunning scores from the critics:

‘A juicy, engaging core of apricot, nectarine and green fig is backed by ginger and spiced apple accents. Orange zest notes enliven the finish even more. Shows solid length, power and precision. 94–97/100’ - J.M. The Wine Spectator

‘The Château Guiraud 2014 has a perfumed bouquet with clear honey, beeswax and honeysuckle aromas that are well defined. The palate is fresh and taut on the entry: good tension and focus here, very harmonious with a gently build in the mouth towards a satisfying marmalade and quince-driven finish. This is a finely crafted Guiraud that will be a class act. 93-95/100’ – Neal Martin, erobertparker.com

 

29 April 2015 - Château Lynch Bages: A ‘Muscular… toned and beautiful’ Lynch Bages. – James Suckling

Just when we thought Bordeaux was shutting up shop for the day, we get news that Lynch Bages has released. Jean-Charles’ magnificent Fifth Growth estate is on top form. The wines are clearly of Second Growth quality and often prices in the secondary market reflect this…

If we are being honest, we had hoped for a better release price. We would like to see our sterling offer price a little closer to that of the 2013, however, if you exclude the 2013, which is not really a comparable vintage at all, this is the cheapest case of Lynch Bages you can buy. At £575 per dozen it is a serious, powerful, handsome Pauillac with a promising future ahead.

Two other big names: Chateau Palmer and Angelus are now on the market. The Palmer is a bit of a departure from the house style we have come to love. Normally we are swept off our feet by this decadent, hedonistic Margaux. The 2014 has lost some of this excess and is now a more structured, serious chap. Their second label, Alter Ego is also a very worthy example and is well worth a look at £370 per dozen.

Chateau Lynch Bages
‘This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It's full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful. 95-96/100’ - James Suckling

‘Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show refinement, while ample charcoal and warm stone notes flow underneath. This is displaying terrific depth and purity today. 93–96/100’ - J.M. The Wine Spectator

Chateau Palmer
'This is reserved in profile now, with crushed red and black currant fruit and lightly singed alder notes. Yet the core is coiled, showing very energetic raspberry and plum coulis flavors, with a lilting violet edge and a long, iron-fueled finish. There’s a very refined backdrop of tobacco and singed juniper, and the finish is long and suave. Tasted non-blind. 93–96/100’ - J.M. The Wine Spectator

 

28 April 2015 - Château Mouton Rothschild: Will the rest follow?

Will this morning’s release of Mouton Rothschild trigger movement from the rest of the Bordeaux? The campaign certainly needed a shot in the arm and this could be just the catalyst we have been waiting for. The first First Growth of a campaign is always significant and as five have been whittled down to four (released en primeur), the arrival of Mouton becomes even more momentus. A favourite with some of the team, the 2014 is at least 20% cheaper than any physical vintage of Mouton, and almost on a par with the 2013 – a wine it is entirely superior to. Demand is currently outstripping supply so we will be allocating Mouton 2014. Please register your interest with your account manager.

The Mouton pen is quite full these days. Their second wine, Petit Mouton is much improved and has become very popular in Asia, and as a result this also has to be allocated. Sister properties, Clerc Milon and d’Armailhac have benefited enormously from Mouton’s technical know-how. D’Armailhac in particular caught our attention. This will be a fabulous drinker in five years’ time – ideal for parties, Christenings and the Sunday lunch table, and is a snip at £120 per 6. We can also offer the white wine from Mouton Rothschild, Aile d’Argent at £230 per 6.

 

27 April 2015 - Château Beychevelle releases

For many commentators St Julien was the commune of 2014. It often is the most consistent appellation. Perhaps it was our bad timing, choosing to tackle the St Julien UGC at the end of an arduous day, but we didn’t fall in love with many of their wines. We all have off days and it is worth pointing out that tasting young barrel samples is not a precise science, so with that in mind, we will give them the benefit of doubt…

This morning’s first release is Chateau Beychevelle. At £210 per 6 it represents a meagre 1% discount from their 2013 release; however, this is £25% cheaper than most physical vintages such as 2007 and 2008. Despite this, we feel that the Duhart Milon 2014 is definitely the better buy and will most probably look like a bargain when we see other big names from the Medoc hit the market.

‘Well-packed, with plum cake, bramble, blueberry patch and anise notes, all allied to a graphite edge on the finish. Racy acidity underscores everything. Rock-solid. 91-94/100’ - J.M. The Wine Spectator

‘A firm and austere young red now but there's serious fruit and mineral character underneath. Full body, chewy tannins and a long finish. 93-94/100’ - James Suckling

 

24 April 2015 - Duhart Milon, L’Evangile and Rieussec

Many commentators have stated that the 2014 campaign perhaps more than ever depends on price. Would this fall on deaf ears? The quality is good to very good in places, so the natural temptation for the Bordelais is to raise prices. Thankfully, our friends at DBR (Domaine Baron Rothschild) have listened and have shown some much needed leadership.

Today, they have released the spectacular Duhart Milon, one of the best Pauillacs we tasted in 2014 and a worthy stablemate to Chateau Lafite at 12.5% less than their 2013. In sterling terms, this equates to a 21% discount on last year’s release. Most physical vintages trade at over £540 per case, so this release is a full 24% lower than in bottle stocks. Anyway, enough about price, this is a wine worthy of hearty praise. It is Lafitesque in style, brooding, powerful, athletic and downright delicious. We loved the purity and nobility of flavours. This is one very handsome Duhart!

Over on the Right Bank, Chateau L’Evangile in the heart of Pomerol has been a great DBR success story. Their technical know-how coupled with one of the finest terroirs (they are one of three properties that shares a parcel of blue clay seen at Petrus). Initially we were wowed, this is super seductive, a very sexy Pomerol, but some of us found it a bit disjointed. If past efforts are anything to go by, this will knit together and become a ravishing Evangile. The price at £435 per six is over 20% cheaper than the 2013.

As ever, Domaine Baron Rothschild’s Sauternes estate, Chateau Rieussec is a wonderful wine. Recent blind tastings at Southwold have proved that this is one of the finest estates in the commune, and we expect the 2014 to be worthy successor.

 

23 April 2015 - Great value wines from the Guinaudeau family

We are very proud to be agents for the Guinaudeau wines in the UK. Jacques, Sylvie, Baptiste, Julie and their team are meticulous vignerons who constantly strive to improve all their wines. Chateau Lafleur, recently described as “one of the world’s greatest red wines” by the Wall Street Journal’s Will Lyons, quite rightly takes most of the plaudits. This magnificent terroir produces one of the most unique and mesmerising wines from anywhere in the world. However, the same painstaking level of detail goes into their other cuvees: Grand Village Blanc, Grand Village Rouge, Les Champs Libres and "G", making them not only some of the most interesting wines from the region, but also some of the best value.

Having located the perfect “St Emilion” terroir in the appellation of Fronsac, the Guinaudeaus planted the vineyard using a massale selection of vines from Lafleur. The 2014 "G" Acte 6 is perhaps the breakthrough vintage for this wine. Previous efforts have all been wonderful wines, but they perhaps lacked the sense of identity we found in the 2014. Acte 6 is a staggeringly beautiful example of Cabernet Franc, with a nobility that bears more than a passing resemblance to Lafleur, albeit in a slightly less grand and intellectual fashion. The family are clearly very pleased that their vision and hard work has reaped such glorious results.

At Jacques and Sylvie’s home estate of Grand Village, the wines go from strength to strength. Again, the regal Cabernet Franc aromatics give this a class and presence above and beyond its humble price tag. This may only be ‘Bordeaux AOC’, but this is a Guinaudeau wine, produced with exceptional skill and all the resources at their disposal. This is very real and vital; a proper wine with beautifully delineated flavours that will delight drinkers for years to come. The Grand Village Blanc is a most refreshing antidote to the ubiquitous style of Sauvignon Blanc – it is perhaps the most mineral and refined example we can remember tasting.

Things appear to be moving a bit today. Other notable releases include, Jonathan Maltus’ Le Dome and Teyssier as well as Calon Segur’s sister property, Chateau Capbern (formally Capbern Gasqueton).

 

16 April 2015 - Château Meyney: Early release

We have heard positive rumours about Chateau Meyney for the last few years, however, each time we tasted, the wines haven’t live up to the hype - until now. A sample of the 2014 shown at Chateau Angelus was a revelation: taut, muscular, brooding, full of mineral infused Cabernet fruit and promise. In truth it rather upstaged its host!

The story goes that it was politics that kept Meyney out of the 1855 classification, the then owners not finding favour with Napoleon III. It certainly wasn’t a lack of terroir, for Meyney is situated on exceptional gravel and blue clay soils with none other than high flying second growth, Chateau Montrose as its immediate neighbour. Their talented wine maker, Anne Le Naour is assisted by consultant Hubert de Bouard. Small tanks in the winery allow for plot by plot vinifications and they now have an optical laser sorting table to ensure that all the fruit used is healthy and ripe. This is state of the art winemaking and it is showing in the wine – there is a real gloss with lavish fruit and seductive tannins.

We re-tasted the wine twice in the Medoc just to insure it wasn’t a fluke, and sure enough it lived up to its billing. We are deeply impressed and highly recommend this wine to all our clients. It is certainly one of the best value wines of the vintage and we feel that a distinguished future lies ahead for this sumptuous St Estephe.

There have also seen a handful of Sauternes and Barsacs released this week including our favourite, Doisy Vedrines. Another notable release has been the ever popular, Chateau Gazin. We liked this well situated Pomerol very much – it is classically styled with beautifully delineated flavours and at £390 per dozen will be one of the best values from this commune. Please click below to view all available 2014s.