2015 is a ravishing vintage that will delight wine enthusiasts with its sumptuous, crystal clear fruit, silky tannins and refreshing acidity. At their best, the wines resemble a blend of the 2005s and 2010s with maybe a hint of the lavish 2009s. We had many personal favourites. Now with a retrospective gaze over all the releases, we have a clearer understanding of where the best value lies. We have whittled the pack down to five wines that we think offer an outstanding quality to price ratio.
Our first contestant is the resurgent Château Cantemerle, situated just south the Margaux commune - right in the 2015 sweet spot. This was the class act at the Medoc, Listrac and Moulis UGC. We were thrilled with its intensity and energy – it packs a mighty punch. James Suckling awards it an emphatic 95-96 points and asks whether this is perhaps the ‘best ever’ from this estate. It will surely rival the glorious 1983 and 1989. At £210 per dozen it is one to fill your boots with!
Moving slightly north, we have a brace of Margaux. It is no secret that this is one of the highest achieving appellations in 2015. Competition was fierce, however, our favourites had to be Malescot St Exupery and Brane Cantenac. Both are utterly profound and will rank amongst the best wines ever produced from these 2nd and 3rd growth Chateaux. At £370/12 and £460/12 respectively, these are serious, long-term wines, full of breed and class. Neal Martin is full of praise too, awarding each 93-95 points.
We complete our quintet with two perennial favourites: Grand Puy Lacoste and Domaine de Chevalier. It is hard to exaggerate the achievements of Xavier Borie and Olivier Bernard. Each year their wines are amongst the elite from their respective appellations, yet their prices remain resolutely fair. Neal Martin sums up Domaine de Chevalier rather neatly. ‘What a fabulous, intellectual wine from Olivier Bernard’. With a 95-97 point score from the Wine Advocate, it’s really no surprise this glittering wine made it into our list. The Grand Puy Lacoste is every bit as classy. Neal describes it ‘as being between 2009 and 2010’; high praise indeed, but thoroughly warranted. This is a masterpiece, a noble Pauillac with a heady floral bouquet and a wonderfully precise fruit core. Both these wines have very long and distinguished futures ahead of them.
In addition to our fabulous five, we are down to the last few cases of the following wines: Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge (£625/12, 95-97 WA), Clos Fourtet (£710/12, 95-97 WA), Haut Brion (£4260/12, 98-100 WA) and Pichon Lalande (£995/12, 95-97 WA). For full 2015 availability, please follow the link below.