Tasting fourteen wines from St Estèphe shows just what a wonderful vintage this is for many properties here in 2019. There is plenty of lush fruit on offer and these are wines with lots of extract, big, ripe tannins and considerable alcohol. I have already posted on Château Cos d’Estournel and Château Calon Ségur, which have both produced brilliant St Estèphe. I was also struck by the quality at Château Lafon Rochet, which has produced a wine of sophistication and class in this vintage. What great strides have been made here by Basile Tesseron over the past decade – starting with an impressive 2009. There are excellent wines to be had from Château Meyney and Château Haut-Marbuzet too. Both have produced typically concentrated St Estèphe in 2019 and are definitely worth seeking out. I also enjoyed with offerings from Château de Pez, Château Serilhan, Château Le Petit Bocq and Château Bernard Magrez. They have all produced impressive wine.
Posts Tagged ‘St Estèphe’
Well there is no doubting the richness of Château Calon Ségur in 2019. They have produced another profound St Estèphe to rival 2018 here. For me that remarkable wine still pips this 2019, but only just. Château Calon Ségur is decadent, verging on the unctuous in 2019. It displays beautiful blackcurrant and violent scented fruit and there is a boatload of ripe extract and tannin here too. The 2018 felt a fraction more nimble from memory, but I’d really like to see these two vintages side by side when there bottled. Obviously 2019 is a terrific wine regardless of the comparison. Both Le Marquis de Calon Ségur and Château Capbern weigh in at a heady 15.1% alcohol. Le Marquis impressed much more. It has plenty of rich fruit and volume and feels decadent almost.
The wines at Cos are characterised by exceptional balance and purity in 2019. The reds are very impressive indeed. Château Cos d’Estournel itself is fabulous, with real precision and focus. It displays great length and the tannins are super refined, with impressive texture. This is a St Estèphe that is evidently nudging perfection. Pagodes de Cos has lively plum and black cherry fruit tones and shows much refinement. The whites too look very good. They are more full-bodied than usual and weigh in at 14.4% alcohol – fractionally above the reds – but still retain freshness. This is the fifteenth white wine vintage here, and Cos blanc comes from a set of vineyards adjacent to the Gironde in the Médoc. Talking of Médoc, 2019 is also a very good vintage for Goulée. It is positive and energetic with a distinctively silky aspect. Overall bravo to Michel Reybier and his team led by technical director Dominque Arangoits.
2017’s a funny old vintage in Bordeaux. It feels to me like this year is the least successful of the past decade, assuming we forget about the washout 2013 vintage. That’s not to say that there aren’t a number wines that are really impressive now that the 2017s are in bottle. Last October’s annual Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux tasting in London showed some excellent wines in Pomerol and St Emilion, perhaps more so than in the other communes, but there were fine wines to be found in all the appellations. That said many lacked a bit of charm, seemed somewhat austere and lacked mid-palate concentration. Yes, they are fresh. Yes, the acidity is bright and some have a decent zap about them, but, overall, it’s hardly a vintage that sets the pulse racing. The same couldn’t be said for the experience that the vignerons themselves faced in the early part of the growing season in 2017 when devastating frosts wiped out entire crops in St Emilion and Pomerol and did much damage elsewhere, notably in parts of Pessac-Léognan and the Haut-Médoc. Some properties didn’t make any wine at all. It was certainly a nerve-jangling time for growers. Looked in that light, perhaps we must actually see 2017 as something of a success.