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Pauillac tasting notes L-Z

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Here are the full tasting notes for Pauillac chateaux, listed alphabetically from L-Z, starting with Château Lafite-Rothschild. For Pauillac properties A-H click here. Click on the individual château profiles on the drop down menu for more details on each estate.

Lacoste Borie, Pauillac
  • 2015 Nice healthy colour; mid depth; purple red at edge; blackcurrant fruit; some spice; little cherry; very Bordeaux; nice fresh entry; clean and pure fruit characters; bit of graphite and blackcurrant on the palate; nice texture; should work well in 3-5 years. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 50hl/ha]. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted 7/4/16 at Grand-Puy-Lacoste. 87-88+
  • 2014 Mid depth; deep in the core; very ripe blackcurrant; fresh; vivacious; nice entry; some oak to resolve; little present on the palate; some cream; balance and freshness; vibrant; mineral; texture; attractive. [67% Cabernet Sauvignon 23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc, 45% new oak.] Drink 2018-2025. Tasted at Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 2 April 2015. 86-88+
  • 2013 Mid depth; elegant; fresh and lifted; quite jolly; lots of fruit on the nose; grippy palate; fresh and bright. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2016-2023. Tasted at Grand-Puy-Lacoste April ’14. 85-87+
  • 2012 Deep and healthy looking; very pretty nose; lots of fat, primary fruit – plums, blackcurrants; mid weight on the palate but pretty harmonious [probably the fair wack of Merlot]. Coffee and spice tones on the finish. Good effort. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. Tasted Friday April, 12, 2013 at Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste. 87-88+

Château Lafite-Rothschild, First Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Mid depth; purple edge; mineral tones and cool blackcurrant aromatics; some graphite and spice; elegant aromatics; quite compact on the palate; measured style; fruit a bit tight and the acidity showed through on the day. Tannins are fine but considerable. A degree of freshness on the finish – almost grippy. Will put on weight during elévage I hope. [91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted 4/4/16. 93-94+
  • 2014 Deep and dark; fresh looking at edge; opaque centre; purple at edge; very ripe blackcurrants and cassis notes; graphite; intense cassis infact; sublimated blackcurrants and cassis; plenty of flesh on the palate; focus; some oak to integrate but lots of blackcurrant fruit and cassis again; structure evident beneath; excellent purity and length; very long palate impression. This is concentrated Lafite, sublimated even. In the realm of the great years. [second sample showed similar characteristics – very concentrated blackcurrants; cassis]; exceptional stuff. [87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 12.6 degrees alc, harvest 22-27 September for Merlot and 29 September-8 October for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc 2 October and Petit Verdot 10 October]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted 30 March, 2015 at Lafite. 95-97+  
  • 2013 Deep centre core; colour tight to the rim; deep and clean; purity; blackcurrant; graphite; quite strong aromatically; bold in scope on the palate [98% Cabernet this year] but tannin a little on the austere side on the finish; needs to settle; overall palate quite tight and sappy at present. Obvious gravity but fruit is tight and intense and pretty sappy. Elements are there. Tannins a little austere. The vintage speaking… [98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; tight to the rim; very deep and layered on the nose; quite packed with aroma; usual core of blackcurrant fruit; cassis; coffee beans and an earthy note too; concentrated palate and pretty tight; clearly lots of material and density and grip on the end. That earthy note again. Usual Lafite paradox – fleet of foot but full in flavour. Very good in vintage context, though they have the financial luxury to make the hard choices necessary to do so. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot. 94-96
  • 2011 Deep and dark centre; vibrant earthy purple meniscus; brilliant seam of pure blackcurrant fruit on the nose; very precise and intense; spot on Pauillac; very precise Cabernet; graphite; cool and fresh; very attractive blackcurrant flavours on the palate with much polish; dense and cool, layers here and great harmony on the palate. Little bite on the finish but harmonious, focused and wonderfully measured. Great length. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot 12.7% alc Tasted 6/4/12 at Lafite. 94-96+ 
  • 2010 Deep and glossy; very attractive blackcurrant and lead pencil tones; spot on and very fluid; some spicy qualities to the blackcurrant fruit; nice weight on the palate; lovely seam of blackcurrant fruit; elegant yet concentrated; inky notes; real length on the finish. Drink 2018-2040. 96+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; the most saturated of all the wines shown; thick in the glass; creamy blackcurrant aroma – very enticing and succulent; very deep nose but also very fresh; some summer pudding along with some graphite; sweet entry on the palate, sublimated, with some oak but soaked in blackcurrant fruit; real density and length; layers and layers; more strength it feels than 2009; great concentration and very well balanced by freshness. Very, very long and remains vibrant. [87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.8% Merlot, alc 13.5] 98-100/100 
  • 2009 Mid depth; deep centre; very precise and elegant aromatics: blackcurrants, lead pencils and tobacco leaf – very refined indeed; blackcurrant fruit with depth and extract; surprising power here – real density and chew; tannins very ripe and harmonious; lovely blackcurrant fruit – real purity. Great length. Very fine indeed. This is more controlled than the flamboyant primeurs offering but there remains something magnificent about this wine. Perfect for me. Now the Chinese appetite for the wine has abated somewhat it’s available at a Tesco-like discount [half price] on a few years ago. Drink 2016-2045. 100. MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep, dense colour, tight to rim. Lovely nose; wonderful pent up blackcurrants; glossy; cassis and yet more sublime blackcurrants; also graphite, minerals, incredibly deep, this nose is perfection. Palate of purity, brimming with blackcurrants; essence of wine here; sweet ripe fruit; velvety tannins – elegance and intensity. Perfectly balanced. Not the merest hint of over-extraction. On par with 2005. 100/100 1st April 2010.
  • 2008 Deep looking; blackcurrant aromas with lead pencil; leaf and undergrowth note palate nicely taut with elegance; nice texture here like Duhart; very focused and rather classic; blackcurrants, some leaf and graphite tones again; structured palate with quite chewy though ripe tannin on the end. 96/100 MW Insttute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep looking; pretty saturated in colour; cooler and calmer than Mouton; very pure blackcurrants here alongside the tell-tale lead pencil/graphite accent; layers and depth here; leafy and tobacco on further aeration; lots of harmony and typicity here; pure blackcurrant fruit on the palate, very clear and precise flavours; a little austerity to the tannins but lots of material and extract perfectly focused. Very good length too. Excellent effort in this tricky vintage. 95+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Deep red, maybe a fraction less intense looking than the Mouton, more redder at edge; resin and intensity on the nose at first; powerful and dense but not the exotic and flamboyant wine that is Mouton; intense blackcurrants and cassis; very well integrated with the oak, seamless, some espresso and coffee bean here too; feels very intense, concentrated and pent up; palate equally intense, with blackcurrants and cassis, good density and not a trace of hardness despite the concentration; blackcurrants, lead pencil, leafy tobacco notes; very nicely done and tannins polished and ripe. Good length here, pretty weighty feel [for Lafite] with tannin and extract on the finish. Currently not as flamboyant or as exotic as Mouton. 96+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Deep and saturated in colour; tight to the rim; legs; fabulously sexy nose of ripe fruit, perfume, tobacco and leaf, extremely vibrant; wonderfully integrated oak with sweet blackcurrant fruit; very intense, and very sexy and attractive; has all the hallmarks of this great vintage – perfume, intensity and balance; great depth to the wine on the palate; real intensity here; very long. Later even more perfumed on the nose; lots of extract on the palate but wonderfully soft and ripe tannins. 89% Cab, 10% Merlot and 1% Petite Verdot. Fabulous and near perfect. 98-100 Dec ‘09
  • 2004 Deep red/black; earthier than the ’05; more high toned and elegant; blackcurrant; none of the opulence of the previous wine; some meaty qualities; less explosive and complete by comparison but still very good; palate very fine and elegant; lacks body [vintage] and finishes a trifle short. Later the wine opened out further; layers to the nose revealed; good blackcurrants and fine tobacco; layers also to the palate; less immediately appealing than the 05 but actually an extremely good wine in a more elegant, cooler vintage. 92+/100 Dec ‘09
  • 2002 – Red black; some graphite and blackcurrant on the nose intense; quite elegant at first but opened up to reveal a meatier edge and stone/mineral quality along with rose petal; not at all bad. Palate still retains elegance and maybe lacks a little depth but fine. Only 33% of production made it into the Grand Vin. 90-92 Dec ‘09
  • 1999 – Deep red black; some maturity on the nose; blackcurrants; feels ‘drier’; some earth and meaty notes; palate well balanced with layers; maybe a trifle short at the back end but this is fine wine – elegant and intense. 92-94+ Dec ‘09
  • 1997 – Mid red/black, some looseness at the rim; graphite and pencil; some game and more roundness to the nose; open fine palate; reminds me a little of a Grange des Peres tasted a day earlier though the estate would doubtless be horrified at the comparison. Elegant wine but without the layered quality of ’05 and ’96. 88-90 Dec ‘09
  • 1996 Dark black and still tight to the rim; backward looking; long legs; deep and brooding nose; very ripe here; minerals and stone fruits; streak of green coffee beans; lead pencil; later opened up to classic Pauillac, graphite, blackcurrant tobacco and fine herbs; very intense and pent up palate; layers of flavour; powerful blackcurrant fruit with some roast meats. Very good precision on the palate with real intensity here; sappy, good grip and balancing acid. Tannins ripe but of the year. Strong wine. 96-98+ Dec ‘09
  • 1995 Black red; little looser at the edge than the ’96, blackcurrant and pencils at first; some leaf and tobacco; ripeness here as the wine opens up; very elegant and precise palate with good grip, structure and layers of flavour; attractive and fine. Good stuff; lighter than I’d imagined and some way behind the ’96. 92 Dec ‘09
  • 1990 Red and mature at edge; slightly dusty nose which lacked interest initially; mature notes but not fantastically complex; some blackcurrant; palate sweet and quite ripe but lacks the intensity and grip of the ’96. Eclipsed by other wines in that vintage. Disappointing considering the vintage. 88-90 Dec ‘09

Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac

  • 2015 Mid depth; purple edge; fraction looser at the rim than Lafite itself; fleshy aromatics; plump Merlot; fuller than the Duhart; palate a little grippy with acidity; extract and matter but little dumb on the day. [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted 4/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Deep and healthy looking; vibrant edge; perfumed and rich aromatics; nicely composed; blackcurrant fruit; some fatness; plumpness from the Merlot; cool entry to the palate; blackcurrants and plums; very nicely done and proportional; wet rocks and some minerality too; softness and delicacy but also balance and quilibrium; length too. Little oak on the finish currently. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 13% alc]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted 30 March, 2015 at Lafite. 91-93
  • 2013 Deep-ish colour; purple at edge; attractive plum and blackcurrant aromatics; layers; little menthol; structured palate with grip and material; needs to settle; vintage comes through; though good-ish purity; some chew on the finish and perhaps a little loose. Acidity quite spiky. Good-ish. [64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot]. Tasted at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. 87-89
  • 2012 Mid depth; fresh looking; pretty and perfumed; ripe, quite layered; blackcurrant and black cherry notes; menthol too; feels quite tight on the palate with grip; bite; good-ish length; delicacy here and fairly early maturing. Cabernet Sauvignon 53%, Merlot 42%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 2% 12.7% Alc. 90-91
  • 2011 Lots of depth; purple at edge; tight to rim; blackcurrant, cassis and black cherry notes; quite open; lovely clean and pure palate with nice harmony; depth but surprisingly supple [much more Merlot than the grand vin]. Delicacy here. Not forced or pushed. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc 2.5% Petit Verdot 12.7% alc. Tasted at Lafite. 91-92+
  • 2010 Deep and dense; legs; purple meniscus; lovely ripe blackcurrants, cassis, very fresh; some menthol; cream and blackcurrants with a minerality too; density too; very ripe; lots of ripe succulent blackcurrants on the palate; seems denser than last year; good chew and grip here. Very good length and finish. Excellent. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.5% Merlot, 5.1% Cabernet Franc, 2.4% Petit Verdot, alc 13.5] 94-96+/100
  • 2009 Deep, intense, tight to rim, lovely depth, very fine and intense; blackcurrants, cassis, wonderful ripeness, excellent; very velvety palate, terrific lightness of touch; gentle extraction and great precision; soft ripe tannins, very round and quite profound. Good length. Excellent. 92-94/100 1st April 2010.

Château Latour, First Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Very deep; purple edge; deep blackcurrant; some cassis; some graphite; lovely seam of fruit; little subdued at first; mineral tones; real intensity; tightly packed blackcurrants; really lovely fruit; very beautiful Latour; extract and flesh; plenty of matter but quite flattering to taste already; open; plenty of blackcurrant fruit an extract [growing in weight day to day according to the technical director]. Excellent length. Drink 2023-2040. [97.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.6% Merlot, 0.3% Petit Verdot, 13.04% alc, IPT 69, 30% of production]. Tasted 7/4/16. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and saturated; lovely colour; tight to the rim; sweet ripe blackcurrants; very nice seam of blackcurrants on the nose; layered; nice density; very polished; more open on the nose but considerable density; acid and fruit; freshness; very correct; perhaps a little strict at this stage; acidity and freshness very overt; lots of matter; very nice length. Long and elegant finish. Later opened up to reveal more bright black cherry and cassis notes on the nose; mineral palate with chew and extract on the finish; acidity strong and grippy. Very impressive, long-term Latour. [89.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.2% Merlot, 0.6% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Petit Verdot, 12.89alc, IPT 77, 33.9% of production]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted April ’15. 95-97+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; dark at centre; purple edge; tight and focused; cassis and blackcurrant tones; some elegance; graphite tones; intense; and quite elegant but with substance behind; nice linear style though. Correct; some density and chew to the palate [this is Latour after all] but nice, fresh finish. Good effort in the context. [95.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.3% Merlot, 0.4% Petit Verdot, 12.73% alc, 63 IPT, 31.5% of production]. Drink 2020-2033. 91-93
  • 2012 Very deep and saturated look; healthy colour; vibrant; very pure blackcurrant aromas; lots of layers and a real seam of precision; depth; oak present; very precise and focused; quite sinewy on the palate; very fine tannin; elegant with layers of flavour; quite serious. Elegant style, not the powerhouse of 2009 or 2010 but this is the vintage here. Finesse. 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot, 0.2% Petit Verdot 12.8% alc, IPT 73 35.6% of production. Tasted Friday April 12, 2013 at Chateau Latour. 94-95+
  • 2011 Deep and dense; very polished and pure seam of blackcurrant cassis; freshness; minerality too; real core to this and precise and very deep; cassis again on the palate along with concentration; quite mid-weight but with great tension; tannin not at all chewy; nice balance; tannin really nicely done. Nice purity and a long finish. Excellent wine and in the vintage context. Just a third of the entire harvest here. 84.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot 13.1% alc. Tasted at Latour 6/4/12. 95-96+
  • 2010 Dense, legs; graphite, minerals; sublimated and strong; really strong minerality, very intense with extraordinary depth on the nose; aeration revealed tightly packed layers of aroma, very focused; a nose of density and strength; very concentrated core of blackcurrant fruit on the palate; dense yet fresh; blackcurrants and cream; layer upon layer of flavour; lovely poise; terrific concentration and very, very long. Amazing. [90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.5% Petit Verdot, alc 14.4% IPT 83] 100/100
  • 2003 Deep and mature looking; dark centre; earthy red at edge; beautiful aromatics; fully mature; spices; blackcurrants; earth; warmth here; lots of depth and ripeness; spices; blackcurrants tones and tobacco notes on the palate; substance and extract; plenty of matter here but super ripe tannins; lots of meat on the bone and some tannins still to resolve. Excellent finish. Chew and texture. Brilliant stuff. [81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot]. Drink now-2035. Tasted April, ’15. 98+
  • 2000 Still dark at the core [last release from the Château]; red at edge but still tight to rim; pencil; graphite; blackcurrant spice; tobacco notes creeping in; lovely nose; so much going on; complex; structured and deep on the palate; really strong wine; still pretty tannic; needs another decade or so to hit its stride but this is powerful Pauillac in the very greatest sense. Fabulous length on the finish. Drink now to 2040. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot]. Tasted April ’16. 100
  • 1995 Dark at core; redder at edge; dust, spice, earthy blackcurrant tones; quite dense on the palate with blackcurrant tones, spices and some chew. Feels quite backward in style. Pretty chewy tannin, almost, dare I say it, a little rustic. Good length but feels backward overall. Possibly still needs time? It’s a very good wine, don’t get me wrong, but overall something of a disappointment given the reputation of the wine and the vintage. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot. 93/100
  • 1994 Deeper; concentrated; wonderful perfume, seductive oak; big structure here; lots of blackcurrant fruit; fresh. Lots of ripe tannin. 93/100 Assemblage tasted at Latour Nov ‘95
  • 1993 Dark; tight to rim; good elegant, seductive blackcurrants and fine oak; good extract on palate, meaty, charming; good structure with tannins at end. 90/100 Assemblage tasted at Latour Nov 95
  • 1990 Black; arterial; huge legs; powerful blackcurrant and cassis on the nose; with iron and minerals; oak; palate concentrated and intense; blackcurrants; fine grained tannins; incredible concentration. Exceptional 98/100 Barrel sample tasted at Latour Nov ‘91
  • 1962 Deep; mahogany; blackcurrants and tobacco on nose with cedar and cigar box notes; sweet ripe palate; beautifully mature; nicely balanced tannin and acid. Elegant but fine. 93/100 Nov ‘91

Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac

  • 2015 Very vibrant at edge; saturated look; lovely depth; attractive fruit but more tightly focused; deep and special; lovely blackcurrant purity; minerals and some spices; nicely integrated nose; weighty and full; this is impressive; intensity; good length and structure on the palate. Excellent. Very impressive structure. Great length. Reminds me a little of the knockout 2010. [63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.9% Petit Verdot, 13.3% alc, IPT66, 40% of production]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted 7/4/16 at Ch. Latour. 93-95+
  • 2014 Very fresh colour; earthy purple at the edge; firm; substantial; mineral; wet rock; layers; tight; tightness; little oak; tight and closed on the palate; matter; acidity; grip; lots of matter; elegance; acidity and fresh; opens up later to reveal pretty fruit and layers; bright, vivid black cherry and blackcurrant fruit; tighter still though; bit closed and shut down; chew and acid on the finish. Needs to settle but potentially exciting. [71.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28.6% Merlot, 13.01alc, IPT 70, 40.1% of production]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted Latour, 2 April, 2015. 91-93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; purple at edge; tighter and more composed in the glass than the Pauillac; graphite and blackcurrants; chewy and tighter initially on the palate there is also attractive, creamy blackcurrant fruit too; graphite and pencil tones again; fairly tight and classical. [62.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.1% Merlot, 2.2% Petit Verdot, alc 12.63%, IPT 61, 44.5% of production]. Tasted at Latour April 2014.Drink 2018-2030. 89-91
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; vibrant at edge; sweet; some smoke; cassis; minerality; graphite tones; more immediate prettiness than Latour on the nose; some smoked meat tones when it opens up; quite dense; some chew; not austere but structured; little lean maybe in the middle; correct and not flamboyant or as show stealing as their 2010 Les Forts; overall sinewy palate; tannins fine; finesse and elegance. Good length. 76.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 12.8% alc, IPT 71 42.2% of production. Tasted Friday April 12, 2013. 91-93+
  • 2011 Dense, dark; vibrant purple at edge; very nice lift; perfume, cassis blackcurrants; dark cherry seam; lots of precision here; blackcurrants; lots of density; concentrated and nicely done; more reticent and much less octane here than 2010’s almost perfect, first growth Les Forts but this is an excellent 2011. Elegance, harmony and nice length. 61.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot 13.08% alc Tasted at Latour 6/4/12. 92-93+
  • 2010 Very dense, tight to the meniscus; cream and blackcurrants, very fresh and very deep; more forward and seemingly lush than the grand vin; very appealing; very seductive on the nose; plush palate but with real extract and density and real freshness too; concentrated with layers; polished and pure; perfect extraction; powerful but some how elegant. Lovely wine of fantastic length. Focused and persistent. Quite terrific. [72.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25.5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, alc 14.3%, IPT 87] 96-98+/100
  • 2009 Very deep; legs; dark core; powerful blackcurrants; roasted note; roast meats and blackcurrants; spices and some vanilla at the edge but still quite young; just starting to get interesting! Lovely voluptuous fruit on the palate; lot of extract and matter; big and weighty; great finish. Give this five more years and it will hold for twenty; lovely length here on the end; oodles of wonderfully ripe tannin. Cries out for rib of beef! [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32.5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc]. Drink now to 2030. April ’16. 96+
  • 2005 Mid depth; some reddening at edge; some menthol, tea, blackcurrants on aeration; palate dense; roast character; blackcurrants; lots of material and a very serious effort this; very good density and length. Chewy on the end. 93+/100
  • 1994 Deeper; wonderful seductive oak; spicy liquorice elements, rich, fleshy and good structure. Tannin at end. Good. 90/100 Barrel sample at Latour Nov ‘95
  • 1993 Dark; purple red at edge; good oak; fleshy structure; attractive. 88/100 Barrel sample at Latour Nov ‘95
  • 1990 Deep black; red/purple at edge; big nose of blackcurrants and wonderful oak; seductive; palate broad and big. This is super second quality. Good length. 92/100 Barrel sample tasted at Latour Nov ‘91
  • 1966 Deep; mahogany; tobacco, cedar, blackcurrants; wonderfully mature palate; excellent wine. 90/100 Nov ’91

Pauillac de Latour

  • 2015 Excellent depth; mid red/purple at edge; classic Pauillac nose; blackcurrants; pencil and some leaf; pretty and quite beautiful; firmish entry but cool and elegant with nice structure and balance; spice and mineral touches; has good length. Spice on the finish. Excellent effort. Drink 2021-2030. [54.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41.7% Merlot, 4.1% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc, IPT 65, 30% of production]. Tasted 7/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Mid depth; redder at edge with purple; bright fruit; fresh; blackcurrants; fresh blackcurrants; wet rock notes; textured with grip; cool fruit and acids; nice grip and chew. Freshness and sap. More ripeness from the Merlot; some spice; bright and grippy; vivid. [50.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.3% Merlot, 7.1% Petit Verdot, 13.02alc, IPT 65, 26% of production]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Latour 2, April 2015. 88-90+
  • 2013 Mid depth, looser at the edge than the rest; vibrant; clean blackcurrant aromatics; cool tones; some plum and sour cherry; elegant entry on the palate; blackcurrant and plum fruit; round and easy. Blend Merlot dominated. Should be fairly early maturing. [Merlot 53.7%, Cabernet Sauvignon 45.5, Cabernet Franc 0.8%] 12.36 alc, IPT 57 24% of production].Drink 2017-2025. 86-88
  • 2012 Nice saturated colour; healthy; fresh blackcurrants, some cassis; attractive fruit bit stalky in part; elegant palate; fresh; quite clean and with acid; correct and good effort in vintage context. Polished. 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54.5% Merlot, 1.6% Cabernet Franc, IPT 63 12.8% alc 22.2% of production. 87-89+
  • 2011 Deep, dark; legs; purple at rim; fresh, blackcurrant, purity; feels clean; some graphite; blackcurrant, minerality; rocks and graphite; nice balance; chew; acid here but good. Tasted at Latour 6/4/12. 87-88
  • 2010 Deep colour; tightish earthy red at edge; lovely maturity; pencils, blackcurrants; graphite; textbook mature Pauillac; lovely! Cedar and spice too – lots going on; some leaf; great stuff; lovely nose; blackcurrant tones on the palate with spices and some tobacco notes; nice grip and acidity on the finish; plenty of texture and grip. This could easily take five more years but is wonderful now. Good length too. Drink now to 2022. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted April ’16. 92+ [earlier note] Very deep and saturated look; fraction less so than Les Forts and Latour, very ripe nose; succulent fruit, quite perfumed; dense attack, pretty good; very clean and pure wine with freshness that prevents the palate dipping. Very attractive wine with good length. Blackcurrants. Focus and grip excellent. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, alc 13.9% IPT 79] 91-93+/100
  • 2009 Deep and dense; wonderfully open; lots of graphite; blackcurrants, cassis; great Pauillac characters on the nose, textbook in the very best sense; open on the palate [Merlot] with lots of material [and nice grip too]. Even at £50 [$75] a bottle this is very much worth considering. Makes you marvel at how good the grand vin is in 2009….very impressive. Third wine? Third growth more like… 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot. 92+/100

Château Lynch-Bages, Fifth Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; colour tight to the edge; opaque centre; sweet ripe blackcurrant fruit; nicely layered and attractive; very nicely composed aromatics; cool blackcurrant fruit on the palate; plenty of flesh here; layered and intense; excellent balance. This is pretty cool stuff. Very impressive. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc, 75% new oak]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and dark; black and opaque at centre; saturated; lovely ripe cassis and fruit; very deep; open glossy blackcurrant aromatics; full blackcurrant tones on the palate; lots of extract here and matter but remains focused with a very central core of fruit; lots of chew and extract; tannins here but ripe by and large. Fairly long term but usually settles nicely. Deep and chewy. Potentially outstanding Lynch Bages. Real potential here. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 75% new oak. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; purple at edge; menthol, cream and blackcurrant tones on the nose; fruit on entry, blackcurrants but feels a little forced; chew and lots of tannins on the end. Also lots of sap too. Bit of a jumble. Needs taming. [72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% petit Verdot 75% new oak]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 87-89? [second note] Deep and saturated look; legs; menthol and spice on the nose otherwise a bit closed; bold and chewy palate; feels bit disjointed but there is evidently lots of extract and grip here. Chewy and extracted on the finish. Elévage should settle this brute. Tasted 3/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 87-89?
  • 2012 Mid depth; nice fresh blackcurrant aromatics; purity; sings from the glass; good and vigorous palate with blackcurrant fruit; lacks the power of the best recent vintages [2009 and 2010] obviously but wisely they’ve kept their feet of the gas in the cellar and the wine feels nicely balanced and harmonious for it. Drink 2017-2030. 90+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense looking; dusty nose; quite dumb; blackcurrants and some wet rocks; cool and fresh palate with stalky Cab notes; pretty tannic and dry on the end. Feels austere. Too much oak here I wonder? 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 75% new oak. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89+ [Earlier note] Deep and concentrated look; dense; ripe blackcurrants; some lift on the nose; depth; deep palate; lots of cassis and blackcurrant; feels pretty good effort. Tannins feel ripe and extract is there. Needs to fill in a bit. Elegance. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 90-92
  • 2011 Deep looking; healthy gloss in the glass; resin, ink and blackcurrant; feels deep though is a little dumb aromatically; pretty dense palate – sturdy – with blackcurrant tones; chewy finish and overall backward and a little joyless for what is usually a fairly exuberant Pauillac. Needs time to knit. Drink 2018-2030. 89+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; cassis, slightly higher tones relative to Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron. Cool cassis and blackcurrant with cherry notes; cooler end of the fruit spectrum; pure palate with cool blackcurrants again; more dryness to the tannin than with other super seconds. Chewy finish. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 90-91
  • 2010 Very good depth; solid aromatics; bit closed; some boiled sweets and blackcurrant cassis; cassis tones open up on aeration; very pent up and closed; blackcurrant cassis tones on the palate; very concentrated; lots of chew and matter; long in the mouth; five years minimum? Long term wine, clearly of great scale and density but currently a dormant volcano. Drink 2020-2040. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated at core; very ripe blackcurrant aromas, full; some olive tones; real depth on the nose; pretty precise; oak here; inky palate; quite dry tannins and lots of structure and very chewy with lots of material also; real density here and extract and tannin. Very long term indeed. 94+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; very ripe, cassis; attractive; deep and meaty; nicely done here; blackcurrants on the palate; lots of extract, real mid palate density. Good density here. Blimey – lots of tannin and extract here. Need to settle. Good length. Could be brilliant, but lots of tannins and grip. [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot, alc 13.6] 92-94?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting UGC] Very deep and very dark; thick and concentrated on the nose; lots of blackcurrants; quite sublime; creamy note; depth here; strong wine with depth and concentration on the nose; big mouthful, lots of extract and tannin here; little disjointed on the palate; big chewy and dense and tannins. Stronger and more concentrated even than 2010 but with less finesse, seduction and flamboyance. I preferred ’09 at the same stage. This is longer term obviously. 92-94/100 Tasted 7 April UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; very dark; this has tightened up considerably since bottling; brooding blackcurrant aromas, weighty; ripe blackcurrant and menthol notes; spices too; lots and lots of material and tannin [ripe] makes it a little chewy at present but this is a wine with an enormous amount of weight, extract and potential. Needs a decade I reckon. 2020-2040. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; very ripe, big blackcurrant nose with cassis and oak; menthol too; almost New World; loads of black fruits on the palate; quite amazing Lynch Bages; not jammy in the slightest; fabulous concentration and really attractive; lots of grip and density on the finish. Great and remarkable stuff. 97+/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Very seductive and ripe nose; blackcurrants with some lovely oak; very flattering on the nose; wonderful cassis and intensity; terrific; some mocha and chocolate at the back of the nose; very concentrated and a little more extracted than the two Pichons but still very well done and it works; clean; great roundness and ripeness to the wine; little chunkier on the finish here but this is very, very good and should settle down more. Certainly flashy and attention grabbing on the nose and entry, a fraction less polished on the finish than the Pichons. Still terrific though and the best Lynch-Bages I’ve had since the 1982. 94-96/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; pretty saturated look; strong, ripe nose; spice, blackcurrant and menthol; pretty layered effort; cassis and blackcurrant on the palate; still pretty fresh but also pretty saturated in flavour with layers of fruit. Chewy finish with grip. Very good effort. Maximizes the vintage whilst remaining true to it. 93+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep and saturated looking; deep nose; blackcurrant cassis and real polish; sweet attack reveals surprisingly ripe blackcurrants on the palate; tannin here too but plenty of material and fruit; quite grippy on the finish but has nice length. Excellent effort. 91/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] Mid-red; some purple; dense on the nose with some tar; well hung meat; quite pure palate; quite extracted and tannic but flesh is here on this one; Needs time – 10 years. Good for the vintage. 88+/100 Oct ’09 UGC tasting
  • 2006 Mid deep in the glass; more intense, ripe, blackcurrants, some oak and savour plus a whiff of tobacco; cassis and blackcurrants too, some resin and chocolate; palate quite dense, firm and structured with tannins. Big firm traditional-styled wine – all fruit, tannin and acid at present. Good in classic way. Not knockout or that joyful and needs time 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2003 Black/red; legs; dense but attractive nose of rose petals and blackcurrants; intense blackcurrant and cassis palate; formidable extract and tannin but all very ripe. Didn’t knock me out but very good. 90/100 May 07
  • 1988 Deep black red; very flattering nose; wonderful tobacco and savoury notes; almost menthol later; quite intense, ballsy wine; good length; almost Rhone like qualities here – chewy wine with length; later more tobacco. Excellent. 92/100 Apr 08
  • 1986 Deep black/red; cassis, blackcurrants and tobacco; chewy palate with similar flavours. Strong and will last. 93/100 Aug ‘89
  • 1982 Deep black; red; rich blackcurrants woven with excellent oak; concentrated and intense yet quite open at a young age. Tremendous finish. Excellent wine 95/100 Dec ‘92

Château Lynch-Moussas, Fifth Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Mid depth; earthy edge; ripe, menthol and blackcurrant tones; little leaf; earth too; cool palate; nice entry; lacks a little punch in the middle; soft tannins. Easy styled Pauillac. [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 44hl/ha]. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 88-90
  • 2014 Deepish colour; dark core at centre; attractive Bordeaux – some elegance; stalky fresh Cabernet Sauvignon; tighter acidity and fresherness. Elegant style but should fill out a bit. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 34hl/ha yield. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 85-87
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant edge; some cream and blackcurrants but not that aromatic; stalky blackcurrant tones on the palate; elegant and easy; not forced. Finishes a bit short but not trying to be what it isn’t. Honest. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 85-86. [second note] Mid depth; light at core; gentle stalky blackcurrant aromatics; quite angular and chewy on the palate; grippy on the finish [though this sample bottle was a little cold]. Tasted 3/4/14. [96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 33hl/ha]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2017-2013. 83-85
  • 2012 Mid depth; soft and forward aromatics; polished with earthy blackcurrants and tobacco/undergrowth tones; soft and light on the palate [dips in the middle] but round at the end. Early drinking, forward Pauillac. Drink 2015-2025. 86 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; little hardness on the nose; dumb; closed sample; dry palate feels less impressive than earlier. UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 85-87? [Earlier – and better- note] Mid depth; some purple; ripe aromas; supple and attractive; some spice; open palate; ripeness; blackcurrants; supple texture; elegant and attractive. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 87-88
  • 2011 Mid depth; leafy blackcurrants – forward and attractive; easy palate with blackcurrants flavours and leafy tones; grip on the finish. OK. Drink 2016-2023. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, deep centre; some dust and blackcurrant tones, certain malty quality beneath; some leaf too; palate chewy, some fruit but coarse tannins and a coarser finish. Oak on the finish. Bit raw and coarser than the best. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 85-86
  • 2010 Mid depth; easy lifted spicy blackcurrant style; pencil shavings; nice intense palate of some depth and texture; medium weight, charming style; little chew to the tannins but already drinking well. Drink now-2025. 90 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; solid core; herbs, leafy tones and blackcurrant aromas; quite forward and attractive; some minty, herbal notes too; evolved palate; leafy and blackcurrant notes but also structure beneath. Lacks a bit on the mid-palate but overall a goodish effort. Similar qualitative level as Haut-Bages Libéral but more drinkable and evolved. 87 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Dense and saturated; cassis and blackcurrants; softer tones here; attractive; bit of leaf; quite floral notes and blackcurrants; tannin and material and grip. Not that bad at all. Good mid weight wine. Not overdone. Nice 88-90/100 Tasted 5 April 2011[Second tasting UGC] Deep and dark; ripe blackcurrants; quite open; some leaf and tobacco; forward and engaging; rose petal palate; nicely judjed; blackcurrants and density but feels well balanced and more towards mid-weight; nicely done. Lacks some depth and concentration but works well for me. Should be good value. 88-90+/100 [76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot] Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Mid depth; forward blackcurrant aromas with spices and some leaf; spicy blackcurrant tones on the palate in a medium weight and forward format; some stalks; tannins ripe if a little chew here. This works very well in a forward, appealing and balanced style. Drink now-2025. 89+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; leafy blackcurrants; lighter toned and less crammed with fruit; good effort though in more medium weight less dense style; supple; spicy/leafy blackcurrant tones; lacks depth compared with the leaders here but has freshness. 89/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep and inky; ripe creamy nose; cassis; lots of extract and blackcurrants; dense and concentrated though maybe looser on the finish than the best wines here. Very good effort though and should be good value. 88-90/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Mid depth; looser at edge than some; leafy, open blackcurrant style; pretty forward; some spice; attractive; quite forward palate nice acid in a lighter style. 87+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Mid red; lacks a bit of depth in the glass; some leafy tobacco notes; feel warm and fully mature if lacking in obvious fruit; palate light and lacking density but pleasant enough in a ‘charming’ if light style. 85/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Mid red, some depth; some ripeness, some chocolate, bit of leaf, some elegance; not complex, earth too; quite open and attractive; palate easy and well done. Not over extracted, some spicy blackcurrant notes; maybe lacks depth and intensity but mid weight and attractive. Goodish effort 86-87/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10

Château Mouton-Rothschild, First Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Deep looking; legs; ripe and attractive Cabernet aromatics; blackcurrants and cassis tones; lots of matter here; glossy quality to the fruit; lots of layers here; real density but the fruit tones are very attractive; grip and texture; wonderful length; cashmere Cabernet. Plenty of matter here; layered and deep. Very, very long finish. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2025-2045. Tasted 4/4/16. 96-98+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; vibrant edge; good depth; perfumed blackcurrants; some violet lift; freshness; cassis; layers but a little closed on the day; blackcurrant fruit on the palate; firm and sturdy; soaking up the oak; chew and extract here; plenty of matter and early days here; quite backward overall; lots of material evident and clearly has length. Needs to unwind somewhat – though clearly has density and extract. [81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 13.1% alc]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted at Mouton 30 March, 2015. 94-96+
  • 2013 Deep at core; vibrant purple at edge; stalky blackcurrant fruits; some depth; some stones and wet pebble notes; palate has weight and some generosity; quite a serious finish; trifle hard on the end perhaps; this is has weight and solidity but lacks a little charm at this stage. Hopefully will put on more gloss during elévage. [89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92
  • 2012 Deep and very dark in the glass; fresh and vibrant at the edge; little dumb at first; pure Cabernet aromas; blackcurrant, cassis, lots of depth; less showy on the day than Petit-Mouton; little perfume at the edge; palate ripe and with impressive density but tannins very round and a real lightness of touch in the cellar. Fine tannin and very well balanced. Exceptional length. For me Mouton is the most immediately impressive of the Pauillac first growths in 2012. 95-97+ [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot & 2% Cabernet Franc]
  • 2011 Deep and dense; earthy purple at edge; cool nose; blackcurrants, cassis; real poise; layers; very pretty oak too; nice perfume; very attractive nose; deep palate with grip and extract but very nicely handled; density but with harmony; tannins round and supple; nicely handled. Blackcurrant and cassis tones again on the palate; good length with espresso notes on the finish. Lots of length and genuine elegance here. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted at Mouton 3/4/12. 95-96+
  • 2010 Very deep looking; wonderfully exotic and seductive aromatics; spices, blackcurrants, pan grillé notes; opulent; layered and already complex; beautiful blackcurrant fruit on the palate; layered and really deep; extract and density but a supple quality to the [considerable] tannins; very overt and showing well on the day; genuine weight of extract and matter here, but also freshness too. Remarkable combination. Perfection. Drink 2016-2045. 100 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; oaky and brooding; lots of blackcurrants on aeration; very deep; loaded with pure, fresh blackcurrant fruits; some coffee and coconut at the edge; very polished wine on the palate; blackcurrant purity; depth and concentration here, tannins very nicely done; fantastic depth and length; intense flavours. Real freshness here, and really substantial and yet revealing more than 2009 Mouton did at the same stage. Extremely seductive wine and with fantastic length. Absolutely terrific wine. Incredible freshness and purity. [94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot alcohol 14%] 98-100/100 Tasted 4 April 2011 at the Chateau
  • 2009 Deep, dense looking; opaque at core; saturated blackcurrant aromas, fresh [reminds me of the purity of Clerc Milon]; layers of fruit here; ripe and fresh; real purity; blackcurrants, wine gums, lots and lots of extract and material; fabulous depth of fruit here – surprisingly open on the palate – the most amazing fruit overlaying considerable structure and lots of ripe tannin. Not flashy and exotic as some vintages of Mouton are but this will develop over time, what you have currently is the most extraordinarily pure blackcurrant fruit. Drink 2019-2045. 100 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Saturated black at edge; lots of blackcurrants here and cassis; a little primary at this stage; very deep; minerals, stone, blackcurrants. Palate layered, quite hard but concentrated. Excellent length; nicely judged extraction and very fine tannins. More tannic than Lafite but this is Mouton. Very good structure. Intense. Very fresh palate with good acid and tannin. [Second tasting note]: Very deep and saturated with purple meniscus; precise blackcurrants; some stones, minerals and graphite; very good palate and entry; fruit and layers; quite good tension in the wine; tannin very well formed and round. Length 30-40 seconds. Very fresh. Feel this is 98+/100. Tasted 1st April ‘10 at Mouton.
  • 2008 Mid depth; seductive and forward nose; sexy, smoky and spicy; blackcurrant fruit on the palate with spicy notes, chewy and dense with great length. Attention grabbing effort. [Later: Earthy blackcurrant but very sexy nose; quite opulent; some resin and ink; more supple and easier than earlier but still pretty structured wine with grip] 96+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep and dark; wonderfully decadent nose of Asian spices, blackcurrants and espresso notes; real sweetness here; very attractive; leaf and tobacco come later; sweet and ripe blackcurrant fruit on the palate; terrific purity; some earthiness but layers and layers of flavour suggest a much better vintage than ’07. Excellent. Wine of the vintage at this tasting. 96+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Deep and thick in the glass, tight to the rim; wonderfully attractive and flamboyant nose, very flattering, oak, tobacco, spices, lead pencil layer upon layer of blackcurrant fruit; really attractive; palate surprisingly open with lots of fruit but polished and medium weight and surprisingly harmonious; very good palate, structure here too alongside the tannins, but tannins extremely fine grained and not overdone. This is extremely fine. Blackcurrant cassis, some chocolate and espresso on the end of the palate. Doesn’t tire at all, just dances across the palate. Very good extract and excellent length – really extremely long. This is a dazzling wine even now. 97+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1994 Dark black; lots of extract and minerals on nose; palate tannic and dense. 92+/100 Barrel sample tasted at Mouton November ’95.
  • 1986 Dark black; seductive and exotic nose, deep and extraordinary; leapt head and shoulders above all others at a tasting of ’86 cru classe. Big palate, great fruit and fabulous finish. A terrific wine in the making. 98/100 Tasted Jan ‘90
  • 1984 Mid red; nice elegant tobacco and cedar nose; not intense; palate mid-weight good – in fact good for the vintage – probably the most difficult vintage of the ‘80s. 86/100 Tasted Apr ‘06
  • 1982 Dark; palate tough, unyielding and monolithic. Lots of concentration but none of the ravishing quality I remember of the ‘86. Will it ever come out of its shell in my lifetime? 92+?/100 Tasted Apr ‘08
  • 1978 Deep; initially wonderful smoky, tobacco and graphite nose; good structure and depth with plenty of blackcurrant fruit but palate did harden up later. 90/100 Apr ‘96

Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild

  • 2015 Depth and legs in the glass; purple at edge; attractive purity; blackcurrants; cassis; more primary than Clerc Milon; glossy blackcurrant characters on the palate; soft entry; full palate; blackcurrant tones; pure; roundness with length. Excellent Petit Mouton. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2023-2033. Tasted 4/4/16. 91-93+
  • 2014 Mid depth; colour quite tight to the rim; purple edge; stalky blackcurrant aromatics; little backward; palate fresh in acidity and fruit; Cabernet dominant; spicy blackcurrant tones and freshness; chew in the middle and has depth; bit backward at present – and certainly so for the usually more coquettish Petit Mouton. 2012 was much more flattering at the same stage. [93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot]. Drunk 2022-2028. Tasted at Mouton 30 March, 2015. 88-90
  • 2013 Mid depth; glossy; some toast and blackcurrant notes; cool fruit tones; solid palate; compact and sturdy if slightly clipped. Plenty of chew; sturdy if a little four square. Not drop-dead gorgeous as it was in 2012. 2013 looks fairly plain Jane by comparison. [93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2025. 87-88+
  • 2012 Deep and concentrated look; very seductive nose; smoked meats, spices, some fruitcake, oak and loads of blackcurrant cassis notes beneath; wonderful stuff; lots of blackcurrant fruit on the palate, which is extremely polished and caressing. Actually feels very supple and extremely flattering. Best Petit Mouton I’ve yet had. Gives you a certain measure of the Grand Vin well in advance. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 92-94+
  • 2011 Deep and dense; some mineral tones; rose petal perfume – quite pretty and open; also open accessible palate; finesse and real polish; creamy blackcurrant tones, little Turkish Delight note; tannins very round and well handled. Forward and open. Could be interesting if priced correctly. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. Tasted at Mouton 3/4/12. 90-91+
  • 2010 Deep, arterial, tight to the core; very opaque at centre; legs; very blackcurrant; fresh with some cream; almost summer fruit compote; feels very open on the nose; but nicely pure; quite forward and sexy palate [very saturated with flavour] yet with density and concentration too; blackcurrants and cream in a glass. Density and chew on the finish; very attractive and a great effort. Quite excellent. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, alcohol 14] 92-94+/100 Tasted at the chateau
  • 2009 Deep concentrated colour; dense at centre; very ripe and pure nose; layers; cassis; minerals and lots of blackcurrants; some savoury elements at the edge; very layered and concentrated; ripe focused palate; round qualities to the tannin. Good flesh. Quite fresh. Excellent. 90-92+/100 Tasted 1st April ‘10

Château Pédesclaux

  • 2013 Deepish; earthy purple at edge; some cream and blackcurrant tones; elegance; little coarser on the palate with structure and obvious grip. Chewy tannins but not that bad in the vintage context. [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 12.96% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.5, IPT 73 50% new oak, 33hl/ha] Drink 2018-2024. 86-87+
  • 2010 Mid depth; chalky note; spices; reticent; sturdy palate; firm and solid; little excitement here at present. Tannins feel a little dry and extracted. Drink 2016-2025. 86 MW Institute Nov ’14
  • 2009 Mid depth; deep and dark core; full blackcurrants, wine gums and wet stones; dense, perhaps a little obdurate but feels solid; chewy dense palate with plenty of spicy fruit and oomph to the tannins. Strong effort to my mind from this once obscure estate. Drink 2015-2025. 89+ MW Institute Nov ’13
  • 2008 Mid depth; chalky note; some mineral; little resin and ink; blackcurrants and earth on palate; palate lacks richness and feels a little meagre. 84 MW Institute Nov ’12

Château Pichon-Longueville, Second Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; fresh; intense, inky aromatics; very pent up and concentrated on the nose which suggests wonderful ripeness; opens up gradually revealing more blackcurrant cassis fruit tones; lovely purity here; very flattering on the palate currently; almost pretty; this will work wonderfully. Very harmonious on the finish too. Great stuff. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; dark and solidly opaque core; stalky, fresh blackcurrant fruit and cassis; little reductive at first but opens up; blackcurrant entry on the palate; fruit turns out to be ripe and pure with nice sweetness; lots of matter and extract and a little chewy on the finish. Needs to settle but all the elements there and in the right order. This is infant Pauillac afterall. Similar to Lynch Bages but with a little more composure. Excellent length and acidity. Quite a brilliant effort potentially. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 94-96
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant edge; stalky blackcurrant aromas; some depth; creamy note; nice attack with good blackcurrant fruit; good purity; acidity quite marked and sappy; some chew at the end. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot 70% new oak]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 89-91 [second note] Deep; some cream, blackcurrants; quite pure; pure blackcurrant attack; quite grippy; lots of extract and acidity but there is purity here. 2013 reminds me of 2011 in Pauillac. Needs to settle. Tasted 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 88-90+
  • 2012 Mid depth; dark at core; seam of pure blackcurrant fruit; elegant not full throttle; restraint; very attractive blackcurrant flavours on the palate with harmony and balance; tannins soft and round. Drink 2017-2030. 90+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated colour; some cassis and blackcurrant notes; feels fresh Cabernet with stalky note; fresh Cab on the palate pretty dense and feels lean and a bit over-extracted; dry finish. Very tannic and chewy. Tasted UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89? [Earlier note] Very deep saturated look; powerful nose; black fruits; black cherry; wet rocks; depth and cassis; palate full; lots of material and fatness – quite big. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. 80% new oak. 90-92
  • 2011 Mid depth; pure blackcurrants; cream and resin; chewy blackcurrant fruit on the palate; little pinched at the end [probably just closed?] with tannin to resolve. Needs time. Drink 2018-2028. 89+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; sweet blackcurrant cassis; loaded nose; quite pent up but lots there; fresh and not overly worked; fresh palate; layers of ripe fruit with ripe blackcurrant and cassis notes; firmness and structure beneath. Nice chew, density and polish – up there with Mouton. Very nice chew and polish too – no hardness but plenty of depth and extract. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 93-95+
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; very full aromatics bursting forth; blackcurrants, spices; menthol; ink and some resin; layered aromatics of considerable depth and purity; full palate with lots of blackcurrant tones and inky notes; some spicy Cabernet Franc characters too; lots of depth here clearly. Lots of chew to the tannins too but there is ripeness and concentration that gives the wine a very textured feel. This is clearly great Pauillac. Drink 2018-2045. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and more saturated than Pichon Lalande; very big, saturated nose; volume really turned up here; lots of blackcurrants, some spices; very, very deep and profound aroma; lots of fruit on the palate; cool blackcurrants, cassis; some graphite notes; lots of material here; tannic structure but with plenty of fruit. Excellent length. Best Pauillac here and of first growth quality. 96+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Depth and density; blackcurrants, quite pure and fresh; really concentrated cassis; quite perfumed too. Clean palate, lots of material and acid; grip and density. Good length, concentration and freshness. Maybe not as knockout as 2009 here though. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011[Second tasting UGC] Deep and dark; very tight to the rim; quite arterial; essence and very concentrated; really sublimated feel; real cassis and blackcurrants, some cream lots of fruit and high levels of concentration; layers of flavour and lots of density. Tannins well handled but there are lots of them. Very good length and power. Different from ’09, less seductive more sublimated and powerful. You choose. 94-96+/100 [13.8 alc] Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated look; opaque core; blackcurrants, graphite and real depth – very Bordeaux with sweet blackcurrant fruit – spot on classy Pauillac; super palate with depth, fruit and ripe tannin [lots]; very pure fruit tones and layer upon layer of them; amazing length. Surely close to perfection here? Drink 2019-2040. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Dense and saturated; very big and thick; really bold blackcurrants; super lift here; really hedonistic and explosive nose; cassis and blackcurrants and wonderful depth; thick and strong on the palate; blackcurrants, earth and graphite; chewy and dense, truly great wine. 98+/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Darker and tight to the rim; bigger than Pichon Lalande yet also very focused; pure and very fresh; cassis and blackcurrant; creamy; intense and layered nose; powerful yet composed fruit and layers; very soft pure tannin. Wonderful balance. Not over extracted; very round tannins. Terrific. 96+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings
  • 2008 Deep saturated look with legs and depth; savoury edge, starting to get complex; seductive; oak intermingled with blackcurrant fruit; satiny palate, very nicely done; blackcurrants here and spices; very complete palate; tannins there and plenty of extract but great balance. Lots of depth, chew and length here. Up with the first growths. 94+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep, dark and dense looking; equally saturated in aroma too; lots of blackcurrant cassis; very deep and layered; satin palate of blackcurrants, earth and tobacco notes; very promising nose; nice entry on the palate, deep, layered and quite open; real ripeness, best Pauillac outside the first growths; this is very good wine. Fruit and tannin feel ripe and there is remarkable concentration which has been achieved without extracting bitterness. Very good length too and an excellent effort. Worth serious consideration if you’re tempted to take a dip into 2007. 94+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; classy nose; this is excellent, wonderful nose of roses, violets, blackcurrants and tar woven together with classy oak; palate wonderfully layered and well bred; good poise and length. Wine fresh with tannic twist. Very good. One of the wines of the vintage. 92-94/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tasting
  • 2006 Dark core, red black; little more resinous and intense than Pichon Lalande, feels more akin to Pontet Canet; real oak resin, blackcurrants and richness here but well integrated and layered; attractive; palate open initially, blackcurrants, some leaf and lead pencil; gits and tannic; very classic Pauillac and quite a lot of tannin at the end. Pretty good but needs 5 years plus. Very different in style to Lalande. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1999 Dark colour, lovely cabernet nose – very clear and precise. Very fine wine and classic Pauillac Cabernet. Quite open and approachable now but will develop further. Excellent 90-92+/100 Oct 07

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Second Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Deep and attractive looking; legs; real viscosity in the glass; lovely blackcurrant tones; real Pauillac beauty; deep and classy; supple entry to the palate; nicely harmonious wine; real depth and velvety fruit tones; lovely length; layered finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.6% alc]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and polished looking; vibrant at edge; saturated colour in the middle; tighter and more composed on the nose; very measured; really finely focused seam of blackcurrant fruit; some mineral; perfumed lift as it opens up in the glass; concentrated palate; blackcurrant, black cherry and dark chocolate; texture and matter here; nicely balanced; acidity and texture; length and matter. Very exciting wine here. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted 2 April, 2015 at Pichon-Lalande. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; menthol, blackcurrants; attractive aromatics; blackcurrant fruit tones dominate the palate; little stalky and dry on the finish; certain hardness without the Merlot this year. In that sense this is a unique Pichon-Lalande but feels a little savage at this stage. See how it turns out. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 87-89+ [Second note] Mid depth; very pronounced Cabernet aromatics [the wine is 100% Cabernet in 2013]; purity and elegance; grippy palate but not over-extracted; acidity gives sappy feel; lively and fresh style certainly. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 88-90
  • 2012 Mid depth; fresh blackcurrant aromatics; some briary and spicy notes; attractive and sophisticated; creamy blackcurrant flavours on the palate; very good purity; nicely done; plushness here; stalky note [not unattractive]; very good positive finish. Excellent effort for the vintage. Drink 2017-2030. 92 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Good depth; healthy looking; nice elegant blackcurrant tones on the palate; glossy; elegance again on the palate; blackcurrant but a minerality and lean-ness on the mid-palate. Stalky blackcurrants. Nevertheless fine tannins and very good length. Will fill out. Tasted Thursday April 11, 2013. 89-91+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; fresh looking; good Cabernet fruit; stalky blackcurrants; layers; fresh and elegant; pure Cab on the palate; quite silky with elegance and balance; maybe lacks a bit of stuffing in the middle currently but should fill out. Nice length on the finish. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit-Verdot. 13% alc. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 90-92.
  • 2011 Deep looking; blackcurrant, undergrowth and pencil tones on the nose; good palate – blackcurrants, some stalky notes; elegance here with smooth tannins although there is some grip from the acid. Overall feels complete and elegant with more harmony than arch rivals Pichon-Longueville and Lynch-Bages. Drink 2016-2028. 90 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; cassis, cream and blackcurrant; feels pretty laden on the nose, nice [less sultry and low res than usual], some blackcurrant bite, black cherry note; earth; slighter cooler than last few years; palate full, ripe; nice cassis and blackcurrant; slighty sturdy note but polished. Creamy mouthfeel here and fine tannins. Not pushed to the floor. Some elegance. Good effort. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 91-93
  • 2010 Deep colour; blackcurrants and spicy notes; earth, autumn leaves and pencil shavings; ripe and full; quite open currently; wonderful blackcurrant purity on the palate; cool and pure and very well defined; very nicely done in a beautifully elegant style. Drink 2017-2035. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Depth; glossy look; pure blackcurrants; creamy tones; some black cherry and plums; very enticing; lots of blackcurrant and cassis notes on the palate and lots of depth and chew. Pichon Lalande has really succeeded in this vintage. It can seem a bit sullen early on but this wine is singing nicely. Structure and grip beneath the wonderful fruit tones. Reflects the vintage but also the more rounded Lalande style, versus Pichon Longueville’s power. 95 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deepish; saturated but less so than some; some cream and blackcurrants; some rose petal; intense palate, blackcurrant notes; concentration; tannin and grip. Nice balance on the palate. Not overdone – good length. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC [Second tasting] Dense; maybe less so than some [cf Pichon Baron], some floral notes, little dumb, cream and blackcurrants; opens up in the glass; actually quite voluptuous and satiny; quite dense on the palate, feels a little awkward; is density here and good finish. Tannic but ripe and fine. More 92-94/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Mid depth; floral tones and soft blackcurrant notes; more open and delicate than Pichon Baron; stalky blackcurrant fruit on the palate with more sap and chew; plenty of fruit but the structure is there. Needs to integrate a little. Promising if a little off the pace of the very best. Drink 2019-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; not the deepest here; lovely seductive cassis and blackcurrants on the nose; really deep and alluring; almost Burgundy Grand Cru aromatics; opulent and ripe palate; blackcurrants; cassis; simply wonderful Pauillac but more silk and satin to Pichon Baron’s obvious power. Terrific stuff. Great length and delicacy. 97/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Less dense than the Pichon Baron; very fresh, very clean and precise; blackcurrants and cassis; quite well gone; focused; strawberry and red fruits; depth; a really voluptuous nose; very sweet, ripe attack; pure and focused; v tight; soft and supple tannin; very ripe tannins. Concentrated but very elegant. Polished and very good 94-95/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Classically lighter and more Burgundian in feel than Longueville; lacks apparent depth; feels a bit loose actually; and palate lacks definition. Acidity here gives freshness but without matching extract makes palate feel touch hard. Subdued and shut down if I’m being generous, a disappointing showing nevertheless. 88?/100 MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Mid red; some depth and darkness at centre; real beauty and polish to the nose; graphite and cool blackcurrant here on the nose; good palate; blackcurrant fruit that feels elegant and charming; little dryness towards the finish. Classis Pichon Lalande though dips a fraction compared with Pichon-Longueville. 90+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] Mid red; some creamy notes; less expressive on the nose than Baron; fresh and clean; quite tannic and angular [this is Pauillac after all]. Good length and class with grip – may very well fill out. 88+/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings
  • 2006 Red black; good density without looking too forced; more voluptuous on the nose [always higher proportion of Merlot than other Pauillacs]; sweeter, more violets; very polished and attractive – this wine certainly seems to settle well in bottle; real blackcurrant cassis too; good entry on the palate, fruit and acid; structured yes but with more flesh here; more velvety qualities along with chocolate and mocha notes; blackcurrants on the finish; tannins too but chewy and not dry. Good length. Attractive. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1988 Deep; black red; some blackcurrants and tobacco – nice nose; some oak. good; some sourness at edge; good structure; chewy and tannic. Needs food but very good. 90/100 Apr ‘08
  • 1986 Deep black; tobacco, blackcurrants; huge depth; palate big and bold [the vintage] with lots of cassis and tobacco notes; great length. Tannins at end but plenty of fruit. Terrific. 95+/100 July ‘89

Château Pontet-Canet, Fifth Growth, Pauillac

  • 2015 Beautiful colour; deep core; purple edge; ripe and very plush; deep and seductive; some mineral notes; little spice at the back; nice entry; plenty of fruit; blackcurrant; very pure; supple on the mouth; nice extract; very digestible; nice fruit and texture on the finish; very fine tannins; good length. Very well balanced and harmonious. Excellent length. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot, 33hl yield, 95% of the crop in the grand vin, 50% new oak, 35% eggs, 15% one year barrels]. Drink 2024-2040. Tasted April ’16. 94-96+
  • 2014 Deep bold colour; saturated; tight to the rim; healthy look; cassis; blackcurrant notes; ripe and full; little menthol and spice; round, full and generous on the palate; another Burgundian rendition of Pauillac here; lovely texture; creamy fruit; nicely fresh; very round and generous overall; supple quality to the tannins. Slips down a treat. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted 2, April, 2015 at Pontet-Canet. 93-95+
  • 2013 Deep and earthy purple; attractive fruit; ripe; red fruits; caressing quality to the palate; very pure and Burgundian in style; what it lacks in depth it makes up for in delicacy; good length at the end. Sincere wine. Yields astonishingly low – crop half the normal in 2013. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 50% new oak, 15hl/ha]. Drink 2018-2030. 90-92+
  • 2012 Deep colour; very healthy looking; saturated blackcurrant aromas; cassis; little lift from the oak; black cherry notes too; very attractive and open; reminiscent of their 2011 [one of the red wines of the vintage for me last year]; lots of depth to the palate; real blackcurrant purity; clean and precise on the finish with freshness. Not overdone in the slightest. Excellent length. Tasted at Chateau Pontet-Canet April, 12, 2013. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 93-95+
  • 2011 Deep and earthy; purple at edge; wonderfully vibrant, joyous aroma of blackcurrants and cassis; totally pure and ripe – easily the most precocious and vibrant aroma of any left bank wine tasted; very gentle entry; soft and harmonious palate; blackcurrant flavours; lovely and fresh. Beautifully balance vibrant wine without a trace of bitterness to the tannin. Easily as good as all the first growths and the only dead cert I have in my en primeur list. That makes it wine of the vintage in my book. A testament to the efforts, biodynamic and otherwise, of Alfred Tesseron et al . A beauty. Tasted at Pontet-Canet 6/4/12. 95-97
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; some cream; lush blackcurrant and cassis tones; sturdy and strong; blackcurrants again on the palate; full and pure; sizeable palate very nicely textured; spices with some chew to the tannins; structured; plenty of fruit here though perhaps a little shut down [compared with Pichon Longueville say]; loads of intensely packed fruit but slumbering at present. Intense. Long finish. Drink 2020-2040. 96+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and very dense saturated look; ripe, attractive nose; quite forthcoming; blackcurrants, fresh, some coffee, creamy and layered; very ripe and attractive palate; very well balanced and harmonious; terrific balance; quite fine tannins, extraction managed perfectly. Caresses the palate, clean and fresh. Almost easy. Brilliant wine. 95-97+/100 Tasted 5April 2011 at the chateau
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; lots of blackcurrant cassis on the nose; intense; some resin; graphite too; very strong and espresso-thick in consistency; blackcurrants and cassis again on the palate; wonderful purity here; ripe and round and more harmonious on the palate than the Pichons and Lynch Bages. Grip and lots of density. Simply wonderful fruit and balanced perfectly overall. Terrific length. A towering achievement. Drink 2019-2040 100 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Very dense, saturated colour; blackcurrant cassis on the nose; wonderful purity and richness; concentration and precision; very ripe fruits too; palate fat and concentrated; lots of density and concentration with real power. Tannins but not dry just very ripe. Great density, purity and length. I’d love to see this blind alongside Mouton. Terrific wine in a terrific vintage. 96+/100 Nov ’10 at the chateau
  • 2008 Deep and intense looking; graphite; blackcurrants; lift; menthol; attractive aromatics; palate developing nicely; some secondary characters but also ripe blackcurrants; really caressing palate; plenty of fruit and now hitting its stride; tannin softened. Developing really well. Drink now-2025. 94+ Tasted Pontet-Canet April 2015 [Earlier note] Mid depth; mealy note; some lift; chocolate tones; palate has some polish; little subdued; grip and acid so has brightness on palate; little disappointing showing though. Second tasting: inky note, some blackcurrant, meal and intensity; chewy and dense palate. Tannic and chewy – definitely long term. 91+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep and dark; red at edge; very inky, intense and resinous nose; meaty tones and cassis along with a creamy character; big, bold explosion on the palate, minerality, blackcurrants and herbal tones; chewy and dense. I prefer Pichon-Longueville in ’07 but this is a very good effort too. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid-red; lots of resin here plus strawberries; not as evolved or aromatic as Pichon Baron in 2007; palate roses with tannin and acid. Mid palate in need of filling out but early days. Good intensity. Tannic. Long-haul wine here. 86/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings.
  • 2006 Deep black, very dense and tight to the rim, black at centre; very intense blackcurrants, oak resin, very pent up, lots of oak here too; just starting to budge; bit new world feel; palate polished with good entry; firm, structure and acid; tannins a bit dry; lacks flesh. Quite chewy tannins, and big structure. Feels a bit dry on the finish. Needs time. Firm, structured wine, not fleshy or opulent. 90-92/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 saturated black; cassis, minerals, very intense and concentrated with lots and lots of ripe tannin. This is quite a blockbuster. A first growth pretender in this vintage. Exceptional length. 95+/100 June ’09
  • 2003 Dark looking, red at edge; blackcurrants, some toffee and spice; soft and quite silky blackcurrant tones; ripe and full; good length; a fully mature 2003 – no hint of over-ripeness here. 93/100 April 2012
  • 2002 Red black; clean and precise Cabernet aromas, blackcurrant; some lead pencil and graphite tones; layered palate and nicely open; round. This is a considerable success. 92/100 April 2013
  • 2000 Deep and tight to the rim; lovel aromatics; lead pencils, graphite; blackcurrants and spices; just showing mature; real depth; graphite and blackcurrant characters on the palate with a roundness that is extremely appealing; very well-balanced palate; opens up wonderfully in the glass; this still has twenty years ahead of it; excellent length. Tasted Pontet-Canet April 2014. 97/100

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