Posts with the label "chateau haut brion"


Bordeaux 2018 - A Roller Coaster Vintage

Bordeaux 2018 - A Roller Coaster Vintage

Monday 15th April 2019
by Tom Jenkins

There were no magic micro-climates in 2018. This simple analysis of the vintage is the same from St Estephe to Castillon. This is one of the great turn-around stories, from despair to elation, but it was anything but straightforward. Nicolas Audebert from Rauzan Segla and Canon coined it the ‘Grand Huit’, or a rollercoaster. Even when summer arrived, this brought its own challenges. Water stress is necessary to make great red wines, however, those without clay subsoils were at risk of hydric stress and the dangers of blocked maturity. 

After a natural crop thinning by virtue of mildew, the vines were not carrying an abundance of fruit. Most vignerons didn’t do much in the way of green harvests and many did minimal canopy thinning. What was on the vine was very healthy with thick skins and wonderful potential. 

Bordeaux 2017: The Wine Advocate’s scores are in

Bordeaux 2017: The Wine Advocate’s scores are in

Monday 30th April 2018
by Tom Jenkins

We thoroughly enjoyed our week tasting 2017s from barrel. We loved the style, the aromatics, the precision and the freshness of the best wines. 

We thought it would be a vintage that would appeal to those who like restraint and charm, dare we say it, something for a European palate (we are still European for the time being…). Lisa Perrotti-Brown, the new Bordeaux correspondence for the influential Wine Advocate is also smitten, awarding three wines 97-100 points and numerous scores into the high nineties. Please find an overview of her thoughts below.

The Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2017 - A Darwinian Vintage

The Vintage Report: Bordeaux 2017 - A Darwinian Vintage

Monday 16th April 2018
by Tom Jenkins

In 2017 there’s no avoiding the ‘F’ word. It has been more than a quarter of a century since frost last devastated a Bordeaux crop, so it is inevitable that this was a major talking point. However, cruel as the frost was on some, it doesn’t really determine the quality of the vintage.

Life isn’t fair and neither is nature. As the earth gets warmer, flowering gets earlier, and the risk of frost damage becomes greater. Not many winemakers can recall the frosts of 1991 first hand, but their legacy is still haunting. When the meteorologists predicted a cold blast on the nights of the 27th and 28th of April, there was a genuine sense of panic. Most with the means deployed bougies, wind turbines, helicopters, lit hay, took whatever measures they could - the rest left it to chance.

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2016 - Day two, Moving on

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2016 - Day two, Moving on

Tuesday 4th April 2017
by Tom Jenkins

We wrapped up the Right Bank with a few morning visits. Our tasting at Chateau Teyssier was perhaps a little disappointing. The Teyssier itself is good and honest and there’s plenty to admire. 

The flagship Le Dome seems to have taken a backward step. Recent vintages have lent more towards elegance and a less-extracted style. It seemed like the 2016 was a super-charged, massive Le Dome, although probably made with greater precision than wines of the past. The tannins are big and gravelly – time will tell if this works.

Frederic Faye welcomed us to Figeac, an estate reborn. In truth, the wines never really went off the boil, but their over-ambitious pricing in 2009 and 2010 lost them a few friends. Now working with superstar oenologist, Michel Rolland, the wines are better than ever and are becoming much sought after. We loved the 2016 and it sent us on our way to La Pointe for the UGC Pomerol in good spirits. Alas, this mood was short lived. The UGCs on the Right Bank are becoming a bit of an irrelevance for us. So many of the top estates have excused themselves, there’s only a handful of wines to taste, and many of these don’t cut the mustard. Gazin was the standout star in Pomerol – a really handsome, serious wine with a good future ahead. One of the estates that has headed for the door was La Conseillante, so we dropped in for a quick unscheduled stop, and we were very glad that we did. After a string of disappointments (for us anyway), the 2016 sees Conseillante back to its very best – a really classy, refined Pomerol with just the right amount of make-up; it’s authentic, pretty and very well groomed.