Thursday’s 2014 primeurs tastings started at Château Latour and the wines showed impressive blackcurrant purity and freshness. Since Latour have withdrawn from the primeurs system, the current releases were also on show including their wonderful 2003 [more on this later]. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste has also produced very refined and balanced wines in 2014 [including Haut-Batailley]. Lynch Moussas held the UGC tastings for St Estèphe and Pauillac. Top for me amongst the Pauillacs were Batailley, Lynch-Bages and an excellent Pichon Baron. In St Estèphe, Lafon Rochet is full and harmonious and Ormes de Pez concentrated. There was inconsistency in a few others, with hard tannins in some. At Pontet-Canet the chais was packed with visitors and the wine was round and vivacious. Pichon Lalande too has succeeded with a powerful wine with attractive fragrance. Cabernet has certainly done well in the Left Bank this year.
The afternoon was spent at the Cru Bourgeois event held at Château d’Arsac in Margaux. There are potentially a lot of good wines to be had in 2014 from the Médoc and Haut-Médoc appellations. There is some variability – some rather dry and astringent with unripe tannins – but many have bright plum and blackcurrant fruit, freshness and lots of style. With careful selection this is a vintage to consider [prices should be competitive]. I was impressed in the Médoc with Blaignan, Greysac, Loudenne [excellent], Les Ormes Sorbet, Patache d’Aux, Rollan de By, La Roque de By, Tour Prignac, Tour Saint-Bonnet and Vieux Château Landon. In the Haut-Médoc d’Agassac, d’Arcins, Arnauld, d’Aurilhac, Barreyes, Beaumont, Belle-Vue [excellent], Bel-Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Bernadotte, Charmail, Cissac, Clément Pichon, Dillon, Larose Trintaudon, Malescasse and Sénéjac impressed.
Things were a little more disjointed in Moulis, Listrac and Margaux amongst the cru bourgeois – here Anthonic [Moulis], d’Arsac, Bellevue de Tayac, Paveil de Luze [both Margaux] looked the best. In St Estèphe a number felt over-extracted with very dry palates [and too much oak] but Beau-Site was easy, Le Boscq impressive, along with La Commanderie, Le Crock, Lilian Ladouys and Petit Bocq [very oaky but will be ok].
The day ended at Château La Lagune for the UGC Sauternes and Barsac tasting. 2014 looks to be yet another good vintage here and the wines generally seemed fine and elegant, some exhibiting good botrytis. Attractive wines have been made at Bastor Lamontagne, de Fargues, Romer du Hayot, de Malle, Nairac, Broustet, d’Arche, Doisy-Védrines, Doisy-Daene, Rabaud Promis, Riessec, Guiraud, Coutet [lovely], Suduiraut, de Rayne Vigneau [impressive], Lafaurie-Peyraguey and La Tour Blanche. Château d’Yquem [tasted separately] is terrific.
Friday sees final trips to Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan, several properties in Pomerol and then St Emilion including Pavie, Canon, Jean-Luc Thunevin [Valandraud] and to Pavie-Macquin for the Nicolas Thienpont range.
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2014, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Anthonic, Chateau Arnauld, Chateau Barreyes, Chateau Bastor Lamontagne, Chateau Batailley, Château Beau-Site, Chateau Beaumont, Chateau Bel-Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Chateau Belle-Vue, Chateau Bellevue de Tayac, Chateau Bernadotte, Chateau Blaignan, Chateau Broustet, Chateau Charmail, Chateau Cissac, Château Clément Pichon, Chateau Coutet, Chateau d'Agassac, Chateau d'Arsac, Chateau d'Aurilhac, Chateau d'Yquem, Chateau d’Arche, Château d’Arcins, Chateau de Fargues, Chateau de Malle, Chateau de Rayne Vigneau, Château Dillon, Chateau Doisy-Daene, Chateau Doisy-Vedrines, Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Greysac, Chateau Guiraud, Chateau La Commanderie, Chateau La Tour Blanche, Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Chateau Latour, Chateau Le Crock, Chateau Les Ormes Sorbet, Chateau Lilian-Ladouys, Château Loudenne, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Malescasse, Chateau Nairac, Chateau Patache d’Aux, Chateau Pavie de Luze, Chateau Petit Bocq, Château Pichon-Lalande, Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Pontet Canet, Chateau Rabaud-Promis, Chateau Rieussec, Chateau Rollan de By, Chateau Roque de By, Château Sénéjac, Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau Tour St Bonnet, Cru Bourgeois, Grand Cru Classé, Haut Médoc, Listrac, Margaux, Médoc, Moulis, Pauillac, St Estèphe