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Médoc tasting notes

Medoc corks

Here are the ‘raw’ tasting notes on a number of chateaux in the Médoc which I’ve tasted over the years. I hope you find them useful. For more detailed profiles of the individual chateaux, click on the links in the drop down menu.

Château Blaignan, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Mid depth; cherry, spices and black fruits; soft and fresh; soft entry; quite simple but honest. Has sap and freshness but not at all dry. Fresh and easy. Nicely done. [50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2017-2023. 84-86
  • 2012 Nice colour; fresh and attractive looking; some blackcurrant, earth; soft and easy palate; lacks a little definition. Easygoing. Tasted at Chateau Meyney April 11, 2013. 85-86 [Earlier note] Earthy blackcurrant, sweet; some ribena and fruit patel notes; easy and soft. Good-ish effort. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 85-86
  • 2010 Deep and dense; some stalky blackcurrant notes; some sweetness; works well; ripe quality balanced by tannin and grip. Works quite well. 85-87/100 L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2010 [Second tasting] Bright looking; good concentration; ripe blackcurrants, some stalkys, fresh; blackcurrants and smoky notes on the palate; flesh and soft. Nice. 85-87/100 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Tasted 8 April at Chateau Meyney.
Château Blaignan Quintessence, Médoc
  • 2012 Deeper; more depth and intensity to the nose; blackcurrants; some cassis; more depth and chew to the palate; soft in the middle. Attractive overall. Tasted at Chateay Meyney, April 11, 2013. 86-87
  • 2010 Also tasted a ‘premium’ cuvee of Blaignan [best parcels, aged in barrels, 2000 cases] – this had nice vibrant and dense colour; real ripe blackcurrants; ripe and deep; good density on the palate, ripe and nicely judged tannin. Good finish 87+/100 Tasted 8 April at Chateau Meyney.
Château La Cardonne, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc
  • 2012 Nice lift, some perfume; earthy red fruits on the palate; some earth; chewy finish. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 85-86
  • 2010 Deep black; pretty saturated; some smoky blackcurrant fruit; pretty good; some oak; palate saturated with tannin and fruit; obvious depth but bit monolithic; mouth puckering tannin at the back. Probably will settle ok. 84-86?/100 L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2011

Château Castera, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2012 Spicy tones with bubblegum; stalky and spicy; palate soft with some chew on the finish. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 84-86
Château Les Grands Chênes, Cru Bourgeois. Médoc
  • 2012 Earthy, spicy and oaked; still reasonable integration; tannic and dry on the palate. Ok but chewy. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 84-86
  • 2010 Deep and saturated black red; lots of oak and sweetness and ripe fruit too; liquorice; soft and immediate palate; not bad but feels a bit souped-up; more like you’re in the Barossa Valley than the Medoc. Lots of oak tannins on the finish. Overdone? 84/100 L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2010

La Goulée [by Cos d’Estournel], Médoc

  • 2013 Mid depth; healthy and vibrant looking; fresh, spicy nose; lively and lifted; redcurrants and cherry notes; light bodied but refreshing on the palate with good acidity and lift. To drink young with all the fruit and life. Lively and sappy. Good interpretation of the vintage. [60% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 12.6% alc, TA 3.3, pH 3.52]. Drink 2017-2022. 86-87+
  • 2012 Deep colour; healthy at edge; very primary fruit; briary and brambly notes; some spice; little earth and mineral tones; polished palate; clean and vibrant; some creamy qualities and very harmonious and elegant. Good length and a good effort. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. Tasted at Chateau Cos d’Estournel April 12, 2013. 88-90
  • 2010 Deep and dense, saturated; legs; ripe fruit, quite thick and strong in feel, fat too; very precise palate, layers and focus; some freshness too, feels complete; very well mannered, dense and intense on the palate, very good. Nicely handled palate and fine tannin – polished. 88-90+/100 [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot alc 13.74 pH 3.52, IPT 79] Tasted at Cos d’Estournel 5 April 2011
Château Greysac, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc
  • 2012 Stalky nose; vegetal and feels green; very tannic and dry on the palate. Unripe to me. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 82-84
  • 2009 Mid depth; more red fruits; lifted; open and quite sexy; ripe red fruits; some strawberry jam and cherry; tannic finish. UGCB Oct ’11 86-87+/100
  • 2008 Mid depth; some cherry and strawberry, quite lightish palate but with structure and acid. Grip here but with length. Will come round I’m sure. UGCB Oct ’10. 84-85/100
Château Layauga-Duboscq, Médoc
  • 2012 Deep and saturated look; some perfume, some oak; good depth and chew if oaky palate; fruit sweet and ripe enough. Tasted at Chateau Haut-Marbuzet April 11, 2013. 84-86

Château Loudenne, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Deep at centre; some ink and resin but nicely composed; blackcurrants and spices; palate has nice Bordeaux qualities; some leaf; appetizing blackcurrants and fresh tones. Good effort. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at Chateau d’Arsac 3/4/14. Drink 2016-2023. 84-86+
  • 2012 Redcurrant tones alongside stalky fruit; clean; palate creamy to begin with then grippy finish. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 85-87

Château Noaillac, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2010 Deep; slightly stalky note; dusty; some meat and life on the palate and then the tannins arrive, but this has flavour and grip. Good blackcurrant fruit. Good 85+/100 L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois Tasted 5 April 2011
Château Les Ormes Sorbet, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; vibrant edge; blackcurrant fruit tones; pure and fresh; some wood at the back still to integrate; ripe enough fruit beneath; some flesh here. Should work out pretty well. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at Chateau d’Arsac 3/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 84-86+
  • 2012 Fresh and stalky like Loudenne; chewy and dense on the palate; plenty of fruit and chew. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 85-87
  • 2010 Deep colour again; ripe, blackcurrants; some stalks and dust; quite fleshy and soft to begin with; good density; depth and extract; finishes chewy and quite tannic but fruit there. 84-85/100 Tasted L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2011

Château Patache d’Aux, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; quite attractive aromatics; full; no trace of green fruit; full palate too with extract and material but no trace of dryness; sappy and well done. Some depth and ambition and delivers good vigorous Médoc style. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at Chateau d’Arsac 3/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 85-87
  • 2012 Earthy; red fruits here and ripe Merlot influence; grippy palate with some angularity to the tannin. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 85-87
  • 2010 Deep and saturated in colour; ripe blackcurrants; some smoke and earth; some dust too; oak on the palate, density and chew; pretty good dense and chewy Medoc. Will come good. 85+/100 Tasted L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2010
  • 1996 mid depth; some core, earth red at edge; hangs in the glass; some stone and chalk on the nose with tobacco – a little dumb. Concentrated palate; chunky; lacking in finesse. Some smoky, earthy characters at the back. 85/100 May ‘05

Château Potensac, Médoc

  • 2013 Deep at centre; healthy purple at edge; vibrant Bordeaux – sappy, fresh, blackcurrant tones; salt and mineral hints; quite sturdy on the palate with good fruit and chew; freshness – tannin supple and ripe; lacks a bit of density on the finish [may well fill out] but an excellent effort in the vintage context. [49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.14% alc, TA 3.70, pH 3.67, IPT 60, 33% new oak, 10% press wine, 39hl/ha]. Tasted at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases 31/3/14. 87-88+
  • 2012 Very nice healthy look; deep and vibrant at edge; saturated aroma; depth here and attractive; cassis and minerals; pretty dense palate; lots of material; some grip and tannin on the finish. Chewy but plenty of fruit here and nice length. Good Potensac. Tasted at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases April 12, 2013. 48% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% 88-90
  • 2010 Deep, saturated; quite velvety and very ripe on the nose; some smoke; very polished palate, thick and ripe with good mid-palate and attractive. Good grip too. 88-90+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases.
  • 2001 Mid red, darkish at core. Elegant nose; some dust and earth but simple. Lacks depth and stuffing on palate; lean. Slight disappointing compared to the wines made here in ‘96 and ’00. 84/100 July ’09
  • 2000 Deep and dark, up to edge; initially solid and hard but with seam of blackcurrant fruit beneath; strong and dense but closed and dumb. Obvious weight and refinement but seems to have shut down. Needs two-three years to come out of its shell and will probably improve for ten. Potentially excellent. 88+/100 Jan ’09
  • 1996 Medium dark; some depth and still youthful; good intense fruit on nose, prunes, molasses with blackcurrant – again clean intense palate; concentrated with a good core of black fruits. Good finish with a nice balance of acidity. Fine and intense. 88/100 May ’05

Chapelle de Potensac, Médoc [second wine of Château Potensac]

  • 2013 Deepish; vibrant edge; vibrant fruits; spices and blackcurrants; some salt; lacks a bit of depth on the palate but well structured with vibrancy. Sap and chew at the end. Good-ish effort especially as a second wine. [66% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc 13.03% alc, TA 3.76, pH 3.63 IPT 52 39hl/ha 6.9% press wine, 10% new oak]. Drink 2017-2024. Tasted at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases Monday 31/3/14. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth, pretty dark; vibrant meniscus; creamy nose; ripe; cassis; bright; nice entry to the palate; good-ish density and sap; some creamy tones; juicy and vibrant; little simple on the finish but vigorous. 56% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Tasted at Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases Friday April 12, 2013. 86-87

Château Rollan de By, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Deepish; quite saturated colour; some resin and red fruits; spices and wet rocks; tightish; quite elegant high-toned style but with some middle. Lightish overall. Chewy/spicy finish. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at Chateau d’Arsac 3/4/14. Drink 2016-2023. 83-85
  • 2010 Deep and black; feels jammy, very strawberry jam nose; oak tannins dominate the palate; some attractive qualities but feels a bit overdone to me. 82-84?/100 Tasted L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2011

Château Ramafort, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2012 Pretty lifted nose with perfume; some grip and acid in palate; lean and lacks middle. Cru Bourgeois tasting April 9, 2013. 83-85
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; some depth but also some dusty tannin; blackcurrant fruit on the palate; real grip and tannin here; not that bad if simple. Grippy. 84/100 Tasted L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2011

Château La Tour de By, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Mid depth; purple at edge; some graphite and blackcurrant tones; pure and elegant aromatics; palate fresh and pure Cabernet tones; little tightness and will be sappy – but what it lacks in density it makes up for in elegance. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2017-2023. 85-87 UGCB April 2014
  • 2012 Deepish; earthy, blackcurrant tones; ripe; juicy and appetizing; palate eqully juicy, ripe and extremely enjoyable; very forward, fruity and attractive. Tasted UGCB April 9, 2013. 87-88
  • 2011 Deep and fresh looking; fresh blackcurrant, some stalks and sappy tones; blackcurrant and black cherry on the palate; some minerality; nice grip and sap on the palate; needs a couple of years but good vigorous Médoc. UGCB April 2012 87/100
  • 2010 Dense, ripe, blackcurrants, fresh; palate fleshy but with extract and grip. Not bad. Obvious depth and ripe fruit and lots of it. Grip and tannin too. Should meld. 84-86+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deepish; some earthy blackcurrant tones; freshness here; blackcurrant Cabernet and leaf; good Medoc – this doesn’t disappoint; some chew and ripe tannin on the finish. Good stuff 87+/100 [Earlier] Dark, opaque at centre; very soft and sweet ripe nose; lovely and fresh, but also classic La Tour de By. Ripe soft palate, good material and extract. Attractive and supple. Will soften further. Should offer great value. Very good. 88+/100 Tasted March 30th ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Mid depth, earth purple at edge; some cassis and stalky blackcurrant; some earth and chocolate; slightly leafy palate but with blackcurrants. Has guts but a bit awkward at the moment. Should come round. 84-85/100
  • 2007 Mid red; slightly stalky angular quality; lacks richness and concentration. 80-82/100 UGC London tastings Oct ‘10
  • 2005 Deep red/black – inky, stalky, blackcurrant nose; plate dense and full of flavour. Pent up. Needs 3 years to open out and will last for 10+. Potentially very good. 87+/100 Jan ’09
  • 2000 Med red, some brick red at edge; rose petal, violets and blackcurrants with an earthy note now creeping in; some coffee too; really opening out after a slightly closed phase; supple palate, medium bodied with nice balance. This is spot on now. 87+/100 Nov ’09 [Earlier note] Deepish, some red, ripe Médoc flavours on the nose, quite clean and not over earthy, supple palate but beginning to firm up slightly. Leave for another 2-3 years to fully open. A good bottle of inexpensive Médoc. 85/100 Jan ’09
  • 1995 Deep red/brown at edge; roasted and beefy, fully mature, mid-weight wine. Good robust Medoc. 85/100 May ’06
Château Tour Prignac, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc
  • 2001 – Black/red; chunky nose and palate likewise; quite firm wine. OK but bit dull. 82/100 Mar ‘04

Château Tour St Bonnet, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

  • 2013 Mid depth; fresh; some stalky blackcurrant and Cabernet notes; bubblegum; wet rocks; sappy palate but fresh and vigorous. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at Chateau d’Arsac 3/4/14. Drink 2016-2023. 83-85
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; ripe lift and density; palate rich and softer in attack than you’d expect; layers and richness here; very good effort and quite pure; good and will fill out further I expect. 85-87+/100 Tasted L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2010
  • 2005 Deep red; legs; tar and blackcurrants with earth and a slightly walnut note here too [is this from the ageing in foudres here rather than barrels I wonder?]; palate chewy with ripe fruit and ripe tannins; good honest Médoc that really delivers flavour at a great price. 2005 is up there with their really impressive 2003. 87/100 Tasted June 2010
  • 2003 Mid red; lovely earthy blackcurrant nose; strong and powerful Médoc; solid ripe palate with excellent structure and blackcurrant fruit. Enjoyable now but should improve further. Very good 87/100 July ’09
  • 2000 Mid red; some depth but translucent; some blackcurrant and herbs with tomato plant; palate a bit on the weedy side and lacks ‘middle’. Disappointing considering the vintage, considering the quality of wines here in 2003 and 2005 and considering I bought a case of the stuff. Hopefully may come round in time. 82?/100 Jan ‘09

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