Château Angélus is surely one of the wines of the 2015 vintage. It combines beauty and lush extravagance with a degree of freshness which is wonderfully exciting. It was among the most attractive wines I tasted during primeurs week. It confirms the beauty of this vintage here in St Emilion at the top level. The fruit tones are delicious and the balance is there. The question is whether we will be able to afford the wine. Le Carillon d’Angélus is a little firmer [partly the extra Cabernet in the blend] but it is very good. St Emilion Grand Crus Château Daugay and Château Roc de Boisseaux, properties with connections to the de Boüard family, are forward, precocious and enjoyable. I’ll discuss their Lalande de Pomerol, La Fleur de Boüard in a separate post [it is yet another beauty].
Posts Tagged ‘St Emilion’
Vignobles Perse have produced a bevy of excellent St Emilions in 2015 culminating with an extremely powerful and wonderfully polished Château Pavie. It is exceptional. But the entire range here is extremely impressive this year. Château Monbousquet has concentration and lush fruit tones, Château Lusseau [close to Monbousquet and owned by Pavie’s technical director] is textured and complete. Château Pavie Decesse is full of flamboyant, glossy, textured fruit and has very considerable power. And Bellevue-Mondotte is a seductive beauty. There is plenty of weight and saturation across the range, but there is also a degree of freshness too and nothing tips the scales for me. These are extremely impressive wines.
I’m a great fan of Château Figeac. The finesse here can be exceptional, akin to neighbour Château Cheval Blanc. I loved the wines produced in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014. 2015 is amongst the best of these, if not perhaps the very best in this set of vintages. There is terrific purity here, akin to 2014, but with even more texture perhaps. As a lover of Cabernet the wine is thrilling. The typical blend over the years has been roughly equal portions of Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon. It’s a field blend that matches Figeac’s gravelly terroir. In 2015 that proportion rises to 43% Cabernet Sauvignon with roughly equal proportions of the other grapes. It accounts for the wonderful blackcurrant aromatics and the strength and length of the wine. It is knockout.
Château Canon [and Château Rauzan-Ségla] appear to have found a great follow up act to John Kolasa in new general manager Nicolas Audebert. His arrival at both properties for the 2015 vintage has certainly been well timed. He’s managed to arrive in an excellent vintage, to work some of the finest terroir in the world, in a vintage that has specifically favoured both St Emilion and Margaux. Lucky man. The Gods are certainly smiling on him and the properties [and clearly the Wertheimers too, who own them and fashion house Chanel]. Château Canon 2015 is a beauty. It is a wine with finesse and power but also with the most gorgeous, bright fruit tones, tones that define this vintage. Croix Canon, which comes from an 11ha parcel all of its own, is harmonious and extremely pretty at 2015.
There is usually a silky quality to Count Stephan von Neipperg’s St Emilions. This quality is really underscored in the 2015 vintage. These are beautiful wines, deceptively easy but with wonderful beauty. Clos de L’Oratoire is seductive and ripe; Château Canon-la-Gaffelière more substantial [45% Cabernets] but with remarkably supple, glossy fruit. La Mondotte is heavenly. Again these are amongst some of the finest wines I have yet tried from these Neipperg-owned properties. There is a delicacy in 2015 not found in either the powerful 2010s or the opulent 2009s here.
So what are the principal characteristics of the Bordeaux 2015 vintage? Firstly there is a real beauty to the fruit tones in the red wines this year. Time after time, especially on the Right Bank but also on the Left I kept writing ‘beautiful,’ ‘pretty,’ and ‘delicious.’ There is freshness, despite pretty high alcohols in the main. The vintage is almost a hypothetical blend of 2009 and 2010, but with less evident structure and weight than those vintages. For me it recalls 1985 in terms of that vintage’s early beauty and freshness – and ‘85 remains in great shape today. But the 2015 vintage is by no means homogeneous. In fact there is considerable variability. What is in no doubt is that ‘15 is terrific in St Emilion. There is concentration and delight in so many wines there this year. It has also been strong vintage in the surrounding Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, especially Castillon and Francs.