Day three on primeurs week saw me start off in Margaux with an early morning tasting with Thomas Duroux at Château Palmer. There is great depth to Palmer in 2015. It looks to be an exciting vintage in the appellation. Though there is some variation in experience, Margaux, overall, had less of the September rain that dampened things further up the Haut-Médoc. An emotional trip to Château Margaux then beckoned. This was the first primeurs tasting in the château’s new Norman Foster designed chais and winemaking facility. Obviously it was also the first primeurs for thirty years or more unaccompanied by Paul Pontallier. It was an emotional experience. All the things he had worked for at Margaux had come true – an impressive new cellar and a beautiful wine in 2015 – a fitting epitaph for a fine man.
Château du Tertre held the Margaux UGCB tastings
The rest of the Margaux appellation showed well at the UGCB tastings at Château du Tertre. Angludet, Brane Cantenac, Giscours and du Tertre stood out particularly for their purity, but this is generally very good vintage here in 2015. At the affordable end of the spectrum Labégorce, Monbrison and Siran have made good wine. Further up the Médoc the quality of the vintage follows the best terroirs and the deepest pockets – as well as the exposure to the rains on the eve of harvest in early September. This rain, variously glossed over as ‘showers’ in much of the tastings blurbs, is significant on the left bank and there is no doubt that at some properties there is some dilution, even if it’s not acknowledged. Still, where things are good, the wines have a delicious aspect in 2015. In St Julien at UGCB tastings I enjoyed Gloria, St Pierre and the Barton wines Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton, as well as Léoville-Poyferré.
Château Lafon Rochet in St Estèphe
Then on to the UGCB tastings held at Lafon Rochet which showed wines from Pauillac and St Estèphe. Again there is some variability, but generally at this quality level [as opposed to the crus bourgeois which I’ll get onto in a later post, when taken as a group, are a much more disappointing bunch] most properties have made a decent fist of 2015. I happen to think 2014 is the better vintage for Pauillac and St Estèphe [much more homogeneous]. Delicious wines have been made at Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Grand-Puy Lacoste in Pauillac and Lynch Bages is no slouch. In St Estèphe, Phélan Ségur was nicely composed and Lafon-Rochet showed good depth with nicely handled extraction.
In the Haut-Médoc, the tastings held at Château Citran, there is variability. The best properties are those further south in the appellation [La Lagune and Cantemerle were impressive] and good wines have been made at Belgrave and La Tour Carnet. In Listrac Château Clarke was pretty and juicy and in Moulis Château Poujeaux had depth, but there is variability here. I will write in more detail by appellation later. Next up and day 4 during my primeurs week sees me back in St Emilion.
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2015, Chateau Belgrave, Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Chateau Clarke, Chateau du Tertre, Chateau Giscours, Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Chateau La Tour Carnet, Chateau Labégorce, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Monbrison, Chateau Palmer, Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Poujeaux, Chateau Siran, en primeur, Haut Médoc, Margaux, Norman Foster, Pauillac, Paul Pontallier, primeurs, St Estèphe, St Julien, Thomas Duroux