Posts with the label "latour"


UGC Week: Bordeaux 2015 - Day three,  It’s grim up north… far from it!

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2015 - Day three, It’s grim up north… far from it!

Friday 8th April 2016
by Tom Jenkins

We started up north with a St Estephe trio: Calon Segur, Montrose and Cos d’Estournel. 

Now much has already been said about the weekend of the Medoc marathon – some vignerons in these parts are blaming the runners for the rain. It happened, there’s no point in denial, about 120 mm fell on the Northern Medoc over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of September. It changed the profile of the vintage in St Estephe, but it most certainly didn’t ruin the quality. These wines are all highly successful, elegant wines, which perhaps lack a little of the exuberance and opulence other communes displayed, but they should by no means be dismissed, they are classical, beautifully structured and most alluring. 

A First Class Dinner – The 1996s at 20

A First Class Dinner – The 1996s at 20

Monday 1st February 2016
by Tom Jenkins

Opening and drinking the hallowed wines of Bordeaux’s ‘First Growths’ is always an event. These magnificent estates have graced the tables of the great and the good for centuries and continue to hold an appeal like no other wines from the Medoc or Graves.

1996 is one of our favourite vintages of the last few decades. It seems like only yesterday that England was losing to Germany on penalties and Dolly the sheep was born. It was a year that favoured the gravel terroirs and Cabernets of the Medoc, producing reserved, classic wines -  wines with structure and complexity. Following the commercially attractive 1995s, the 1996s were not universally well received, although their then expensive release prices now look very equitable…  Now at the ripe old age of 20, we decided this was an anniversary we definitely wanted to celebrate.

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2012 - Day three

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2012 - Day three

Friday 12th April 2013
by Tom Jenkins

By now we were well and truly in the groove and in the familiar surroundings of the northern Medoc, so it was time to unveil fifty shades of red cord picture courtesy of Peter Richards MW). Appointments were booked thick and fast, so pace and concentration were the order of the day.

Our first stop was Cos d'Estournel to taste with Aymeric de Gironde, ironically from the Loire region of France, but clearly destined to succeed in Aquitaine. Aymeric, formally of Pichon Baron has jumped into Jean Guillaume's loafers and he is a charming and capable substitute; we wish him all the best. He joined after the harvest and vinifications, so 2012 is not his baby, but you can sense his passion for the wine as he hosted our tasting. Views varied from good, bad and indifferent. There's certainly some charm and precision, but we were not wholly convinced - maybe we give it the benefit of the doubt...

Next stop Calon Segur; the first vintage since the death of Madame Gasqueton. Thankfully Toby didn't ask how she was and the tasting passed without incident. We were charmed by the Grand Vin, which is typically graceful and elegant and will no doubt be very yummy in a few years’ time.
Tasting Bordeaux 2009 at Southwold, under snow

Tasting Bordeaux 2009 at Southwold, under snow

Monday 21st January 2013
by Tom Jenkins

Despite the freezing conditions, many of the great and good from the wine trade made the annual pilgrimage to Suffolk to re-taste the much vaunted 2009s.

This was the vintage of the century, a vintage that boasts 17 hundred point wines, so how do they stack up three and a bit years on? Well the first observation is the tannins. From barrel, these were almost undetectable. Most of our notes referred to silky, velvety tannins, mainly masked by opulent fruit. Today, the wines are quite obviously tannic. They have lost some of that hedonistic quality and have gained in structure. This all bodes well for long term storage, but may put impatient souls off...

Another surprise was just how big a gulf there is between the top names and the low-mid-range Clarets. vignerons and negociants declared 2009 to be a 'great', 'homogenous' vintage with quality produced from top to bottom. They are right, many of the smaller estates have produced their best wines in 2009, but from the evidence of this tasting, you cannot expect to obtain First Growth quality on a cru bourgeois budget. At the affordable level the likes of Gloria, Clos des Quatre Vents, Poujeaux, Roc de Cambes, Lafon Rochet, Langoa Barton and Haut Batailley all had very strong showings and offer very good QPR (quality price ratio).
UGC Week: Bordeaux 2011 - Day four

UGC Week: Bordeaux 2011 - Day four

Saturday 7th April 2012
by Tom Jenkins

Our final day in Bordeaux and a chance to fill in one or two gaps and re-taste and re-affirm. First stop Calon Segur. 

This is the first vintage we have tasted without the formidable gaze of Madame Gasqueton, but the new regime seems to have found their feet. Despite the well publicised hails that affected St Estephe, Capbern Gasqueton and Calon Segur have produced very handsome, classical, delicately perfumed wines, which charmed us all.
 
Crossing the Pauillac quayside for the umpteenth and last time, we headed for the Pichons. Baron displayed even more depth and sweet fruit than the sample at the UGC tasting. This is a very attractive, seductive Pauillac with just a hint of Pomerol exuberance. It's also worth mentioning Suduiraut, another AXA property, which has excelled in 2011. Pichon Lalande is the polar opposite to Baron - this is pure classicism, fine Pauillac fruit and handsome structure - we left impressed!
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