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Bordeaux 2015: Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste & Château Haut-Batailley

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_1015Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste produces some of Pauillac’s finest wine, year in, year out. It regularly tops Liv-Ex’s post primeurs straw poll of wine merchants’ value picks. The 2015 is definitely a success for the chateau. Sibling Château Haut-Batailley, from Pauillac vineyards that border St Julien, shows similar finesse and balance to ‘GPL’ but at a keener price.  There is a sense that the 2015 vintage here could be seen to be a modern day version of 1985. There is certainly the grace and harmony of that vintage in the wines, as well as the freshness. Vineyard management and winemaking have of course changed significantly in the thirty years since 1985. 

Once again one is struck by the balance and beauty of the wines here in 2015. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste doesn’t have the density of 2010 for sure, nor the sheer flamboyance of 2009, but in the absence of these vintages, 2015 would probably have been the most exciting vintage in Pauillac since 2005. I say probably, because if I was a betting man, I’d at least put some money on last year’s miracle 2014 vintage, which may very well turn out to be one of the most underrated vintages of recent years. Prices were significantly more competitive a year ago too. GPL is up 33% on the 2014 vintage for UK customers [£500 x 12]. It’s a better wine, but not by that margin.

Château Haut-Batailley is a Pauillac of considerable style and harmony. 2015 looks to be a very good vintage here. Prices are up in parallel with big brother GPL, also by 33% to UK customers [£300 x 12). Once again, given the quality here of 2014, I’m not sure the 2015 price premium is justified, though clearly an excellent wine has been produced here this year.

The following wines were tasted at Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste on Thursday, 7th April, 2016.

Lacoste-Borie, Pauillac

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]. 87-88+

Château Haut Batailley, Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac

Mid depth; attractive colour and freshness at the edge; healthy; lovely joyful Pauillac; pretty fruit but with some texture; really attractive; lovely blackcurrant tones; ripe and fresh; nice texture on the palate; fresh and medium bodied; nice and round and harmonious; nice spice and blackcurrant tones; nice elegant finish. Nice acidity. Good length. Refreshing. [72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot 49hl/ha]. Drink 2024-2032. 90-92+

Château Grand-Puy- Lacoste, Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac

Deepish; healthy looking; lovely blackcurrant fruit – nice purity; roundness; pretty fruit – very ‘jolie’ again; nice cassis tones; blackcurrants; ripe fruit; more oak to integrate on the palate but that is fine [75% new oak]; nice grip and structure; lovely wine here as usual. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 45hl/ha]. Drink 2024-2035. 93-95+

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