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St Estèphe tasting notes

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Below are my tasting notes on the wines of St Estèphe from 2015 back to 1961. The most detailed reviews are for the past nine vintages but there are lots of earlier notes too. For more detailed information on the chateaux of click on their links in this section. Click here for tasting notes on the wines of the Haut-Médoc, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux, Pessac-Léognan, Pomerol and St Emilion. Click here for detailed reviews of recent vintages such as 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Château Beau-Site, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Mid depth; some leaf and spice; fairly light palate; loose finish. Might put on weight in bottle. Feels a little rain affected. Drink 2019-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. 80-82
  • 2014 Big and black looking; ripe; full; cassis and some jam; soft entry; easy; some cherry fruit; mid weight with good depth; little loose on the finish. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 85-87
  • 2013 Mid depth; some red fruits, jam and spice; light-ish; soft entry, sweetness with some material here; quite nicely extracted and not puckering. Elegant style and works well in the context. Drink 2018-2023. Cru Bourgeois tasting at Chateau d’Arsac. 84-86
  • 2011 Earthy looking; some stuffing; black fruits and some dusty qualities alongside oak; gutsy palate; fruit is here and some density; lots of material. Chewy and not that bad if a little angular. Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc 3/4/12 83-85? UGCB Primeurs Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; deep nose, smoky and some earth; full and mid-weight on the palate; not overly tannic but quite some finesse. Depth and length. Should be pretty good. 86-88+/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois tasting 7th April 2011
  • 2009 Mid depth; spicy, meaty St Estèphe on the nose; good fruit and extract here in a mid-weight style. Drink now-2024. 88 Dec ’13
  • 2006 – Mid depth; slight tomato plant note; herbal; lightish on the palate; not hugely successful for me. Drink now. Tasted September ’16. 84
  • 2005 Deep red-black; concentrated and deep nose of cassis and plums; palate full of fruit and quite dense with tannin. Should develop well. 88+/100 June ‘09

Château Calon Ségur, Third Growth, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Mid depth; not huge colour; nice purity on the nose; elegant vintage; again very Bordeaux; lovely Cabernet here; elegant and mid weight; this has nice texture and harmony; good acidity and freshness. Round. Will fill out further. Classical. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.3% alc, TA 3.4, pH 3.75, 47hl/ha, 100% new oak]. Drink 2025-2040. Tasted at Calon 4/4/16. 92-94+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; arterial at centre; legs; opaque; very seductive blackcurrant fruit; power but very evident refinement; very complete even at this stage; pure and focused; fruit compelling; natural and unadorned [even despite 100% new oak]; lovely flavour; beautiful Cabernet tones; perfumed fruit; layered and textured; simply fantastic effort in my book; caressing fruit and elegance despite the obvious power and concentration. Excellent length. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.8% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.70, IPT 78, 41hl/ha, 100% new oak]. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted at Calon Ségur 30 March, 2015. 95-97+
  • 2013 Deep and healthy colour; purple at edge; clean and pure blackcurrant aromas; elegant but fullish; real purity; great palate; layered with extract and sweet fruit; real character and surprising depth for the vintage; attractive sap and purity on the finish. Very good effort. [92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.1% alc, 3.7TA, 3.65 pH, IPT 62 36hl/ha, 20 day cuvaison, 100% new oak]. Drink 2018-2030+. 91-93
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; quite tight on the nose initially; lots of extract on the palate; real density and pretty structured; this is a very serious, classically styled wine; tight but very dense. Grip and sap but plenty of material. Feels long term and classically styled St Estephe in the very best sense. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 13.6% alc. Tasted at Calon-Segur April 11, 2013. 91-93+
  • 2011 Deep looking, earthy, vibrant purple at rim – healthy and fresh looking; seductive nose; red fruits, perfume; blackcurrants and loganberry notes; very polished; sweet entry to the palate, lots of depth here but this is a cool, elegant wine; some grippy notes but lots of sour cherry and blackcurrant flavours on the palate. Very good length. Fresh and harmonious. Interesting has the same vital statistics as 2010. Excellent effort. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, 100% new oak 13.2% alc 93-94+ Apr ’12 at Calon Segur.
  • 2010 Deep looking; lovely nose; blackcurrant Cabernet tones with pain grillé notes; elegance; less immediate flesh evident than in ’09; opens up in the glass; wonderful palate with blackcurrant notes and great purity; terrific stuff and great balance; lots of extract and tannin here; concentrated and precise with beautiful tension between the texture, the blackcurrant fruit and the acidity. Great counterpart to the near perfect 2009 here. Drink 2017-2040. 97+ Tasted Nov ’14 MW Institute
  • 2009 Deep at centre; healthy looking; fabulous nose – a delirious medley of blackcurrants, spices, pain grillé – so very fine Bordeaux – and sexy; this terrific stuff; very good balance on the palate – spicy blackcurrants; real ripeness but freshness too – very nimble on its feet. Feels mid-weight and light in feel. Lafite-like in that respect. Go buy this – worth every penny – you’ll be hard pushed to find such nicely balanced, delicious wine [at any price]. Drink now – 2035. 97+ Nov ’13 MW Institute
  • 2008 Mid depth; dark at core; not black; rose petal, cassis, blackcurrant, leafy notes; very complex and enticing; palate mid weight, nicely balanced with acid and sufficient flesh. Nice polish to the palate. Works very well indeed. 92+ MW Institute tasting Nov ‘12
  • 2006 Dark red and central core; quite dumb and brooding; blackcurrants emerge but also minerals and wet stones; some oak lift and some chocolate at the back; palate firm and structured, less flesh than Cos, quite old fashioned in style [in the best sense]. Lots of chew, tannin and acid. Firm wine, tannic and structured. 90+/100 MW Institute tasting Nov ’10 [Earlier note] 2006 Deep red purple; fresh blackcurrants, stones and minerals; palate structured with depth, serious wine here; lots of extract but quite hard at present. Typical St Estephe characters I suppose, sturdy and strong 90+
  • 1988 Red/black; some blackcurrant with tobacco notes and cedar; quite full bodied and still with time in hand. Noticeable tannin which needs to resolve but pretty good effort. 88+/100 June ‘98

Château Clauzet, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Mid colour; red at edge; soft and easy; light; clean but feels dilute. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. 81-83
  • 2014 Deepish; some jam and stalky blackcurrant fruit; strawberry notes; spices; goodish depth on the palate; some jam; silky tannins. Drink 2019-2024. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 85-87
  • 2013 Mid depth; sturdy, stalky aromatics; fresh and some spices; quite boney style and lacks flesh; stalky fruit. Still nothing green. May fill in. Light. Drink 2017-2023. Cru Bourgeois tasting at Chateau d’Arsac. 82-84
  • 2010 Big and black; figgy with notes of prunes; feels a little overripe and thick for me. Drink 2015-2022. 86

Château Capbern [formerly Capbern-Gasqueton], St Estèphe

  • 2015 Mid depth; purple at edge; ripe and pure fruit aromatics; pretty; some spice; lovely purity; ripe, elegant and nicely judged. Soft finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc, TA 3.3, pH 3.8, 47 hl/ha, 60% new oak]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted at Calon 4/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Deep colour; very saturated look; colour tight to the rim; lots of ripe fruit here; real joy; black fruits; some cherry but nicely fresh; composed too; pretty and voluptuous even; lovely fruit tones continue on the palate; plenty of extract and ripe fruit tones; perfumed and caressing; great palate really; concentrated and glossy. Great effort. Drink 2019-2030. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 14.2% alc, TA 3.50, pH 3.80, IPT 76, 41hl/ha yield, 60% new oak]. Tasted at Calon Ségur 30 March, 2015. 91-93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; some purple at edge; charming aromatics; pretty fruit; very jolly; charming fruit; fresh and vibrant with good depth; very pure. Attractive. Gentle extraction and handled with real finesse. [91% Cabernets, 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13% alc, 3.60 TA, 3.75 pH, 59 IPT, 65% new oak]. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
  • 2012 Deep looking; stone fruits on the nose; some mineral tones; fresh; grippy, stalky Cabernet fruit on the palate; sappy and quite lean in style; bit backward but will doubtless fill out. Chewy finish. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot. Tasted at Calon-Segur April 11, 2013. 87-89+
  • 2011 Deep and earthy red; purple at edge; attractive red fruits; some oak; little rose petal. Strong, meaty palate quite deep with lots of stalky, fresh Cabernet flavours. Pretty harmonious effort again here; blackcurrants, grip and good acid. Structured wine with good acid. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot 13.2% alc 60% new oak 87-89 Tasted Apr ’12 at Calon Segur.

Château Cos d’Estournel, Second Growth, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Dark at centre; colour close to the edge; seriously deep with a voluptuous edge; black fruits; dark cherries, some spice – a lovely seam of pure fruit here; plushness on the palate; very clean and cool entry; lots of layers; pretty voluptuous effort this. Best Cos since 2010 I reckon. Drink 2024-2040. Tasted at Cos 4/4/16. 96-97+
  • 2014 Deep and concentrated colour; tight to the rim; legs; pure; creamy tones; sweetness and ripeness; fat almost but nicely layered aromatics; core of blackcurrant, cassis fruit; similarly layered palate with an excellent core of fruit and material; oak appears completely soaked up by the fruit; nicely balanced; freshness too; lots of matter and material; little warmth on the finish and plenty of ripe tannin too. Impressive stuff. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot 33%, Cabernet Franc, 2%, 14.2% alc, TA3.5, pH3.77 IPT 87 80% new oak]. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted at Cos, 30 March, 2015. 94-96+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; vibrant at edge; cassis, some menthol and spices on the aromatics; blackcurrants; balanced and elegant palate; fresh and crisp with emphasis on delicacy. Stylistically very much in-line with the light vintage and a very different experience here. Expect this to fill out a little. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 12.7% Drink 2018-2030. 90-92
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; colour tight to the rim; thick and dense in the glass; serious nose; layered; lots of fruit here; a seam of focused and precise fruit; freshness with some creamy notes; very consistent on the palate; tight seam of blackcurrant fruit again; very pure and nicely layered; quite big and lots of material and evidently ripe tannin. Gives the wine density and chew at the back. Cassis and blackcurrant tones linger. Pretty serious effort. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 70% new oak. 13.8% alc. TA 3.2, pH 3.75 IPT 95. Tasted at Cos Friday April 12, 2013. 93-95+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated; purple edge; colour tight to rim; full nose; fat and ripe, almost a bit of fig and an earthy, mealy note [not unattractive]; more unctuous than Pagodes; some spicy, briary tones but rich palate, pretty big. Harmony here, more grip than Pagodas and a very good finish. Richer than Pagodes but not necessarily that much better. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc 13.5% alc Tasted at Cos 6/4/12 91-93+ Tasted Apr ’12 at Cos
  • 2010 Deep and dense looking; little chalky note initially; obvious depth but little reticent; intense spicy palate with menthol and black fruit flavours; quite thick but much fresher than 2009; very attractive texture and density but also richness. Very good wine indeed if a little subdued on the day. Needs time. Drink 2018-2040. 96+ Tasted Nov ’14 MW Institute [Earlier note] Deep sublimated look; legs; ripe, plush and very seductive nose; layered and intense aroma – bodes well; real ripeness and density here, some mineral, black fruits too – ripe and very attractive on the nose; quite satiny palate; intense and full but also focused; real concentration in the mid-palate. Tannins extremely well managed. Some grip at the end which makes it feel very complete. Real length. Very first growth. 96-98+/100 [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 14.5 alc, IPT 91, pH 3.5] Tasted at the Cos 6th April 2011.
  • 2009 Arterial in colour, incredibly saturated; comparably saturated and sublimated aromas; very full; almost porty; creamy cassis; packed to the brim and extremely polished; layer upon layer of lush, creamy fruit – a boatload of fruit; great purity if a little monolithic. What can one say? Controversial? It’s certainly an extremely bold statement. Needs time. The tannins are considerable but still manage to be silky. You wonder if this is what Cheval Blanc ’47 was like in its youth [yes, I know that’s a St Emilion]… Drink 2019-2040. 96+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Completely saturated and very deep looking; lovely voluptuous nose; very ripe; cassis with figs; nose saturated with aromatics, violets and ripe red fruits; really terrific; sweet ripeness to the palate [alcohol is 14.5 but let’s forget that for now]; wonderful red fruit fruits [strawberries/blackcurrants] real purity and density. Jean Guillaume Prats says he’s looking for laser like precision at Cos and there is a sculpted, polished quality here too. Pretty amazing depth, some warmth from the alcohol yes but not burning as it’s buried under a pile of fruit and lots and lots of extremely ripe tannin. This is very rich yet extremely polished. Great length here, quite terrific. Overall a wine of extraordinary density alongside purity and concentration. Coffee, espresso on the finish. A lot has been written about this wine being over the top. If that was the case, there is no sense of that now. This is a great wine which expresses the qualities of this truly extraordinary vintage both in St Estephe especially, and at in Cos in particular. 98+/100 Tasted Nov ’10 at Cos
  • 2008 Mid depth; dark core; substantial slightly worked feel to the nose; some resin, spice, plums, meaty note; palate open and the most full here in St Estèphe; generous and supple. Lots of extract and chew here. Nice length and grip. Very good. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Dark saturated colour; dense and tight to the rim, legs in the glass, black red; wonderful ripe nose, great cassis red fruits and very open also with minerality, wet rocks; lots of depth, palate layered, deep and intense. Great sweetness to the fruit and very layered; intensity and concentration but also pretty voluptuous; lots of structure here too. Tannins very fine. This wine is showing nice development on the palate. It is extremely attractive, very precise and has plenty of grip. Interesting actually how it is not completely overshadowed by the 2009. 95+/100 Tasted Nov ’10 at Cos.
  • 2007 Deep and arterial looking; legs; ripe and plush nose; satin and surprising ripeness and lovely black fruits and wet stone elements; density and layers; palate ripe and fleshy with ripe and nicely handled tannin; dense and ripeness and not at all over-extracted. Very good length. Excellent effort 93+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Deep red with some purple at edge; bit dumb initially, earth, some prunes, stones and minerals – bit tight – quite layered with strawberry fruit beneath, some stalks; palate sweetish entry, still quite firm but with more depth and richness; palate looks good, quite closed though plenty of extract, tannin and acid here. This needs time again. 90-92/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1994 good colour; oak, some spice, fleshy fruit on palate, soft but with good supporting tannin. 90+/100 Barrel sample tasted at the Chateau Nov ’95.
  • 1993; Dark; earthy nose with slightly feral edge but meaty; not profound on palate, a little weedy and elegant with a short finish. Clearly rained on. Bit disappointing. 86/100 Aug 04
  • 1991 Good colour; slightly rustic nose; little dumb; good structure and elegance given the poor vintage. 83/100 Oct 95
  • 1978 Good colour; red/black; mature nose of tobacco, spices and blackcurrant fruit with undergrowth elements; palate big and chunky with tannins. Good concentration and flavour. 90/100 Nov ‘89

Les Pagodes de Cos, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deeply coloured; reddish purple at the edge; opaque at centre; pretty and ripe; focused; cherries; nice spices and black fruits too; very appetizing; nice entry; more concentration clearly but with charm and harmony; lots of grip and chew here. Length. [46% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 13.1% alc, TA 3.0, pH 3.75, IPT 57, 30% new oak yield 44hl/ha]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted Cos 4/4/16. 91-93
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; saturated look; purple at the meniscus; healthy looking; fruit; precise and creamy; blackcurrant; clean and fresh; some black cherry and summer fruit compote tones; layered palate with texture and a seam of blackcurrant fruit; nice acidity here; complete on the end with nice length. Good effort. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.9% alc, 3.4TA, 3.78 pH, ITP 73, 50% new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Cos, 30 March, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant edge; spicy, salty and mineral qualities; some smoked meats and blackcurrant tones beneath; attractive entry, good-ish depth, some cream; nicely measured with good grip and sap. Elegance. [64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2018-2026. 87-88+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; slightly looser at the rim than the grand vin; spices, mincemeat, wonderfully ripe tons; satiny; layers here and expression of what I imagine is wonderfully plump Merlot; lots of layers and concentration on the palate but delivered in a very harmonious and balanced way; acidity gives some life and freshness too. Nice length. Very good. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. 13.5% alc, IPT 75 TA 3.1 pH 3.73. 50% of production. Tasted at Cos April 12, 2013. 90-92+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated; blackcurrant, black cherry and perfumed nose; very pretty; cassis and cream too; very attractive; creamy plush palate with lots of fruit, very accessible and harmonious; fine tannin and very polished overall. Little bite at the end but wonderful tannin profile in a tricky vintage. You wouldn’t know. A great effort. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.3% alc Tasted at Cos d’Estournel 6/4/12 90-92+ Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep, thick and concentrated look; legs; thick and ripe, some marzipan hints, very ripe nose; minerals and stone too; creamy note to the nose; thick palate, ripe, precise; some tar, this is very concentrated in feel. Lots of ripe tannin. Some warmth on the finish. 92-94+/100 [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot alc 14.13% IPT 73 pH3.51] Tasted at Cos d’Estournel 6th April 2011.

Château Cos Labory, Fifth Growth, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep and dark; round and aromatic; mineral note; palate quite full and attractive plummy style; caressing and lifted; little extract on the finish; nice job; plenty of flesh here; spice and chew on the finish. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 13.25% alc]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 88-90
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; purple at edge; tight; some black fruits; blackcurrants and some perfume lift on aeration; soft and easy on the palate; plenty of fruit; soft tannins and some cream. Attractive stuff. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 88-90
  • 2013 Deepish; some creamy lift, red fruits and toasty oak; chewy wood tannins dominate the palate; extracted feel. Tasted UGC 1/4/14 83-85. [later note] Deepish but translucent centre; oak rather dominates the aromatics; palate dominated by oak too and structure poking out; fruit feels delicate and masked by oak and overall sense of dryness. Disappointing showing to be honest. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot 12.5% alc, 50% new oak, harvest dates 7-17 October]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drnk 2018-2023. 82-84
  • 2012 Mid depth; deep at centre; soft and easy aromatics; chewy fruit on the palate with some grippy qualities. Chewy finish. Sappy and grippy St Estèphe. Drink 2016-2025. 87 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; quite enticing; ripe; plums, black cherry but ripe and layered; little oak on the palate; some tightness from the Cabernet Sauvignon; little extracted at the back but will settle nicely. Tasted UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; looks lovely; quite lifted; some red fruits; ripe; oak on the palate [little dryness from the oak] firm and dense; tannin little more chewy. 50% Merlot, 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% new oak. 13.65% alc. Tasted UGC April 9, 2013. 86-88
  • 2011 Deep and saturated look; lots of raspberry jam notes, with attractive lift; initially plenty of fruit but more one dimensional than complex. Palate rather chewy, some spice, but this is a raw palate, less polished than some. Rustic . Tannin not fine. Dryness on the finish. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 86-88 UGCB Primeurs Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep looking; red fruits; looser and more open; strawberry tones; lifted spicy plum notes; creamy palate with some texture; reasonable concentration and depth. Chewy finish. Has depth and length. Good effort from Cos Labory. Drink now-2028. 90 Tasted Nov ’14 MW Institute [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; wet rocks, very big and tannic on the palate; chewy with lots of material. Should work out well. Tannic on the end. Pretty hefty alcohol at 14.2% Drink 2020-2030. 89+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark, glossy; some lift; plums and spices and fruitcake notes; sweet oak too; depth and grip on the palate; structured wine with lots of extract. Chewy tannins. Lacks a bit of finesse but plenty of elements here. 88+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep dense colour; tighter more restrained layered nose; more focus than de Pez; palate full, concentrated quite dense; some hardness; but this looks pretty good. Quite chewy with density. Grip to. 88+/100 [35% Merlot, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, alc 14%, pH 3.54 IPT 78], Tasted 5th April 2011 UGC. [2nd tasting UGC] Deep and sat; some perfume; quite strong blackcurrants but dense and good; lots of density again on the palate, some freshness; tannin and oak tannin here too. Will this meld? Strong wine with a long chewy finish. Should come good 88/100 7th April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and dark; resin, plums and earthy tones; full with a little lift; full palate with lots of plummy, spicy tones and chocolate notes; very open and attractive. Lots of fruit. A very good effort here from Cos Labory. Drink now-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep; ripe and jammy lift to the nose; blackfruits and plums on the palate; chewy tannin on the finish. Drink now – 2025. 88+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; chewy black fruits on the nose; some jam; little more lifted; some leaf; cassis on the palate and strong Cabernet notes; less amazingly ripe than Lafon-Rochet and more traditionally styled; tannic and chewy. Very good effort though in a traditional tannic and chewy style. 91/100 [Earlier note] 2009 Dark black, purple; fresh nose; some raspberry and oak lift; little oak resin; good entry, ripe fruit; more chew here and sweetness; lacks complexity but big and ripe. 88-90/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2007 Mid red; strawberry and roses on the nose; some spice; high toned palate; some fruit but feels a little angular and lacking flesh. May fill out. 82-84/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 1990 Mature looking; spices; warm, some of the vintage roasted notes; some depth. Good-ish finish with a little tannin at the end. Drink now to 2020. 90 Tasted Vinexpo ’13.

Château de Pez, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep; earthy looking; purple at edge; mineral and saline note; black cherry fruits behind; black cherry and plum; little pinched in the middle; has grip and acidity. Should settle OK. [51% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignin, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 30% new oak, 13.65% alc]. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 86-88
  • 2014 Deep and saturated; tighter on the nose than Ormes de Pez; black chocolate; some graphite; cool palate; elegant with marked freshness [acidity]; tannins a little tough; Reasonable length. See how this goes, tannins little hard seemingly. [56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot 13.55 alc.] Drink 2018-2027. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 85-87.
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; attractive red fruits; enticing; appealing palate – full, softish with a degree of generosity. Attractive wine and very good effort. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 87-89 [later note] Deep and saturated in colour; tight to edge; creamy blackcurrant aromatics on the nose; good chew and sap on the palate – quite bright fruit. Elegant with some delicacy. Not forced. Quite impressive for the appellation and the vintage in 2013. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, alc 13%, 40% new oak]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. 2018-2025. 86-88+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated colour; attractive blackcurrant fruit with a savoury edge; also a salty tang here too; full palate – easy, soft and attractive. Nicely done and continues a good run of form here at de Pez. Drink 2015-2025. 88+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; ripe blackcurrant and plum tones; good fruit here; attractive nose; quite seductive; sweet entry, ripe feel, lots of material. Chewy. Fades a tad but great effort from de Pez. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89 [Earlier note] Pretty saturated look; thick; some oak on the nose but well integrated with [considerable] fruit; feels pretty fat on the nose; quite big palate; lots of fruit here; chew and density; pretty good effort – full of flavour and lots of fruit. 47% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Mid depth; blackcurrant aromas, wet stones and earth; little less flesh on the bones than Lafon-Rochet; some angularity here [the vintage] but fruit not forced or dry. Drink 2016-2023. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated in colour, looks dark/serious; some blackcurrant, less expressive than Lafon Rochet, Ormes De Pez and Phelan Segur. Some cassis and blackcurrant notes; freshness and some purity; coffee at the back; nice attack, quite polished palate; black cherry and dark chocolate notes. Some dryness on the finish. Lacks roundness. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 86-88 UGCB Primeurs Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep and saturated look; earthy, meaty maturing nose – very forward and already complex; chewy palate – pure and attractive with lots of depth. Excellent effort. Drink now – 2025. 89+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep core; glossy looking red; earthy, slightly salty note with some savoury, meaty characters; not unattractive; lots of material and structure and acid on the palate. This should age well and I like the style. Lots of chew and tannin but plenty of fruit. Grippy finish. Not that bad at all. Good value I’d imagine. 88 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Very deep, saturated black red; legs; very plush nose; wonderful creamy ripe fruit; very full and attractive; very dense palate; quite big and thick; real warmth and grip; big. Maybe a fraction loose at the end. Warm. Big. 88+/100 [48% Merlot, 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, alc 13.55th April 2011 UGC. [2nd tasting UGCB] Deep and saturated, very ripe nose; attractive; deep and creamy ripeness here; strong blackcurrant here also; big dense palate; quite firm and very tannic; very solid feel; quite chewy and tannic. Strong and solid and should be good value. 88+/100 7th April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Deep and saturated look; ripe, some jam; chew and depth but tannins ripe and round at the end – very attractive effort again. Tannin [ripe] on the finish. Drink now – 2025. 89+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; meaty nose; attractive wine; minerals and earthy blackcurrants; very good; surprising finesse on the palate; really glossy satin quality to the fruit; very open and full; lots of flavour with grip at the end. This wine has loads of fruit. Best de Pez I’ve had. 89/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Mid black, vibrant at edge; fresh nose, mulberry, some plums; also minerals and graphite; this is good; well structured palate, mid weight with grip. Should settle down. 88+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2006 Less depth than Ormes de Pez, lighter more lifted nose, leafy with maturity but high toned; quite round, less weighty palate; lot lighter and less intense; leafy and fresh but a bit short. Some acid and a slight hardness to the tanninc. Lacks a bit of stuffing. 84/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10

Château Domeyne, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Mid depth; lift and rasin notes; blackcurrant and wine gum notes; chewy finish. 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Twelve months in French oak, 30% new. Drink 2014 – 2020. 86 Vinexpo June ’13

Château Haut-Coteau, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Deepish; attractive gutsy St Estephe; good fruit and chew on the palate; reasonable length. Drink now – 2020. 86 Vinexpo June ’13

Château Hauteville. St Estèphe

  • 2010 Deep-ish; leafy blackcurrant aromas, fresh; stalky fresh Cabernet tones dominate the palate; sturdy; some dryness on the end. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot]. Drink now 2020. 85 Vinexpo June ’13

Château Haut-Marbuzet, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; vibrant purple at the edge; ripe and attractive; nice purity; blackcurrants and black plums; little chocolate; nicely ripe without being exaggeratedly so; plump on the palate with nice acidity and freshness; lots of matter but good freshness; nice length but real vibrancy on the end – and the fruit has totally soaked up the oak as far as I can see. Interesting and vibrant. Elegance too. Harvest spanned September 15 to October 12. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 100% new oak, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted at Haut-Marbuzet 4/4/16. 90-92
  • 2014 Nice depth of colour; lovely aromatics; tobacco; ripe black fruits; very full and developing well; spices and herbs; [influence of the Petit Verdot]; bold and big; lots of guts and flavour; this wine needs 5 years but will sing; drinking almost nicely now; big wine this. 2014 a great vintage for St Estèphe. [ 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 18 months in 100% new oak. 14% alc]. Tasted 4/4/16 at Haut-Marbuzet. 93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; purple edge; fresh aromatics; blackcurrants and fruit pastel notes; fruity; sappy and fresh palate with quite cool [but not herbaceous] tones; elegant Haut-Marbuzet with good-ish length. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 4/4/14 at Haut-Marbuzet. 85-87
  • 2012 Deep and saturated look; perfume, some cherry; quite lush; little compact on the palate; fresh style; less impressive than Chateau Meyney tasted immediately before; lean for Haut-Marbuzet. 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Tasted at Chateau Haut Marbuzet April 11, 2013. 86-88
  • 2011 Dense colour; purple edge; deep briary and blackcurrant nose; earthy; some violet lift; little capsicum; some meat, savoury tones; attractive; big and full palate; lots of earthy blackcurrant fruit and cassis; bluer and cooler fruit tones than usual here; little raw on the finish but plenty of guts. More obvious structure but loots of oomph. 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot 5% Cabernet Franc 13.3 alc 87-89 Tasted Apr ’12 at the Chateau
  • 2009 Deep and dark; very ripe and pure; lots of chocolate; very concentrated; mulberry, tar, liquorice; very full and with ripe round tannins. Already drinkable; great length. Lots of extract and material. 13.8% alcohol, Bruno Duboscq reckons this is the richest wine they have ever produced. Terrific. 93+/100.  50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Tasted 1st April 2010 at the Chateau.
  • 2008 Deep black red; exotic nose of ripe fruit, oak – like Grand Cru Burgundy from Dujac! Palate dense with lots of fruit. Less super ripe than 2009 but more typical and settled. Good finish, lots of extract and ripe tannins. Excellent. 90+/100
  • 2007 Deep red; central core dark; vanilla, spices, olive tapenade notes along with earthy maturing notes of tobacco; depth to the palate; one of the better 2007s in my opinion; this will still improve further and drink well for the next five years I’d imagine; good effort! 88+ May 5, 2016. [Earlier note] Deepish red; initially earthy, mature notes, opened up to reveal black fruits, coffee and a savoury meaty edge; mid weight palate with good extract and grip; pretty good for the vintage 87/100 8 April 2011
  • 2005 Mid red; some depth; legs; initially some VA lift here; brooding meaty quality at first; later almost super Tuscan notes of extremely ripe fruit surrounded by oak, rich and concentrated; this wine has a  fat palate with lots of ripe fruit, tar, chocolate and lashings of oak; very full style. Lots of extract. Felt a little heavy in comparison with the Ormes de Pez in the same year but a more concentrated wine. 88+/100 Aug ‘10
  • 1996 Deep colour; nose full of fruit and oak; oak tannins and extracted fruit on palate; very big, prunes, tar etc. 90/100
  • 1993 Dark; rich and ripe with lots of oak; oak dominates the palate. Ripe. 86/100 Oct ‘95
  • 1992 Mid red; spicy, earthy nose with oak; soft. 82/100 Oct 95
  • 1986 Mid red/brown at edge; tobacco and spice, muscular and well developed. Drunk from magnum. Soft palate with similar flavours. Good finish. Fine wine. 89/100 Oct ‘04
  • 1978 Red/black, mahogany at edge; tremendously mature red bouquet; tobacco, olives, coffee with some volatility, palate fully mature and soft; structured, gutsy mid-palate. Good aged St Estephe. 91/100 Tasted August ‘98
  • 1975 Red brown at edge; translucent; warm, lifted spicy tobacco nose with some menthol and earth – warm, almost Rioja like but with more complexity and beef. Soft mature palate but with guts – beef and extract. Holding but just starting to tire. Drink up. 90/100 June ‘04

Château L’Argilus du Roi, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Translucent rim; lacks depth; light bubblegum aromatics; very light palate and weak on the finish. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. 78
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; wet rocks, depth; deep and chewy St Estephe on the palate; lacks a bit of polish but strong and pure in heart. 5 ha plot, 25,000 bottles. Drink now – 2020. 87 Vinexpo June ’13
  • 2008 Lighter; some lift and development; lightish palate that has developed; easy and mature; lacks depth and sophistication. Drink now. 84 Vinexpo June ’13

Chateau La Commanderie, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2014 Deepish colour; fresh and attractive fruit; decent purity; blackcurrants; plums; more freshness than some; nice texture; ripe but not over ripe; mid weight; good stuff. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 86-88
  • 2011 Deep and arterial looking; fresh, some leaf and earthy notes; blackcurrant palate; reasonable purity but tannin and acid accentuated by cold bottle. Good fruit here potentially Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc  3/4/12 83-85?
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; some whiff of tannin and dust on the nose; palate tough and tannic with lots of grip. Not much fun. 78-80?/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois tasting 7th April 2011

Château La Peyre, St Estèphe

  • 2010 [50:50 Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon] 8 ha property Deep and saturated; some jam and lift; ripe, easy, cherry fruits; quite clean; nice fruit and fresh on the finish. Good effort. Drink 2014-2020. 87 Vinexpo June ’13

Château La Villotte, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Mid depth; oak, fruit, spices and meaty tones; nicely integrated – reminds me a little of a good vintage of Charmail on the nose; chewy palate with lots of guts and matter but falls away at the end. Tannic finish. Should come together? 12 ha, planted 1964, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot & 3% Petit Verdot Drink 2015-2020. 86+ Vinexpo June ’13

Château Laffitte Carcasset, St Estèphe

  • 2014 Saturated colour; juicy plums; oak and fruit; pain grillé; palate masked by new oak currently; has elements but needs to settle; potentially good. Drink 2021-2028. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 85-87+
  • 2012 Deepish; ripe fruit, cassis and good purity; oak dominates the palate currently. Chewy finish. Drink 2015-2020. 84-86 Vinexpo June ’13
  • 2010 Deep; earthy, bit dumb on the nose; stalky blackcurrant fruit on the palate; closed sample though feels bit old fashioned. Drink 2015-2022. 86 Vinexpo, June ’13

Château Lafon-Rochet, Fourth Growth, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep purple; earthy at edge; cark core; nice fruit; black cherry notes; cassis; some stone fruit; minerality at edge; nice entry to the palate; ripe fruit and extraction nicely handled; harmony to the wine; plenty of extract and matter here but nicely judged winemaking. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.5%]. Drink 2024-2033. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 90-92
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; purple at edge; creamy; black cherry aromatics; very full and glossy; nice depth; good fruit and structure; glossy and voluptuous fruit but with nice freshness still; lovely creamy fruit here in 2014. Very good effort. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant purple at edge; some plum fruit, graphite and stalky blackcurrants; chewy and sturdy palate. Little hard. Rather chewy finish. Tasted UGC 1/4/14 Tannic. 84-86 [later note] Mid depth; translucent core; vibrant, fresh, stalky blackcurrant Cabernet dominated aromatics; bit reductive and rather angular on the palate; tightness here; hardness almost alongside a dry finish. Finishes dry and chewy. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot 13% alc]. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth; saline notes; fresh and clean aromatics with cool Cabernet tones, wet earth and blackcurrants; more gloss and cream than Cos Labory; grip and freshness [acidity] on the finish. Fresh and lively Lafon-Rochet. Finesse. Drink 2017-2027. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; glossy looking; little dumb at first; not leaping out the glass; depth though; sweet ripe attack on the palate; dense and feels a touch dry on the end. Tasted UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 86-88 [Earlier note] Mid depth; purple at edge; quite pure Cabernet nose; stalky; some earth and depth; palate has purity and freshness; blackcurrants; more sappy style but like the purity in this sample. 67.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Tasted UGC April 9, 2013. 87-89
  • 2011 Deep-ish colour; attractive glossy Cabernet aromas; some stalky undergrowth beneath; palate nicely judged; not extracted or forced; real elegance here. Tannins round and well handled. Good effort from Lafon-Rochet I reckon, which not only had the topsy-turvey weather to deal with but savage hail just prior to harvest. Drink 2016-2026. 88+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep & dense; saturated look; lovely fruit, plenty of it; shows very well cassis, blackcurrants, polish and brightness; some earth and green pepper hints too; bite initially on the palate – some black cherry little more pointed than ‘09 certainly; grip and material but nicely handled. Nice and fresh. Good tannin. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 88-90 UCGB Apr ‘12
  • 2010  Deep and saturated looking; very dark; full, sweet ripe fruit; slightly sweaty note; palate big and bold but manages to be caressing; ripe fruit with plenty of concentration and extract. Chewy and substantial, and true to the appellation, this is big, bold Lafon-Rochet and a rival to the excellent 2009 here. Drink 2018-2035. 93+ Tasted Nov ’14 MW Institute [Earlier note] Very deep and saturated; very pure and very clean; blackcurrant aromas, some smoke; smells good; big and dense on the palate; lots of extract; depth; purity; chewy on the finish. Very dense and lots of material. Will be long-lived [and needs time]. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Drink 2020-2035. 91+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Dense and very ripe looking; blackcurrants and ripe fruit tones; quite solid plate; chewy tannin and real density. Some dryness to the tannin. Lots of material and extract but very dry tannin. Will always be chewy. Prefer ’09 but this is a pretty dense and tannic effort for the long run. 90 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Very dense, tight to the rim; creamy ripe nose; lots of fruit here, some coffee at the edge; layered; palate quite grippy and structured with lots of tannin, extract and material, but feels very ripe tannin. Very grippy finish. Little extracted but should meld. 88-90/100 5 April 2011 UGCB. [second tasting UGCB] Deep, dense; ripe blackcurrants; deep and concentrated feel with some gloss and polish; solid, dense masculine palate with minerals and rocks; extract but some grip here. Less voluptuous than ’09 at the same stage but powerful 88-90/100 [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, alc 14] 7 April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; seductive blackcurrant aromas, sweet earth – complex and full on the aroma; toast; layers to the palate and plenty of chewy fruit; feels pretty high in alcohol too which gives further weight to the palate. Nice grip though. A quite remarkable effort here. Drink 2016-2035. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; amazingly saturated look, tight to rim; deep and profound nose; lots of ripe fruit; almost inky blackcurrants; very deep; satin and silk fruit caresses the palate; excellent structure and chew but such terrific fruit. As dazzling as at primeur tastings if not better and the best Lafon-Rochet I’ve tasted. 94/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep black; real depth; tight to rim; lovely nose, real ripeness here, layers, mulberry, plums, very ripe and attractive; palate very polished and supple with layers. This is VERY good. Attractive palate with real chew and texture. Tannins but real ripeness to them and lots of fat fruit. Coffee and mocha. The best ever Lafon Rochet. 2009 94+/100 [Second tasting] Deep and arterial; very ripe and creamy; dense but round and attractive; cassis and blackcurrants here; cream – ripe and focused; terrific sweet, ripe palate; intense and extracted but in check overall. Tannic but there is so much fruit here. Potentially fantastic. 94+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGCB Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Deep colour; healthy looking; nice minerality; blackcurrant; good palate; mid weight some development. Good. Resembles its MW outing Nov ‘12. Drink 2016-2025. 88 Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; deeper at core than Cos Labory; more layers to the nose; quite pure with mineral tones; compact; texture to the palate but still pretty firm, and chewy with plenty of acid present. 87+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Mid red; some depth; tobacco, spice some resin; light effort on the palate and lacks depth; some structure and grip. Chewy finish. Not a bad effort. 86+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; resin and some blackcurrant and perfumed elements; good concentration; blackcurrants; quite elegant and austere but flesh is there. Tannins dry. Should round out? 84-86?/100 UGCB London tasting Oct ’09.
  • 2006 Concentrated looking; legs; intense nose, some raspberry and strawberry notes, oak, some resin but intense and focussed if also a certain elegance; some coffee and mocha notes at the back; palate quite firm and strong, tannins here too. This wine needs time; structure and chew but lacks some flesh between the bones. Good length and structure, falls away a bit. Needs time. 87+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2000 Mid red; legs; concentrated nose; ripe blackcurrants; molasses; some complexity. Should age well into a rich, sturdy St Estephe. Palate earthy, with blackcurrant fruit; quite full and round. Tannins evident but should round out. Chunky style with guts. Some mocha on the finish. 88+/100 Jan ‘10

Château Le Boscq, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep and dark looking; good coffee; some fruitcake spice; soft and easy palate; lacks a bit of depth but supple with no hard edges. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. 85-87+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; intense and inky aromatics; tight but layered; creamy blackcurrant notes; plums; spices; nicely handled oak; soft tannins; good blackcurrant and briary fruit. Excellent effort. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; black; vegetal notes; feels a bit green; inky palate; quite soft but rather vegetal streak for me. A disappointment. Bad sample? Drink 2016-2022. Cru Bourgeois tasting at Chateau d’Arsac. 80-83?
  • 2011 Deep colour; vibrant edge; warm sexy worked nose; new wood, some sap; perfume and flower; quite hard and angular on the palate; chew and density but acid and tannin give the wine a puckering finish. May round out but currently hard, characters accentuated by being tasted cold. Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc  3/4/12 83-85?
  • 2010 Deep, quite arterial; tight and quite layered on the nose but with noticeable oak influence; fleshy and extracted palate, oak too and feels a little disjointed at present. Meaty though and chew though falls away a tad at the back. Not bad 85-87+/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 7th April 2011
  • 2006 Good depth, mid red; some violets, freshness, some attractive plummy qualities also some oak resin but starting to integrate. Beneath some cake and mineral notes – and attractive nose. Some depth to the palate but also a tautness that emerges and palate does fall away and tannins at the end. Feels it may have been over-extracted a little relative to the fruit? 85?/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Mid red; depth; dark at core; glossy; violets, blackcurrants and cassis but fine and elegant; piercing and precise [nicely oaked accent]; feels like a good modern wine; later earthy and tobacco note. Palate full with fruit, acid, oak and tannin. Lacks some sophistication but nice and intense. Will knit together well with a few years. Delicious. 88+/100 Sept ‘09

Château Le Crock, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Mid depth; earthy at edge; nice perfume; some stone fruits; attractive; quite pretty and floral later; nice structure and material; elegantly put together; lots of matter but nicely balanced with fine finish. Very nicely done. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, IPT 71, TA 3.5, pH 3.62, 13.5% alc, 44lh/ha.] Drink 2019-2027. Tasted 4/4/16 at Leoville-Poyferre. 86-88. [Second tasting] Deep and saturated colour; sturdy and well made. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. 85-87
  • 2014 Dark saturated look; tight at centre; purple at edge; wonderfully pure fruit; mineral tones; blackcurrant notes; spices; black cherry fruit; elegance but also precision; little wet rock note; tannins nicely handled; ripe tannins and elegant finish. Very mannered St Estephe. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, IPT 83, TA 3.60, pH 3.70, 13.81% alc, 39 hl/ha] Drink 2019-2026 Tasted at Léoville-Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 89-91+ [additional note] Deep and saturated colour; textured; wet rock; minerals; taut; some freshness; cream; composed and polished on the palate; nice fruit; nicely textured and measured St Estephe. Tannic but has good length. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Good depth; vibrant edge; attractive cassis and blackcurrant fruit; nicely integrated and polished; perfume; layered and sturdy in feel; polished palate, lacks some intensity of a great year and a little loose perhaps on the finish but good substance and extract. All the elements [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 13.1% alc, TA 3.95, pH 3.57 34hl/ha, IPT 69, 25% new oak]. Drink 2017-2028. 85-87 [Second note] Mid depth; quite composed; some oak; tight; ripe fruit beneath; inky palate but good fruit; quite firm and sappy; fraction hardness on the end but should fill out. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 Cru Bourgeois tasting at Chateau d’Arsac. 85-87
  • 2012 Mid depth; nice polished colour; focus to the nose; layers and precision; very mannered; nice black fruits; some minerality; firmish palate with fine tannin. Little on the lean side though should fill out. Very nicely done. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. IPT 79, Acidity 3.35 pH 3.83. 13.3% alc. Tasted Monday April 8, 2013 at Chateau Leoville-Poyferre. 87-89+
  • 2011 Mid depth; deep centre; legs; mineral purity, cassis, some plum; focused palate and quite a bit of grip and texture. Feels a bit stern though made with the usual Cuvelier precision and dedication, owners of Chateau Léoville-Poyferré. Tasted at Léoville-Poyferré 2/4/12 87-89
  • 2010 Deep and dense; brooding and deep; good core of fruit on the palate; pretty tannic finish. Needs time. Drink 2015-2025. 88 Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated colour; dense; some violet perfume, density behind, very ripe and precise; good density and structure, quite clean and fresh; good length and bite on the finish. Feels fresh. 88+/100 [47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot 13% Cabernet Franc 14 alc and IPT 82] Tasted at Chateau Leoville Poyferre 4th April 2011.[2nd tasting] Deep and completely saturated; sturdy, slightly burnt notes; chocolate; fleshy palate with depth, some real life and freshness here, feels a little hard towards the end 85-87+/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois tasting 7th April 2011
  • 2009 Deep and healthy looking; great purity and focus; real depth and sophistication here. Very polished effort with real refinement; tannins wonderfully ripe. Extremely fine wine. Excellent value. Drink 2016-2030. 91+ Tasted Dec ’13 [Earlier note] Lots of legs, lots of minerals, rocks and red fruits; very pure, feels powerful and fresh; some coffee and mocha notes too; lots of extract and chew and material, extract and tannin; some chew and depth; strong wine with lots of meat, extract and tannin. Chewy, deep and concentrated. 90/100
  • 2005: Mid red; earthy purple at edge; creamy cassis nose with ripe blackcurrants; ripe and concentrated palate; feels refined with coffee and mocha notes; nice grip and acid. Good finish. Fresh. 88+/100 Sept ‘09
  • 2003: Deep saturated black, dense nose, some cream, blackcurrants, minerals; palate full and rich, lots of concentration, not complex but big and bold. Ripe tannins. Should age well. 89+/100 Nov ‘09

Château Le Haye, St Estèphe

  • 2011 Mid depth; pure aromas, blackcurrant, some leaf, chewy with fresh acids and some bite at the end. 16 ha property planted with 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot. Drink 2014-2020. 85 Vinexpo June ’13
  • 2010 Deep colour; earthy, wet rock nose; grippy palate with blackcurrant fruit; gutsy; nice balance on the palate between chew and grip; good-ish. Drink now -2020. 87 Vinexpo, June ’13

Château Leo de Prades, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Deep and dense; ripe blackcurrant aromas with oak influence; quite seductive and nicely done; attractive blackcurrant fruit on the palate; attractive mid-weight St Estephe. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. Drink now-2020. 87 Vinexpo June ’13

Château Lilian Ladouys, St Estèphe

  • 2014 Deep colour; black fruits; some wet rock; tar; cake spices; textured almost verging towards the thick; gutsy with some tannic clout; chewy finish. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 85-87
  • 2013 Deepish colour, tight to rim; clean and pure on the nose; entry high toned with more obvious acidity; compact and sappy. Feels a little austere. [55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 12.82% alc, TA 4, pH 3.46, IPT 72, 35 hl/ha]. Drink 2018-2024. 83-85
  • 2011 Deep and dark; saturated but vibrant at edge; potentially attractive fruit, some layers and cassis; lots of oak on the palate; very dry wood tannin; lots of acid pucker. Cold sample admittedly but still feels way too extracted and dry. Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc  3/4/12 80-82?
  • 2010 Deep and dense; thick on the nose; deep; fruits; some violets; attractive; blackcurrants, ripe fruits and purity on the palate. Chewy finish. Good wine with nice fruit and density. Something of a return to form here? Improvements under Emmanuel Cruse’s [d’Issan] watch I wonder? 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot 60% new oak. Drink 2015-2025. 88+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Saturated colour; some finesse on the nose; creamy and layered quite fine; oak is present but wine has depth. Tannins here but guts and overall feels a reasonably polished effort 85-86+/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois tasting 7th April 2011
  • 1995 Deep at centre, mahogany now, dusty, dry and hard; palate has some beef and roast meat flavours to it and tannins softened and agglomerated. OK but not a patch on wonderful 1990 or 1989.  82/100 Sept ‘07
  • 1994 Mid red; hard and tannic with little fruit on the palate. Short. 80/100 Sept ‘07
  • 1992 Deep; slightly feral nose; developed; gutsy and not complex; some fruit. Not that bad considering the vintage. 82/100 Mar ‘99
  • 1991 Red at edge; spicy quite developed; lacks fruit. Dreadful vintage of course. 75/100 Oct ‘95
  • 1990 Dark and black red; meaty savoury rich St Estephe; big structure and rich on the palate. Big and gutsy. The best wine ever from here. 90/100 Nov ‘03.
  • 1989 Dark red; mahogany at edge; big frames and also beefy. Very good. First vintage from this estate. 89/100 Oct ‘04

Château Marcelline, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Deep and saturated; stalky blackcurrants; some cream; strength here and nice density. Chewy finish. Lots here if lacks finesse. Drink 2014-2022. 86+ Vinexpo June ’13

Château Meyney, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Bold and deep; saturated look; tight to rim; little oak on the nose but plenty of fat fruit beneath; layers of fruit; quite pent up; ripe fruit – black fruits beneath; good on the palate – lots of flesh and concentration – excellent palate; lots of chew and extract. Good length. Big wine in 2015. [52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted at Meyney 4/4/16. 90-92+
  • 2014 Black and dark coloured; very ripe big tarry number; liquorice and black fruits; tar and warm asphalt; palate full of fruit; bold and big; sweet fruit; lots of extract and matter; wow – recalls the big Meyney’s of the 1960s and 1970s. Lots of extract and chew. This is bold, big, strapping St Estephe. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 30% new oak, 14 % alc]. Tasted at Meyney 31 March, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; purple at edge; toasty oak and material; lots of depth and sweetness; good palate with lots of chewy material and extract; quite chewy and needs to settle a bit but has good length. Good effort here once again.Very late harvesting on the Cabernet ending 19/10 has helped here. [45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 37% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. 87-89
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; lots of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit; deep; lots of depth here; impressive; nice entry on the palate; very good indeed; lots of material; nice tension on the palate; creamy tannins; very good length. This is an outstanding effort for the vintage and recalls some of Meyney’s great efforts in the past. Should be a good value buy. 42% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot. 90-92+
  • 2011 Deep and dark; saturated; quite ripe and full on the nose; ripe Merlot here; satisfying nose; generous and full; some earth; oak on the palate but will settle; lots of material and chew here; density and chew. Good length. All the elements. Should be pretty good. Meyney certainly back on form past few vintages. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot 45% new oak. 13% alc 89-91+ At Meyney Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep and dense; tight to edge; minerals and blackcurrants; rich palate with good ripeness; inky with concentration and depth; depth here with more blackcurrant fruit and nice freshness. Drink 2015-2030. 90 Vinexpo, June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep; minerality, strong oak, Cabernet dominant; some rose, perfume; cassis; dense and attractive palate; lots of concentration; blackcurrant freshness and grip, lots of concentration; quite structured; very good density. Good length. 88-90/100 [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot] Tasted at Chateau Meyney 8th April 2011.
  • 2009 Saturated colour; really opaque; purple at edge; dense and powerful feel to the nose; brooding, cassis notes; lots of red fruits here – succulent- with spicy notes. Palate is deep and dense and concentrated with lots of fruit and extract – quite fleshy. Very good length. Coffee and oak on the finish – overall lots of extract and flavour. Great effort. 91-93+/100 Nov ’10 at Chateau Meyney
  • 2008 Stronger, earther red, purple edge; quite ripe notes, cherry, spice and chocolate; quite attractive softish palate initially, then the structure becomes evident with tannin and acid. Feels like it might lack some depth and concentration but may fill out. A bit disjointed at present. Needs time to settle. 87-88/100 Nov ’10 at Chateau Meyney
  • 2007 Reasonable depth, still some purple at edge; earthy looking; attractive nose, some red fruits, roundness, minerals, some depth and grip on the palate. Filling out. Grippy finish. Later more tobacco notes, meats and earth, mid-weight and feels harmonious. 86+/100 Nov ’10 at Chateau Meyney
  • 1995 Earthy black red; tobacco and meat on the nose, game and liquorice; mature tobacco, meat and savoury characters on the palate with soft ripe tannins and good mouth feel. Very good. 90/100 Mar 06 [Bottle variation with other bottles more elegant and less well developed in the 85-6/100 range].
  • 1970 Brick red; rich full nose; big extracted palate; tannic and ballsy. Full throttle stuff. Great. Will last another 10 years at least. 92+/100 Apr ‘96
  • 1961 Deep red black; brown at edge; concentrated nose of spice, tobacco, earth and toffee; palate a ball of concentrated fruit. Some roasted elements. Really alive. Very impressive. 93+/100 Apr ‘96

Château Montrose, Second Growth, St Estèphe,

  • 2015 Deep and arterial; colour right up to the rim; vibrant purple; lovely lush qualities; deep – very deep indeed; legs; black fruits – ripe black cherries; some smoke – but remarkable purity; very layered; [volume seriously turned up in this wine]; pretty profound stuff; very full – certainly – round too; lots of matter and extract but not extracted; powerful. 65% new oak. Lovely wine – almost the equal qualitatively of 2014 [but stylistically very contrasting reflecting the very different growing season]. Lovely grip and length. [67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2025-2045. Tasted at Montrose 4/4/16. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and extracted look; very opaque; tight to the rim; freshness; purple hues; very focused and layered on the nose; really concentrated; perfumed and pretty blackcurrant and cassis tones; very pure and attractive; little more wood evident on the palate but lots of elements; super extract and depth; layer upon layer of fruit; terrific concentration and power here; quite epic. Glossy and caressing. Magnificent wine. Has the whiff of immortality about it. On par with 2010 for me. [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc, 47% of production, 60% new oak.]. Drink 2023-2040. Tasted at Montrose 30 March, 2015. 96-98+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; lively and vibrant at the edge; blackcurrants and expensive oak aromas; quite closed on the day but depth apparent; some cassis and clean, fresh blackcurrant tones on aeration; dense and chewy palate which needs to settle; boldly structured with lots of grip and acidity. Sappy finish with quite a bit of chew. Feels long term effort if rather serious and lacking in immediate charm. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13% alc, 60% of production]. Drink 2020-2035. 90-92
  • 2012 Deep and dense looking; very dark and saturated; tight to the edge; vibrant meniscus; strong nose; full and deep; feels pretty profound for 2012; great depth; little new oak resin at the back; dense; big structure and lots of material here; chew and real density; somewhat taken aback at the lashings of fruit and material; lots of chew and density; and lots of length. Pretty big wine. Real success. Seems late picked Cabernet has triumphed here. 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 13.2% alc. 53% of production. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 94-96
  • 2011 Saturated looking; tight to rim; black cherry fruit, deep but a little dumb initially; certainly not quite as knockout as 2010 was at the same stage; brooding; aeration reveals black cherry and eau-de-vie notes but there are tightly wound layers here; nice entry, big and tannic – waves of fruit here; feels a little monolithic but nicely handled. Lots and lots of tannin – a boat load – but refined and seemingly not dry. This needs time though and pretty epic in scale for the vintage. More overtly tannic than 2010 but its extra alcohol would have given additional sweetness. This weighs in at 12.8-13 degrees. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Tasted at Montrose 2/4/12 94-96 Tasted at the chateau Apr ‘12
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; inky blackcurrants; some lead pencil notes; opens up slowly to reveal layer upon layer of blackcurrant fruit; remarkably intense; palate initially creamy and very full; lots of extract and ‘matter’; wow! Tannins very nicely handled; volume and concentration here; backward though at present shows its great potential. Very long, spicy finish. Needs eight years minimum and will last for fifty surely? Drink 2022-2060. 98+ Tasted Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; black fruits, some fig; deep; palate nice purity and more Cab freshness here than is immediately evident on the nose; lots and lots of density on the palate and very tannic. Feeks extremely long hall and has shut down since its vivid primeur days. Drink 2020-2040. 96 Vinexpo, June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark, saturated black colour, right up to the rim; very deep wine with freshness here, some graphite but pure blackcurrant, and pronounced black cherry, creamy notes too; deep and quite ‘cool’, both in terms of freshness and in fashion! Quite terrific nose; very attractive and very deep; palate ripe entry, dense and concentrated but not overdone; lovely seductive quality; fresh and intense; blackcurrant and cherry on the palate; intense and precise. This is terrific stuff. Lovely wine. Such aromatic freshness and intensity with density. Tannins superbly ripe. 96-100/100 [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc]. Tasted at the Chateau 8th April 2011.
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; very full and deep; brooding and undeveloped; very intense and big clearly; dense; lovely blackcurrant fruit on the palate; some graphite; terrific and extremely classical. Chew to the tannin but has very good ripeness. This wine demands a fair bit of time in bottle but a terrific wine. Every inch a first growth. Great length. Not remotely tiring. Drink 2019-2050. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’13.
  • 2008 Dark and brooding; deep colour; closed and dumb on the nose; quite bold palate with blackcurrant notes; lots of chew and tannin [ripe enough]; nice length here but very backward and shut down. Be interesting to see how this develops. Calon-Ségur and Cos d’Estournel are more flattering now. 90+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep and dense looking; still youthful at the edge; strong minerality; little unyielding but lots of cool Cabernet fruit; some leaf and lift on aeration; layers revealed; palate pretty dense and structured as you’d expect and feels a little austere on the finish. Lots of structure and grip but density here too. Very good but pretty backward effort. 90+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 1996 Dark with some red; meaty savoury nose, very masculine. Broad and masculine palate, again with smoked meats and roasted notes to the palate, evolved but still with considerable tannin remaining but ripe. Big and beefy. 93+/100 Oct 07
  • 1975 Brown at edge; mahogany  – fully mature colour; lifted old nose with some sweetness and tobacco; palate still with chunky blackcurrant fruit and some tar and extract; still some tannin at the end. Past its best but holding. 86/100 Sept ‘04

La Dame de Montrose, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep and attractive; opaque at centre; lovely creamy cherry notes; very exciting; very plush indeed; round palate; plenty of weight but also the elements held up in the air by freshness and acidity; a wine on tiptoes; minerality on the finish; stones; nice sap on the finish. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 13.4% alc]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted at Montrose 4/4/16. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep and dark; black cherry and plum tones; lots of fruit and freshness; kirsch and summer compote; lots going on aromatically which suggests a very positive future; some stalky blackcurrant fruit tones too; caressing and positive palate; plenty of matter but round and enveloping tannins; Merlot more dominant on the palate; grip and chew on the finish. [50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 14% alc, 37% of production]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Montrose 30 March, 2015. 91-93
  • 2013 Mid depth; little looser at the edge than Montrose itself; legs; lots of fruit on the nose, red fruits – raspberries and redcurrants – also some sweet cherry tones; warmer and more overt than Tronquoy-Lalande; lots of fruit and material; some sweetness; acidity and structure evident – structure more obvious than usual. Finishes with grip and chew. Strutured and grippy La Dame. [69% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc, 28% of production]. Drink 2018-2028. 86-88
  • 2012 Thick and dense in the glass; very vibrant edge; colour tight to the rim; lots of black cherry fruit; quite lush but fresh too; pretty deep and quite polished; and a sweetness at the edge; some smoke and graphite too; lots of fruit on the palate; black cherry, blackcurrant; density but tannin not dry [but present]. Lots of richness. Nice length. Chew on the finish. Great effort. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 76% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon. 29% of production. Tasted at Chateau Montrose Monday April 8, 2013. 90-92+
  • 2011 Saturated colour; cassis and blackcurrant; dark cherry and bitter chocolate notes; feels pretty sturdy; quite deep and lots of sour cherry aromas; nice palate, lots and lots of fruit on the palate; tannin and acid too; chewy but feels refined. Grippy and dense wine. Tannin does need to resolve but it’s not dry. Pretty big wine, big tannin and reasonable length. 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon [the mirror opposite of the grand vin]. 12.8% alc Tasted at Montrose 2/4/12 89-91
  • 2010 Deep and dark, black at centre; lots of dark cherry fruit; minerality here, deep but feels fresh; creamy black cherry; some violets too; good balance on the palate, well done and not over-the-top; seductive, also some grip but tannins have a softness and ripeness. Excellent effort 92-94+/100 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot 13.8 alc]. Tasted at Chateau Montrose 8th April 2011.

Château [Les] Ormes de Pez, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deepish; earthy edge; healthy looking; bright fruit; cherry notes; blackcurrants; aromatic and lifted; nice fruit on the palate and good texture; black cherry and dark chocolate notes; freshness too; good palate and should come together well. [49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.2% alc, 45% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 88-90
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; deep at central purple at edge; stone fruits, wet rock, black cherry; cassis notes; nicely ripe fruit; depth and texture on the palate; voluptuous fruit here; some jam, cream and ink; oak too. Excellent effort. [47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 45% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; some liquorice; little black fruit tones; palate chewy with a lot of sap and acidity. Overall chewy and grippy. Tasted UGC 1/4/14 84-86. [later note] Deep and saturated look; vibrant purple at edge; sturdy blackcurrant fruit on the nose; quite stalky fruit and hardish on the palate; chewy and dry on the end. Fresh but feels a bit over-extracted. [46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot 40hl/ha]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
  • 2012 Deepish; saline note again; fresh; some gutsy black fruits on the nose; palate creamy and more tactile than nose suggests; roundness to the tannins and greater harmony than I remember from primeurs. Has developed nicely on the palate. Drink 2016-2025. 88+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense looking; black fruits, Morello cherry notes; some lift; feels like it will be dense and deep; chewy palate, in fact much more chew than expected; almost austere on the finish. Grippy and tannic sample. Tasted UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 85-87 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; healthy looking; very ripe nose; fat Merlot on offer; blackcurrant, black cherry; very good and enticing [nice purity]; big and tannic; quite dense and chewy; should settle; sappy finish. Gutsy and full St Estephe and better than 2011. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot 45% new oak 87-89+
  • 2011 Deep looking; strong blackcurrant aromas; resin; feels sturdy; Cabernet flavours dominate the palate with blackcurrant tones; ripe fruit here. Solid and sturdy if a little unexciting. Drink 2016-2026 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; saturated; legs, tight to rim; purple; more strawberry lift here; red fruit; some VA from oak; then cassis and blackcurrant; little more lifted; lots of blackcurrants and fruit compote; layers; sweet and ripe; lots of fruit on the palate – some crushed rocks and minerality; denser and more complete in the mouth than Phelan Ségur; more material [but less charm]. Nice finish. No bitterness here. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 87-89
  • 2010 Deep and glossy; some fruit cake elements; some salt and some blackcurrant; little leaf; depth here; attractive. Lots of extract and chew – the material is dense which gives the wine a ballsy, don’t mess edge. Lots of grip too along with the guts. Nose and the mid-palate suggest sufficient fruit here to cover the grip and tannin. Grippy finish. Very long-term. 89+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; legs; very attractive nose; some black fruits; some real depth here, tar and liquorice notes too; cassis; palate has density with concentration and extract; mineral, wet stone, lots of extract and tannin and chew but the fruit density is there. Very good 88-90/100 [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot Alc 13.6] 5th April 2011 UGC [2nd tasting UGC] Saturated and deep looking; ripe and thick nose; sweetness here but with some chalk; deep, very attractive; stones and rocks, solidity here; strong wine. This is St Estephe, dense, tannic but ripe. Should age well [will need it!] but should provide value. 88-90/100 7th April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and dense; close to the rim; blackcurrants; lots of fruit on the nose; summer pudding tones; very open and opulent; great palate; lots of extract and material here; chewy mineral tones; wet rocks; this needs time as there is a lot of [ripe] tannin. Great stuff. 92/100 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep black, purple at edge; creamy note here; real ripeness to the nose; quite fat; plums and mulberries; attractive; palate less fat than Lafon Rochet but well structured with tannic bite. Good density. Very ripe, lots of extract and concentration. Great Ormes de Pez on par with the 1982 but with riper tannins. 92+/100 [Second tasting] Ripe strawberry and lots of fruit here; attractive nose; minerals and roses; excellent wine here; tannins a bit present here but lots of ripe fruit to match. 90-92+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2007 Mid red; stone fruits and minerals; had expected a bit more; fairly angular palate, fruit subdued and lacks mid palate richness. May fill out but bit hard at present. 85-6?/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Mid-red, to edge; legs; ripeness on nose, some mineral, some raisin notes; palate quite chunky, mid weight, quite right, pretty classic St Estephe but falls away a fraction end 86/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Mid red; legs; some earth, ripe notes, some menthol and herbs, wet stones and minerals too, full, with mocha notes and some roasted oak at the back; full lush palate, quite sturdy and concentrated; again some burnt notes with oak; structure and ripe tannins here, fresher and agile on the palate. 90+/100 August ‘10
  • 1983 Mature mahogany; warm nose; fully mature; soft palate; lacks oomp but amongst the most enjoyable Bordeaux 83s I’ve had. 85/100
  • 1982- A dozen [bought for £87 in the late 1980s] has to go down as one of the best value boxes of claret I’ve bought – and the final bottle drunk in 2008 was knockout. Full throttle, savoury and gutsy St Estephe with huge extract and complexity. Would age further and last for twenty plus years. Each bottle has been good but this last one remarkable – reminiscent of the wines I’ve read were produced here in the post-war period.  Defines the phrase ‘No great wines just great bottles of wine’. 94+/100 June ‘08
  • 1973 Dark, brown at edge; attractive tea and toffee, not completely gone; some savoury St Estephe characters still there on palate. A dismal vintage but wine far from a disaster. 82/100 Jan ‘00

Château Petit Bocq, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; toasty oak; black chocolate notes; black cherry; mid weight palate; some silky fruit here but currently masked by oak; needs to settle. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 84-86+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated; intense nose; blackcurrants, satin, meaty savoury characters; palate has density and nice blackcurrant fruit; grippy but not over done. Would like to see this at room temperature but looks goodish from what I can tell. Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc  3/4/12 85-87?
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; lovely nose; very seductive; nice oak, plums, spices; mincemeat; looks very good on the nose; some chew and grip on the palate but works well; plenty of guts here. Little chewy on the finish but this represents good tasty St Estephe. Drink now – 2025. 89 Vinexpo, June ’13

Château Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep at core; purple at edge; attractive aromatics; solid feel here; fruitcake spices; seam of black cherry fruit beneath; creamy fruit but also minerality; wet rocks; good freshness on the palate. Intelligent wine. [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 49hl/ha, 13.5%]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted UGCB at Lafon-Rochet 5/4/16. 88-90
  • 2014 Deep and dark; wet rocks; chalk; minerality; black cherries; palate has fragrance; blackcurrant fruit; tautness; acidity but also extract; correct on the palate; extract and grip; length and some chew currently on the finish. Goodish and will fill out I expect. [64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot. 13.5% alc, 3.6TA 50% new oak, 85 IPT]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 88-90+
  • 2013 Deep core, purple at edge; pure and polished on the nose; sweetness; black fruits; quite sappy and chewy but the elements are there. Will be a gutsy effort. Tasted 1/4/14. 86-88 [later note] Deep at core; vibrant purple at edge; fresh; some graphite and blackcurrant notes; purity; grippy palate with evident extract and material. Nice grip and chew. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 50% new oak, 12.7% alc]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88
  • 2012 Mid depth; resin, some blackcurrant notes; fresh and grippy palate but with enough flesh to support the structure. Not a show stopper but an attractive mid-weight vintage of some style for Phélan Ségur. Drink 2018-2027. 88+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Nice glossy look; dark; blackcurrant fruit, some plum, some minerality; lots of depth and interest here; cream and cassis too; palate quite dense at first; lots of fruit here; oak a little present; some length and a bit of chew at the finish. Overall feels nicely balanced and elegant. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89+ [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; lovely pretty fruit; some rose petal; blackcurrant and black cherry; some mineral and earth; very attractive; good entry; positive palate and a certain elegance to the extraction; nicely balanced on the palate; tannin fine; bit of zip on the finish too. Impressive effort. 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% new oak, 13.2% Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 89-91+
  • 2011 Deep-ish; clean and pure cassis and blackcurrant tones; little leaf; Cabernet again dominates the palate; stalky note; quite complete overall; acid shows in the grip but a reasonably polished effort for the vintage. Drink 2016-2026. 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Lots of depth and colour; concentration on the nose; layers, nice depth; this looks good; cassis, plenty of fruit; ripe; some mineral; blackcurrant; lusher than it is usually at this primeur stage; quite dense palate, extract, though some elegance here; maybe lacks a little body and finishes a little looser than expected. Not overdone though. Will undoubtedly show better down the track. Tasted UGC 3/4/13 and again 5/4/12 87-89+
  • 2010 Deep and dark; nice purity on the nose; blackcurrants; very clean and deep; oak a little more present currently on the palate. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon 49% Merlot 50% new oak. Drink 2016-2030. 90+ Vinexpo June ’13 [Earlier note] Nice depth; deep colour; glossy looking; very attractive blackcurrant nose with earthy, undergrowth edge; very attractive indeed; spicy and rich palate; quite chewy [the vintage] and lots of material but nicely handled. Lacks the flamboyance and phenomenal fruit tones of ’09 but very classic. Chewy finish with some length. Good effort indeed. 91+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep, dense, legs; nice primary fruit; cassis, ripe with minerality too; nice palate; quite grippy with lots of tannin and acid; fresh. Good chewy wine. Nice length and savour and grip at the end 88+/100 5th April 2011 UGC. [2nd tasting UGC] Deep and saturated; ripe, lots of fruit, solid feel, blackcurrants; some density; chewy and quite dense but also some softer qualities. Chewy too with some grip. Solid 87-88/100 7th April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep mid red; lovely seductive nose; ripe and wonderful; satin tones, blackcurrant and cassis; similarly satin quality to the palate; extremely fine wine; almost too easy but there is so much fruit here you miss the considerable structure. Quite amazing. Has moved forward substantially since primeur. Lovely wine. 92+/100 [Earlier note] 2009 Dark, purple at edge; creamy, some resin from oak; some roses. Stalky and fresh. Feels a bit raw at present. Disjointed but should meld. 88?/100. Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2007 Mid red; some stalks and blackcurrant fruit; some spice; fresh blackcurrants with some spice; tannin and acid. Density here but still feels angular. 84-86?/100 UGC London tastings Oct ‘09

Château Pomys, St Estèphe

  • 2010 Deep and saturated at the edge; oak and fruit integrated; some meaty tones; chewy palate with plenty of blackcurrant fruit. Tannin on the finish. Drink 2015-2022. 88+ Vinexpo, June ’13
  • 2009 Deep and saturated looking; some oak lift; resin; chewy palate; lots of density and tannin. Drink 2014-2025. 87 Vinexpo, June ’13

Château Remandine, St Estèphe

  • 2010 [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon] Deep; some stalky tones; leaf and blackcurrant; chewy palate but freshness and feels more positive than ’09 which is a little too jammy and simple. Tannic finish. Drink 2014-2025. 86 Vinexpo, June ’13
  • 2009 Black colour; very ripe and jammy on the nose; chew and tannic on the end. Simple. OK. Drink now-2019. 85 Vinexpo, June ’13

Château Tronquoy-Lalande, Cru Bourgeois, St Estèphe

  • 2015 Deep and arterial; very black; concentrated at edge; opaque at centre; lovely sweet black cherry and blackcurrant tones; creamy notes; really joyful; full palate with lots of freshness and sap; black cherry; mineral notes; schist almost; chewy fruit; lots of extract but nicely done. [55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.8% alc]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted 4/4/16 at Montrose. 89-91
  • 2014 Deep and saturated; very dark; loaded with extract and matter; black cherry; graphite and genuine depth; glossy and very enticing; freshness too; black cherry and kirsch notes on the palate but with freshness; lots of matter and extract; plenty here and really concentrated; plenty of depth to the fruit; stylish; chew on the finish but tannins ripe. [56% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc, 25% new oak]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted at Montrose 30 March, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Deep colour; vibrant at edge; fresh looking; cassis, some cranberry and sweet cherry; attractive and perfumed aromas; little saline touch; spicy characters on the palate, full-ish with good tension; vibrant with zap at the end. Good effort. [52% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc, 89% of production]. Drink 2018-2028. 85-87+
  • 2012 Deep and dense; very vibrant purple at edge; dense looking; layers of black cherry fruit; real purity here; very clean; and lots of fruit; mineral tones too; palate had density and concentration; a great amount of fruit here; lots of grip and chew. Very clean and tannin [lots] feels ripe. Fresh acidity too. Very good. 57% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 60% of production. Tasted at Chateau Montrose April 8, 2013. 89-91+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated; legs; very tight to the rim; cassis, blackcurrant, very deep and feels strong; black cherry too; real creamy polish to the nose; sweet entry on the palate; edges here are rounded but the extract and material is substantial. Feels more refined than Haut-Marbuzet [tasted before]. Bite at the end. Great effort. Chewy and dense but tannin nicely handled. Strict selection here [just under half went into second wine Tronquoy de Sainte-Anne – notes below] 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 11% Petit Verdot 12.8% alc. Tasted at Montrose 2/4/12 89-91+
  • 2010 Deep and saturated colour; ripe; figs; dense, chewy and thick on the palate. Lots of density and extract. Chewy finish. Drink 2018-2030. 90 Vinexpo, June ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and intense, saturated right up to the edge; very ripe nose, dark fruits, cherry and blackcurrant, molasses; thick and rich; lot of cherry here; dense and thick on the palate, quite sweet, chewy, dense and thick; good length. Thick and rich with some grip. 87-89+/100 [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 14.1 alc]Tasted 7th April 2011 at Chateau Montrose.

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