Basile Tesseron's fourth growth estate, which borders Chateau Lafite, is making great progress. There has been a great deal more precision in the winemaking in recent years and we feel that this is an estate worth watching. After a slightly lacklustre 2014, the 2015 is very promising indeed. Produced from 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. A beautifully floral bouquet of classy menthol cassis fruit and violets leads to a cool, suave, dark fruited palate. There is impressive extract with classical nuances and no unwanted flavours. The tannins are really refined and coated with pure fruit. A return to form!
Basil Tesseron’s 4th growth Lafon Rochet, which neighbours Chateau Lafite, is undertaking several bold changes. Superstar consultant Denis Dubourdieu has been drafted in to join Lucus Leclercq, the new technical director, previously at Cheval Blanc and Domaine Romanee Conti. Half of the vineyards are now being farmed bio-dynamically.
A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.