Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2015 – Primeurs day 4

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_0940Day four on the primeurs trail saw me return to the right bank. There is no doubt that 2015 is at its most consistent and impressive in St Emilion. Arriving at Château Pavie, appropriately enough I thought in a Napa Valley-like fog, it was actually interesting to see how they had opted for comparatively modest extraction here this year. Yes there was substance and extract, but also composure across an exciting range. Pavie itself is genuinely impressive, as is Bellevue-Mondotte [quite ravishing], Pavie-Decesse and Monbousquet [much better than its 2014]. I was also struck by the quality of their Castillon, Clos Lunelles. Château Cheval Blanc was up next. Chalk and cheese of course with Pavie. There is wonderful beauty and elegance here in this 2015 offering from Cheval Blanc, which comes from its unique terrior that borders Pomerol. The wine reminds me of their 1985. Pierre Lurton is very excited by the quality. They are comparing to 2010 and 1998, in terms of the dry, yet cool maturity [more on this later].


Angélus followed Cheval Blanc. This is a beautiful St Emilion, totally the iron fist in the velvet glove. Their Lalande de Pomerol La Fleur de Boüard is also really impressive, as well as the muscular Le Plus de La Fleur de Boüard [La Fleur de Bouard turbocharged]. Down at Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, Stephan von Niepperg showed a wonderfully ripe Château d’Aiguilhe, their over performing property in the Côtes de Castillon. I was struck by the beauty of their St Emilion Grand Cru Clos de l’Oratoire, a powerful Canon-la-Gaffelière and a seductive satin La Mondotte. Lovely wines as ever.


At the UGCB tasting at Château La Couspaud, Château La Dominique was wonderfully joyful. It displays beautiful fruit in 2015, along with Clos Fourtet. Château Troplong-Mondot has once again produced a mammoth effort. Troplong certainly doesn’t do things by halves, though this is little too much for me stylistically to be honest. Let’s see how it settles.

Château Canon, tasted at the château, looks to be in great shape in 2015 in this first post-John Kolasa vintage. There is intensity and structure but the fruit tones are delicious. Château Figeac is quite remarkable. There is real finesse and excitement here in 2015 – they think it one of the best ever Figeacs.


Château Beauregard held the Pomerol UGCB. Beauregard itself is under new ownership and has a new label. Again I’ll write more on this when I review Pomerol in detail, but the wine looks good in 2015. Price will determine whether it is a good buy. I sense the pressure here is upwards – both in terms of the vintage but also repositioning this traditionally good value Pomerol property. Château Le Bon Pasteur looks good, Gazin has lovely blackcurrant and black cherry purity, Clinet is very Rolls-Royce, refined and intense. Château Petit-Village looks good as does Château La Pointe. Château La Conseillante, tasted separately, is very seductive.


Down on the Quai de Priourat in Libourne, the JP Moueix range showed their usual appetising freshness. The picks here were a very impressive Château Belair-Monange in St Emilion [a beauty] and Château La Fleur-Pétrus. Château Hosanna was a little subdued on the day but will doubtless settle. Château Bourgneuf impressed in the [presumably] more affordable bracket. Again I will write on the entire Moueix range [over a dozen wines] in more detail in a subsequent post.


My final stop was Jean-Luc Thunevin, who immediately ticked me off for arriving an hour late in his cellars. I was glad he let me in as Thunevin’s made great, full-throttle Valandraud in 2015. It’s almost unbelievably concentrated St Emilion yet with wonderfully voluptuous fruit and supple tannin [and plenty of tannin there is…]. I’m a great fan of ‘JLT’s Clos Badon [pretty big this year] and the Pomerol Clos de le Beau Père. More on Thunevin’s set of wines later…up next immediate thoughts on my fifth and final day’s tasting during primeurs week which included trips to Château Haut-Brion, Château Pontet-Canet and Château Latour

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