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Bordeaux 2019: St Estèphe

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

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.

I have yet to taste Château Ormes de Pez, Château Montrose, Château Tronquoy Lalande, Château Phélan Ségur and Château Cos Labory and hope to fill in these blanks over the coming months. In the meantime, I hope you find the notes below useful. The wines were tasted in June from samples sent to the UK.

Château Bernard Magrez, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dark; earthy purple red at edge; rich and ripe fruit; intense; some tar and earth; sweet and attractive; liquorice; lifted; nice entry; plenty of extract and flesh; chew on the mid palate; full; rich wine; big vintage here; soft tannin; nicely handled; very complete already; spices and savoury notes; hint of leather. Works really well. Good stuff. Gutsy. Savoury notes on the end. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2035. 88-90+

Château Calon-Ségur, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dark; legs; colour tight to rim but looks glossy and healthy at the same time; wonderful blackcurrant cassis and violet scented fruit; very pretty; lovely seam of focused blackcurrants which unfurls on aeration revealing layers after layer; really opens up – this another profound wine here – different in style to the 2018 which was one of the wines of the vintage. This feels more classical in a way; super deep and layered; textured on the palate; structure evident; plenty of fruit tannin and extract; slight chew to the tannins; lacks a bit of freshness perhaps but this is a beautiful, powerful wine. Great length. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 1% PV, TA 3.2, 0.4 VA, pH 3.85 40hl 14.5% alc, 100% new oak]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2026-2050. 96-98+

Château Capbern, St Estèphe, 2019

Super deep and dark; colour tight to rim; jam packed with briary, brambly fruit; almost inky; super ripe black cherry and plum; some molasses and fruitcake spice; super rich; dark chocolate and black cherry; eau de vie; feels rich; sweet entry; very ripe fruit; feels a little stewed; plenty of weight but this feels very alcoholic on the palate. Capbern has been better in my book. Certainly, an early drinking Capbern. A little tricky the vintage here, I wonder, in terms of alcohol and ripeness? Like to see this again in bottle. [69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 15.1% alc, 3.25 TA, VA 0.4, pH 3.9 40hl ha]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2033. 87-89

Château Cos d’Estournel, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dark at the centre; fresh looking at the edge; cassis; super pure and fresh; wonderfully polished and enticing; ripe plums beneath the cassis; tension almost; sweet entry; caressing style; really elegant and seductive Cos; this has power and chew but the tannins are great. Real density here but there is elegance. Really caressing finish. This wine is deceptively good. The balance is fabulous here. Outstanding wine that nudges with perfection. [14% alc, TA 3, pH 3.77, 55% new oak]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2026-2050. 97-100

Château Haut-Marbuzet, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and arterial; earthy purple at edge; wet rock; schist; black fruits; fruit cake and plum pudding notes; some tar and asphalt; deep and solid; opens up; very strong, tarry St Estephe; this looks like a brilliant effort; lots of extract on the entry; powerful Haut-Marbuzet; black cherry; eau de vie; full and packed; rich, ripe and low-acid style. Concentrated but tannins ripe. Wine holds together nicely. Excellent length. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2025-2040. 92-94+

Château Lafon Rochet, Grand Cru Classé,St Estèphe, 2019

Deep at core; red purple at edge; earthy; some mint and menthol; blackcurrant; layered and full; like this; suggests freshness; ripe entry; sweet palate; round mouthfeel; pretty big; enticing and voluptuous on the palate; very caressing; blackcurrants; ripe tannins. Really super impressive St Estèphe. Classy. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2026-2045. 93-95+

Le Marquis de Calon Ségur, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dense looking; legs; opaque at centre; little oak; seam of black fruits; precise and focused; has purity and some wet rock; classy; schist notes; olives and some tapenade; black plum and dark chocolate; lovely fruit entry on the palate; lush fruit tones and wonderfully melted tannins; works a treat; lacks a bit of zap and zing though, which would give the wine more amplitude; lovely extract though and very well handled in the cellar. Length. [54% Cab Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 15.1% , TA 3.2, 0.4 VA, pH 3.85]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2040. 92-94+

Château Meyney, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep at centre; earthy red purple at edge; legs; packed with black fruits on the nose; very pure and attractive; strong wine in what looks like a strong vintage again here for St Estèphe; smoke and tar notes; really plummy too; terrific; deep certainly; love this property; great entry that shows super fruit and purity; plenty of oomph and structure here; this is big and quite bold and will need time; high levels of extract and tannin but the latter is ripe; chew at the back but this is both St Estèphe and Meyney. Great terroir here. Works a treat. Value for money too – still. [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot, 35% new oak]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2028-2045. 92-94+

Pagodes de Cos, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep; fractionally looser at the rim than Cos; pure plums and black cherry; not at all overt initially but feels balanced; fresh and appetizing style; zap and energy; lovely and cool; super; plum and black cherry perfume opened up in the glass; moreish; little tar emerged later too; seriously good aromatics now; this has concentration and lush fruit, gently extracted with the most supple of tannins. Overall plenty going on here; nice zap and sap on the finish; works well. Like the elegance here. This is caressing wine – sensuous Pagodes. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 14% alc, TA 3, pH 3.74, 20% new oak]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2038. 94-95+

Château de Pez, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep at centre; earthy purple at edge; more schist; higher tones fruits; sweetness; liquorice and menthol; attractive and focused aromatics; black fruits; nice seam of black fruits with liquorice; ripe and sweet entry; plum, liquorice; thick; full; has density but there is a creaminess to the tannins here; super de Pez; like this. Good bit and grip at the end. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2025-2035. 91-92+

Château Le Petit Bocq, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dark; earthy purple red at edge; little dusty at first; black chocolate and briary notes; menthol; gloss; has inky intensity but also oak lift; opens up well; little chunky perhaps but brimming with fruit; sweet entry; like the palate; retains freshness as well as plenty of spicy, black plum fruit; bold and ripe; soft tannin [plenty of extract]. Lacks a bit of length but will give plenty of joy. Plenty of tannin on the finish but also lots of plush fruit in the middle. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2025-2035. 88-90

Château Sérilhan, St Estèphe, 2019

Saturated black; colour tight to edge; liquorice; rich black fruits; ink; fruit cake spice; ripe plum; spices; plenty of lush fruit on the palate; plenty of extract and alcohol; needs to meld a little; soft finish; alcohol on the end but works! Chewy finish. Lots of fruit here – good seam in the middle. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2032. 87-89+

Château Tour St Fort, St Estèphe, 2019

Mid depth; purple red; more herbal notes; menthol; red fruits beneath; less fruit overall than the rest; little more angular on the palate and hardness to the tannins; suggests issues with phenolic ripeness; will work in bottle but will always have some grip and austerity to the tannins; light finish. Winemaking judged well given the phenolics. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2030. 85-87

Château Tour des Termes, St Estèphe, 2019

Dark core; earthy purple at edge; some dusty and a little oak influence; fruit emerges; ripe and rich; fruitcake spice; ripe fruit; plenty of Christmas cake spice; little extracted on the palate but plenty of rich ripe fruit here and has nice extract on the finish. Bold vintage here. Not for the faint-hearted. Tannins a little solid at the end. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2030. 87-88


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