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Haut-Médoc tasting notes

Cantemerle label cu

Below are tasting notes on two dozen wines of the Haut-Médoc. I hope that they are of interest. Do also click on the individual chateaux profiles in this section to read about those wines in detail. If you want to jump to the similar raw notes for the other Bordeaux appellations then click here for St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux, Pessac-Léognan, St Emilion and Pomerol. For comprehensive vintage reviews click on the following for 2015, 2014, 2013,  2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Chateau Aney, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Mid depth; translucent at core; little inert on the nose; soft and easy on the palate; lacks structure and middle; light and spicy finish. Shows some dilution. Drink 2020-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 83-85
  • 2014 Deep looking; some jam; wet rocks; soft and easy on the palate; forward and straightforward. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 83-85

Chateau Arnauld, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Deepish colour; purple edge; cool cherry and blackcurrant fruit; fresh; little stalky perhaps; blackcurrant tones dominate the palate; grippy; quite clean; vigorous aspect. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 84-86
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; tight to rim; pretty deep and serious; black cherry and black chocolate; some oak; quite ‘pro’; oak on the palate needs to settle; good fruit and concentration though – needs to come together; ripeness in the fruit is impressive; ripe style; oak needs to integrate. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. Drink 2019-2026. 85-87+
  • 2013 Deep core; red purple; quite pretty, fruit driven nose; sappy and attractive; palate forward and fruity; easy going and nicely handled; fraction short on the finish but good in the context. Drink 2016-2021. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 84-86 Cru Bourgeois tasting April 2014 
  • 2012 Mid depth; spicy and fresh; really stalky Cabernet; palate mid weight with some soft fruit tones and spices; grippy finish. Sappy red. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois tasting Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 84-86
  • 2005 Red/black; initially quite open; simple but uncomplicated wine; later hardened up. 82-84/100 Oct ‘09
  • 1995 Red; slightly dusty, tannic nose; but palate with some roasted notes and leather; sweetish finish but a little tired. 80-82/100 June ‘05

Chateau d’Agassac, [Ludon] Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Bold colour; earthy purple edge; intense fruit; some jam; pretty ripe aromatics; nice palate with good fruit; soft tannins; on the jammy side at present. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 86-88 
  • 2014 Saturated looking; purple at edge; sappy and vigorous fruit on the nose; blackcurrants; cassis; some spice; serious wine with good depth; palate has vigour; good effort. Drink 2018-2026. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 85-87+ [Earlier note] Deep and saturated looking; arterial; fat and deep; feels full; little nutty note; full and lots of fruit; quite big and lots of matter; substantial; this could work well; gutsy but not overly drying finish suggests fruit not pushed too far; bite on the finish – though perhaps dips a fraction. Good effort nevertheless. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted Grand Cercle 29 March, 2015. 86-88+
  • 2012 Mid depth; nice red black fruit tones on the nose; dense palate; with guts and grip. Should settle. Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois tasting Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 85-87
  • 1989 Deep colour; dark core; ripe roasted nose; rich, whiff of game; mature; rich extracted palate; quite big but tannic edge; gutsy and roasted. 86/100 April ‘99. [Now probably way too old…]

Chateau d’Arcins, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Bold colour; deeper core; attractive perfume and lift; black cherry fruit; little toast from the oak; full palate; nice full flavor; a success. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 85-87 
  • 2014 Deep and dark; blackcurrant and black pepper; soft palate with ripe easy going fruit; attractive and harmonious; supple and enjoyable. Freshness at the end makes it quite appetizing. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 85-87+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; creamy blackcurrants; like this; stalky note but purity; opens up; has potential; clarity and tradionally style [which I’m appreciating]; nice elegance; blackcurrants; some oak; nicely linear; like the fruit and the cooler less overt style; nice texture and flavour; has plenty of middle; complete and very good. Drink 2017-2025. 87-89+
  • 2013 Mid depth; earthy look; some depth but not that expressive; softer palate; some blackcurrant and spicy fruit tones; easy. Drink 2017-2021. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 83-85 Cru Bourgeois April 2014
  • 2001 Earthy red purple at edge; earthy, savoury slightly meaty nose; palate with leafy tobacco notes; quite vigorous with acidity. Maybe a little chunky but mouth filling. Good. 84-86/100 Mar ‘04
Château Barreyres, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2015 Deep and dark; some perfume and fruit; reasonably lush; not a bad effort this – feels quite complete; soft entry; plenty of up-front fruit; some oak; reasonably fresh. Goodish. Drink 2020-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 83-85
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; tight to rim; clean and fresh Haut-Médoc; nice attractive purity and sap on the palate; fresh cherry and blackcurrant aromas and flavours; good crnchy finish; clean and pure. Stylish. Drink 2018-2024. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 85-87+

Château Beaumont, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; purple at edge; creamy blackcurrant fruit; very Bordeaux; lots of juicy fruit; plums and black cherry tones; soft and attractive palate; not forced; nicely harmonious; some chocolate on the finish; good effort. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 30% new oak, 13.5% alc, harvest 17/9-8/10]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 87-89+
  • 2014 Mid depth; dark core; purple at edge; fresh; ripe; blackcurrant fruits; spices; and ripe; more matter on the palate; but nice structure; matter and grip; acidity and vibrant. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot. 25/9-14/10 harvest dates. 30% new oak. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted UGCB 31 March, 2015. 86-88 [Earlier note] Deep at centre; sappy and vigorous aromatics; bright black cherry and blackcurrant aromas; freshness is wonderful; sappy and lively on the palate; vital. Great example of the life and joy you can get from Bordeaux in a year like 2014. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 86-88+
  • 2013 Deep-ish core; vibrant purple at edge; spices, some plums and bubblegum notes; sweet initially but then the sap and acidity; still not too sappy and should settle. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, harvested 30/9-4/10 30% new oak]. Drink 2017-2023. 84-86 UGCB April 2014
  • 2012 Deep and dense looking, vibrant edge; slightly spicy fruit with some vibrancy and bounce; creamy entry on the palate; attractive Cabernet Fruit; some tannin at the back but also freshness. Simple but clean and fresh. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013 86-88
  • 2011 Mid depth; little feral note; some blackcurrants; fresh palate with vibrant acid but quite compact overall. Drink 2014-2021. 84 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; black cherry with fresh lift – almost Morgon or Moulin a Vent in style – sour cherry accent and blackcurrants on palate; pure; nicely done; there is acid here and tannic grip but has life and bite. Not bad effort. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot harvested 13-27 September. Tasted UGC Apr ‘12.  86-88
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; more spikey fruit, stalky blackcurrant flavours; chewy and quite grippy on the palate. Lots of acid and sap here. Grippy. 86/100 [Earlier] Deep and concentrated looking, fraction lighter at the core than some of the others; little reductive element, fresh cab and some stalks; quite grippy and high toned; needs to settle. Bit disjointed at present – all acid, tannin and extract. If settles 85-87/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; thick, some strawberry and real ripeness, some fruit here and chew; tannic and grippy palate but bright in fruit. More settled. 86-88/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Mid red; fresh, almost maceration carbonique tones; vibrant certainly; more Moulin a Vent or Morgon! Palate chewy and deep – like this; youthful, vigorous yet fruity style that will be drinking wonderfully from the off. Fresh and fruity. 88+/100 [Earlier] Dark and deep, ripe Cabernet nose, slightly stalky; fresh; soft and sweet palate; attractive; perfume – ripe and attractive. Very good. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. 88+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010
  • 2007 Mid red; some round notes; blackcurrants; quite light but round and attractive. 84/100 May ‘10
  • 2004 Mid red; some chocolate; palate has some earthy blackcurrant characters and substance. 85/100 May ‘10

Château Belgrave, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and arterial colour; nice depth; tight to rim; creamy and sophisticated nose; lots of blackcurrant and cassis notes; very serious and inky; palate tight with oak influence; intensity here and plenty of tightly wound fruit; very Cabernet influenced stylistically. Pure. Nicely extracted, not overdone. Good length. Excellent Belgrave. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 50% new oak, 13.5%]. Drink 2023-2032. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; tight to the rim; nice creamy blackcurrant on the nose; pure; spicy and deep; coffee notes; tight and focused palate; nice oak; elegant blackcurrant fruit again; extract and nicely proportioned. Good effort. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 40% new oak. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 88-90+
  • 2013 Deepish; purple at edge; earthy note; some creamy plum tones with blackcurrant notes; quite pure on the nose; dense and chewy on the palate with good-ish material; perhaps a little foursquare but will be ok. Fraction short on the finish. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2025. 85-87 UGCB April 2014
  • 2012 Deep and dense; thick; integrated nose with some layers; some jam and spice; earthy note; palate quite rich but lots of oak and oak tannin. Not caressing. Tannins at the end. Overall dry, oaky finish. A disappointing showing. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 84-86?
  • 2011 Deep-ish; fresh blackcurrant tones; quite chewy and tannic palate, puckering [perhaps the acid more than the tannin?]. Very chewy and puckering on the finish. This is usually a good value property and the wine should settle but I think you’d be much better off looking elsewhere in the meantime [maybe to their 2009 or 2010?]. Disjointed currently and several steps backwards from primeurs. Drink 2016-2021. 84 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated colour; tight to the edge; vibrant looking; nice pure and creamy blackcurrant notes, purity here and some minerals and traces of stone fruit; polished fine nose; palate has fruit, cassis and blackcurrants, clear and fresh; structure too and lots of acid but nice blackcurrant fruit and sap. Nothing vegetal here. Very good effort. Tasted UGC. 88-90
  • 2010 Deepish colour; legs; blackcurrant purity with chocolate hints; quite plump; very attractive aromatics; pure palate with elegance and harmony but also plenty of extract and matter. Mid-weight and well judged in the cellar. Excellent Bordeaux. Complete. Finest recent Belgrave? Drink 2015-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; cassis, black cherry and plum notes on the nose; depth of fruit with also a silk and spice note; real purity here; ripe and rich palate with lots of flavour and fruit, grip and structure; really fruit loaded; dips a fraction but nice chew and grip with good length. 90/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; plumy and deep, a sumptuous quality here; some oak too; palate ripe and rich; good attack and some velvet before the tannins. Will be good. Rich wine. Actually in this company, and for 2010, quite sumptuous. Good depth and richness with tannin and grip 88-90+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and black; creamy cassis and blackcurrant; some oak too; thick but palate good; cream and blackcurrants with depth. Chewy and with grip but plenty of material here. 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; resin, chocolate, stones, some dust; ripe blackcurrants on the palate; very good fruit; some extraction and plenty of life and sap on the palate. Very good overall but needs time. 2016-2030 90+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; ripe and deep nose; less immediately sexy and overt than Cantemerle but that’s relative; lots of blackcurrant fruit; open and plush palate; velvet quality here but with extract and intensity too. Grippy and tannic on the finish suggests real lasting power with lots of puppy fat. As good if not better than the lovely 2005 here. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep inky purple; legs and concentrated colour, tight to rim; sweet and seductive nose; very tight and professional; some cedar, violets; lots of extract on the palate but wonderfully supple and polished. Some coffee and mocha from the Merlot and the oak. Very good wine. As good if not better than the super ’05 here. An estate that is going from strength to strength. Should be super value. 92+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; cream, earth and development; blackcurrant notes; some depth here; chalkiness; plum and spice; nice grip on the palate; maybe lacks a bit of depth ultimately and a little loose on the finish. 86 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Quite deep and dark; creamy, intense and pretty rich on the nose; some figs and blackcurrants; palate quite lush with blackcurrants and cassis and some plummy Merlot. Good extract and grip. Good effort at this great value estate. 88+/100 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Mid red; some toffee; not knockout nose; resin; some coffee; structure evident but lacks concentration; feels hollow; some grip at the end 84/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid-red; some depth; stone elements; quite minerally; palate has some softness and texture but lacks mid-palate richness. 84/100 UGC Oct ’09
  • 2006 Mid red, some development at the edge; sweet strawberries, ripe and attractive nose; some depth with added warmth from oak, reasonably good intensity; blackcurrants and ripeness here, lots of extract, a little overdone possibly as the tannins feel a little dry and austere. Feels slightly overplayed. Time will tell if settles. 86-88?/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 2005 Deep red black; wonderfully creamy, ripe nose with blackcurrants and plums; deep and open; palate similarly easy yet with good concentration and lots of pure cassisfruit. Seductive. 90/100 May ‘09
  • 2000 Dark red black; quite dumb, feels a little shut down; two hours in the decanter revealed a wine of good body and grip but the flavours are subdued. This needs time to emerge from its shell. Developing more slowly than expected. 88/100 Nov ‘09 [Earlier note] Dark; black at centre; legs; substantial beefy, tarry nose, real meaty quality here with good ripeness; chunky, chewy palate with lots of extract and concentration. Ripe chunky tannins. Needs five years to break out the more savoury characters and for the tannins to mellow. Very good 89+/100 Mar ‘05
  • 1997 Dark red; firm, clean nose of blackcurrant. Palate reasonably intense and focused considering the vintage. 85/100 Dec 03
  • 1996 Black red, some maturity; oak, tobacco and mocha – chocolate and blackcurrant on the palate. Quite soft. Will age for a further 2-5 years – peaking in 2010. Very attractive. 89/100 April ‘07
  • 1994 Dark at centre, red at edge; tobacco, earthy nose; sturdy; quite attractive. Olives, blackcurrants and tobacco on palate; gutsy; meaty extract; dry tannins and an element of coarseness here but will probably round out [a ’94 problem]. Little short on finish. Good. 87+/100 Aug ‘03.

Château Belle-Vue, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and saturated colour; dark and ripe looking; full and fresh on the nose; briary and blackcurrant aromatics; nice; clean Cabernet tones; fresh; ripe fruit on the palate; attractive wine; clean and fresh with nice acidity. Joyful. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 86-88+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; saturated look; full aromatics; fresh blackcurrants; some earth; Cabernet freshness; classical and has depth; full and creamy on the palate; nice fruit and real juice here; plenty of freshness too; one of the very best cru bourgeois in 2014. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 88-90+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated looking; purple edge; attractive nose; some perfume lift and black cherry tones; some earth and spice; enticing; soft entry with earth black cherry and spice blackcurrant notes; soft and easy. Elegant and nicely done. I’ve been impressed with every bottle of Belle-Vue I’ve had. Nice terroir that borders Margaux and Chateau Giscours. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 86-88
  • 2012 Deep and earthy looking; mineral tones; wet rocks, sturdy; attractive palate with surprising mid-palate richness for the vintage and appellation. Good and gutsy. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot. Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois tasting Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 86-87+

Château Bel-Orme Tronquoy de Lalande

  • 2014 Mid depth; clean and pure Bordeaux; elegant and sappy style on the palate; harmony; easy and soft tannins but nice freshness that keeps the ball in the air; balanced. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 85-87
  • 2013 Mid depth; stalky blackcurrant flavours; less warmth and generosity than Belle-Vue [tasted immediately before]; palate pretty decent if a little austere but there is some flesh on the bones; needs to meld a bit but not extracted or puckering. Good-ish. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth; chalky nose; ripe fruit notes on the palate but a little pinched and angular on the finish. 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois tasting Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 83-85
  • 1979 Brick red; sturdy firm nose with developed aged characters; fills out palate; soft and easy; smoky and some flesh still there. Not bad at 21 years of age  82/100  Jan ‘00
Château Bernadotte, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2014 Very dark; colour tight to rim; ripe and full; lifted black fruits and oak; fruitcake and spice; saturated and solid; this works well and should integrate nicely. Round and meaty Haut-Médoc. Drink 2018-2026. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 86-88
Château Cambon-la-Pelouse, Haut-Médoc
  • 2015 Deep and dark; very saturated looking; inky; palate quite soft; lacks a bit of flavor but soft and round; easy if lacking a little character. Little chewy on the finish. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 83-85

Château de Camensac, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep at centre; fresh earthy purple at edge; attractive Bordeaux; nice purity of fruit; elegance but nice seam of fruit; palate more boney and strict; lighter palate than Belgrave; freshness and grip on the finish. Little chew on finish. [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 70% new oak, 13% alc]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 86-88
  • 2014 Mid depth; dark core; vibrant blackcurrant fruit; aromatic; fresh and layered; perfumed blackcurrant and cassis notes; cool entry and nice concentration; focus and balanced; nicely done; vibrant blackcurrant fruit and summer cherry notes; fresh acid; sappy wine with texture and length. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested 14-17/10 & 50% Merlot, harvested 22/9-14/10. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 89-91
  • 2013 Mid depth; light at edge; vibrant; fresh stalky Cabernet tones; blackcurrants; clean and fresh; sweet entry and blackcurrant tones dominate the palate; quite round and elegant on the finish. Some sap here but elegant and unforced style. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2025. UGCB April 2014. 85-87
  • 2012 Mid depth; more Cabernet freshness on the nose; some earthy notes and blackcurrants; fresh blackcurrants on the palate, little sappy with grip as you’d expect from this estate; earthy blackcurrant favours on the palate. 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2012 86-88+
  • 2011 Deep at core; earthy purple; legs; ripe and intense; slightly mealy note here, full, layers to the nose suggest reasonable depth. Some minerality; ripe fruit on the palate; blackcurrant and cassis; quite high toned; middle palate a little dry but should fill out. Tannins supple however. Structured but there is flesh here. Nice-ish length and grip at the end. Tasted UGC. 86-88
  • 2010 Deep and glossy looking; again attractive purity; blackcurrant tones and spices; composed; perhaps a little ‘chalky’; elegant spicy blackcurrant notes on the palate; vibrant and freshly styled with acids more apparent; lots of material; fresher style with grippy finish. Drink 2015-2030. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; earthy and intense, quite attractive meaty, earthy blackcurrant aromas with undergrowth; grippy blackcurrant flavours on the palate, some earth but lots of material and extract; plenty of chew but acid. Works well in its earthy way. 89+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; fresh, some perfume, some boiled sweet, some higher toned qualities; dense and extracted with grippy tannins. Probably will settle as there is length and density here. Grippy. 86-88+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Very deep black, very ripe, cherry with blacker fruits; dense and tannic palate, over extraction here, very chewy and tannic. If comes good 85-87?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Tight and dense looking; stones and minerals; ripe Cabernet tones [Franc & Sauvignon] and plenty of blackcurrant fruit; full and quite sappy palate; blackcurrants and spices; intense and pent up with good freshness [acid]. Will work nicely in a slightly fresher style than most in this vintage. Drink 2016-2029 91+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark at core; deep blackcurrant nose; obvious depth but not as come-hither as some; open palate; quite worked with slight vegetal streak – maybe let’s call it ‘earthy’ – very grippy and tannic on the end with real bite. Not as immediately appealing as Cantemerle or Belgrave, its immediate classed growth competitors. See how this develops. 87-89?/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep, inky; some beetrooty notes, spicy; solid; palate solid yet also supple; lacks sophistication and polish; Goodish. 88/100 Tasted 30th March 2010
  • 2008 Mid depth; more intensity to the nose [focus] mealy note alongside earth, blackcurrant and spice; leaf; more structured palate with greater acid bite; finishes drier than Belgrave and more austere in feel at the end. 87 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid depth; blackcurrants on the nose; quite pure and fresh; ripeness here and real Cabernet precision and freshness; some chocolate too; palate concentrated with guts and extract. Lots of flavour and pure fresh style. Not bad and further evidence of the renaissance at this estate. 87+/100 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Mid depth; some leaf and blackcurrant; high toned as this often is; feels elegant; some red fruits; some spice and herbal tones; vigour and freshness to the palate; Cabernet freshness; though ultimately a bit angular and grippy. Fresh, stalky,blackcurrant style. 86+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11
  • 2006 Deep central core, up to the edge; nutty note to the nose, some intensity, quite dominant Cabernet note but pure with intensity; grippy and tannic but good flesh on the bones. Tannin and acid still pretty strong but should develop well in the medium term. 87/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 1999 Mid red; some light tobacco and spice; palate feels a little lightish; fully mature. 84/100 Sept ‘09.

Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc

  • 2013 Mid depth; purple at edge; some leafy tones; little hint of green; palate sweet and light and not forced; leafy, spicy and herbal hints; despite green tinge soft and not attenuated but light. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 82-84.
  • 2007 Mid red; some perfume and blackcurrant lightish; palate quite tannic frame but light frame. Not sure which way this is going in this tricky year. 83/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair

Château Cantemerle, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and arterial; saturated looking; very ripe and rich; succulence here but almost verging on the figgy; palate has purity and concentration; glossy; no hard edges to the ripe tannins; very ripe and full overall; joyful, lush and low acid style. [59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% petit Verdot, 40% new oak, 13.7% alc]. Drink 2022-2032. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 91-93
  • 2014 Deep colour; vibrant edge; vivid; bright and perfumed fruit; freshness; some cream and blackcurrants; freshness; blackcurrant and cream tones on the palate; black fruits; lots of texture and material; nice grip on the finish. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. 13% alc. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; translucent at centre – vibrant at edge; sweet fruit on the nose; some plum and cream; nice Bordeaux nose – appetizing; palate has some material; elegance here; lacks power but better for not being forced to try and attain something false; simplicity here. Sap on the finish. Well judged. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2018-2025. UGCB April 2014. 87-88+
  • 2012 Deep and healthy looking; attractive round nose with some elegance and polish; blackcurrant fruit and some cassis; nice fruit on the palate, elegant and nicely balanced. Good vibrancy too. Good effort. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, 40% new oak. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013 89-91+
  • 2011 Deep and healthy looking; blackcurrant aromas; some cassis; grippy and chunky on the palate with a chewy finish. Acid and tannin dominates. Needs time but will probably still be austere and clipped. Don’t hurry to buy this – especially over their lovely ’09 and ’10 [at not much greater cost]. Drink 2016 – 2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and attractive looking; earthy tones, some coffee, little vegetal note, mealy, earthy quality with beetroot tones; palate oak a little obvious and rather astringent palate. Dry, austere and quite disjointed at the moment. May come together but a disappointing showing. Long way off the potential of the excellent wines here in ‘09/’10. Tasted UGC. 85-86?
  • 2010 Deep; wonderfully open sexy aromatics; blackcurrants, spices, plums and that pain grillé note; hint of undergrowth too; lovely and open; fantastic partner to Cantemerle’s ravishing 2009. Similar tones on the palate; perfumed and very Bordeaux; with more astringency and tension than ’09. Structure and matter here; tightness too which is attractive. Drink 2016-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; textured nose with layers; blackcurrants, some coffee tones; attractive; not ’09 but this is very good; grippy palate but with lots of blackcurrant fruit, extract and acid – a mouthful. Classic with freshness, chew and good length. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Dense and arterial; ripe; some floral notes, roses, violet [Margaux like], cassis and blackcurrants – nice overall; some cream and depth to the palate; rich and concentrated, good blackcurrant flavours, concentrated and tannic with good acid too. Grippy and tannic finish. Good in time 88-90/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Thick and deep, ripe and smoky nose; thick and rich; attractive nose; lots of cassis and blackcurrant; thick and ripe, rich; lovely palate, lots of fruit here, lashings in fact. This should be good Very impressive. 89-91/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Dense and dark; colour tight to the rim; ripe blackcurrants; seductive; plums; pretty jam packed aromatically; palate full with earthy, blackcurrants, sap with lots of extract; very nicely handled and is progressing really well. Lots of life and promise if slight less extravagant than last showing. Remains an excellent effort. Drink 2018-2030. 92+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Saturated, deep colour; wow! Lovely plush sexy nose; seductive and deep and immediately appealing; fabulous nose with some coffee/mocha at the back; Margaux like, velvet palate with violets and blackcurrants and some mocha. This is excellent and tremendous value. Buy this in spades if you see it about. This is the best Cantemerle I’ve ever had. 94+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very deep purple and inky up to edge; very attractive nose; deep and seductive; particularly supple but concentrated; very attractive and very easy but with lots of fruit. Ripe and very good. Some coffee and mocha tones at the back. 90-92+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; stone fruits, boiled sweet note; quite clean and pure if simple; blackcurrant tones open up with aeration; lots of grip on the palate; acids quite strong at present; fruit is here and certainly freshness. Ugly duckling stage here. 87-88 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red, some earthy tinge; some earthy reductive tinge, some smoke and blackcurrants, also savoury notes and lift; palate quite structured with stalky Cabernet influence. Not bad effort though and should settle. 87/100 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc. UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Good depth and colour; blackcurrants, freshness, though it feels a bit angular; clean nevertheless; and some spice, tobacco and blackcurrants beneath; quite good, though some hardness to the tannins which needs to resolve but overall clean, fresh and direct. Will come good – and may be worth drinking sooner rather than later whilst the fruit is there. 86+/100 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier] Mid-red; stalky, quite angular; some blackcurrants but a hint of greenness; palate relatively soft and quite attractive; but still some firm rather angular tannins at the back. 84?/100 UGC Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Mid red, some development; more lift and interest than La Lagune, gutsy nose; some geranium edge here but quite dense; some coffee and dark chocolate; palate OKish, ripe notes, some blackcurrants, mid weight, acid and tannin here too! Needs time, currently disjointed. 86-87/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 1997 Mid red, quite translucent at edge; oaky smoky charred nose, light flavours – almost Islay-ish[the single malt], earthy palate not unattractive but lacks oomph. Lacking concentration, but light and fully mature. 82/100 Oct ‘03
Château du Cartillon, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2014 Deep and saturated; opaque; good substantial aromatics; blackcurrants; cassis; layered and deep; impressive; soft fruit; cool; some grip but plenty of fruit here; fresher style; less adorned by oak; nicely balanced and fresh. Typicite. Nicely done. Good wine. Drink 207-2028. Tasted Grand Cercle 29 March, 2015. 87-89+

Château Charmail, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep colour; purple edge; nice, ripe fruit; some fig and prune; sweet ripe palate with some spice; concentration here but this property now doesn’t quite register the same excitement it used to. Goodish. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 85-87
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; minerality; wet rock; depth; some plum and black cherry note; plum; nice palate; plenty of fruit and nice extraction; soft tannins; good stuff. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 86-88+
  • 2013 Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; some wood; little reticent; light sour cherry tones; palate high toned and quite firm; feels a little hard on the finish. Drink 2017-2020. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 82-84
  • 2009 Deep black, arterial; cream, wet stone; ripe cassis too; chewy dense palate with good length. Attractive. 88-90/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair
  • 2005 Deep red/black; concentrated intense nose; cassis and nice oak; palate quite concentrated and tight. Very good but needs five years plus. Potentially excellent 88-90/100 Tasted April ‘10
  • 2004 Deep red/black; blackcurrants and oak on nose; palate little closed and tannic Needs time. Less generous than ’03 and ’00 and drier less super ripe fruit. A few years should soften it out. Drink from 2011-2018. 86/100 June ‘09
  • 2003 Deep red/black; stony blackcurrant nose; dense palate; quite tannic and extracted though fruit ripe. Full and big. Not as complex as the 2000 at the same stage but with more oomph and body. Now to 2015 88+/100  Aug ‘09
  • 2000 Deep, earthy black red; dark at core; fabulously intense nose with earth, tobacco, meats and liquorice and a real savoury edge. Palate chewy and intense with coffee and mocha, olives and hints of espresso on the finish. Great. Easily Cru Classe quality, in fact poor man’s Chateau Lagrange in this vintage. Now to 2015. 92+/100 Mar ‘06
  • 1998 Deep red; smoky chary nose and tobacco development; mid weight wine, charming with some olives and blackcurrants on palate but lacks depth and richness; twist of tannins at end. Pleasant enough if lacking concentration. Now fully mature. 84-86/100 July ‘09
Chateau Cissac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2015 Deep colour; quite purple; oak perfume; some black cherry; fullish palate; not extracted; some spice and cherry notes; no hard edges; nicely done. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 85-87
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; nice fresh stalky blackcurrant aromatics; enticing; ripe palate but with elegance; fragrant; tightish; has the elements and a little oak to soak up on the finish. Very good balance. Good buy in ’14. Drunk 2019-2029. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 86-88
  • 2013 Dark core; earthy purple edge; spicy cool blackcurrant aromatics; elegant palate with spicy blackcurrant tones; not at all forced; soft-ish and not too structured or austere; good middle; good effort from this value estate. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 85-87
  • 2010 Mid red; blackcurrants, some pencil, structured and well made. Tannins firm. Needs a couple more years in bottle but this has finesse. Tasted June 2016. 87+ 
  • 2007 Mid red, some depth; some herbs and blackcurrants on nose; elegant; tight and angular on the palate; blackcurrants but very dry finish. May round out but tricky at present 84?/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair
  • 1996 Mid red; elegant palate of roast meat and tobacco which has opened out well, cedar tones too; more flesh on the palate than I remember at this estate which tends to be rather austere. 86/100 Nov ‘06
  • 1966 Mahogany; cedar, tobacco and leather; quite elegant and a lean, but very nicely balanced. Probably still alive today. Nov ‘89 88/100 Tasted Nov ‘89

Château Citran, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and saturated; earthy purple at edge; little fresher on the nose than Cantemerle; perfume; black fruits and cherry tones; blackcurrants too; ripe cassis beneath; oak to integrate on the palate; will settle; wood tannins to integrate but fruit is stylish. [56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 33% new oak, 13% alc]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 89-91
  • 2014 Mid depth; vibrant edge; ripe aromatics; red fruits; some wet rock notes; ripe tones; spices; some resin; worked a bit but supple and soft mid palate; little oak on the palate too; chewy finish; should settle OK. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2019-2028. 86-88
  • 2013 Deep-ish colour; purple at edge; earth and undergrowth note; cool and leafy notes; earthy Cabernet palate; quite full initially but with strong acids running through; lots of elements and some chew on the finish. Perhaps a bit hollow in the middle? See how it settles. [47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2017-2023. Tasted UGCB April 2014. 84-86
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; some pine, menthol and spice; quite integrated; spicy fruit; lots of extract on the palate and spicy tones; chewy finish. Should come good but will always be a gutsy effort. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2012. 85-87
  • 2011 Mid depth; light on the nose; some strawberry and red fruit lift; structured on the palate with lots of acid and sharp bones poking out at you. Puckering on finish. Not much fun. Again several steps backwards from primeurs. Drink 2016-2021. 82 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and glossy looking; nice open nose, some crushed rocks, red fruits and lift; attractive satiny red fruits here, but not jammy like La Tour Carnet; palate bright, balanced fruit and acid, not overdone; some perfue – well balanced wine with some harmony. Chewy and sappy finish but nothing green here. Very good effort. Tasted UGC. 87-89+
  • 2010 Deep and dark; red fruits, quite saturated in flavour; thick and rich palate; chewier than ’09 with more grip and obvious structure. Some earthy tones with freshness and grip. 88+/100 [Earlier] Deep and dense; ripe strawberry tones; some resin from oak; quite ripe and rasiny, almost jammy note; resin again, some chocolate; lots of extract and grip. Will meld. Tannin [lots] is ripe. 86-88/100 Tasted 5 April at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and saturated; super-ripe, almost jammy note; certainly on the sweet strawberry fruit spectrum; quite sweet strawberry fruit on the palate two but also tannic; dry palate and chewy with density. Lots of tannin here. Feels over extracted. Much  84-86?/100 Tasted 7 April at UGC
  • 2009 Mid red; very sexy and open red fruits on the nose; ripe and almost Burgundian; sweet entry on the palate; ripe, strawberry fruit; soft and ripe tannin. Lovely wine. For drinking from the off. 90+/100 [Earlier] Earthy purple, up to rim; sweet, slightly jammy edge to nose; lots of fruit and raspberry and blackcurrants; palate quite precise; real suppleness again here with intensity; this is really remarkably ripe. Great wine here. The best wine since their sumptuous 1990. Nice finish. 90+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010 En Primeur.
  • 2008 Mid red; nice strawberry fruit, real lift and life on the nose along with some oak resin; palate quite dense with some lift and acid and tannin but not too dry; more sappy. Needs some time but a good wine. 86+/100

Chateau Clement Pichon, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Mid depth; ripe fruit notes; mineral tones on the palate with freshness; will work once it settles. Inky but not over-extracted. Drink 2021-2028. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 85-87
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; earthy purple at edge; very ripe cassis notes; blackcurrants; palate packed with juicy fruit but also concentrated; another good effort; sweet ripe cassis fruit. Tasted 2 April ’15. Drink 2019-2027. 86-88 [Earlier note] Mid depth; deep core; seductive; blackcurrants & red fruits and interwoven oak; some sweetness; modern; satin and spice [Citran-esque]; ripe and forward; sweet entry; very likeable; blackcurrants and red fruits; oak but nicely spicy; good extract and depth. Nice wine and happy combination of tradition and modernity. Dribk 2017-2025+ 86-88+
  • 2013 Deep core; tight to the edge; legs; thick and full – feels like it has some oomph; little simple at this stage but full and soft. Good effort it would seem. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 84-86
  • 2008 Good colour; dense black red; some cherry, spice and some bite and concentration; more guts and material than ‘07 but needs to settle. Has the element but disjointed at present. Should meld. 86?/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair
  • 2007 Mid red; attractively done; light but with some attractive tobacco and leaf; grippy and tannic; lacks a bit in the middle. 83/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair

Château Coufran, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Mid depth; dark at core; creamy blackcurrants; nicely layered and attractive; full and ripe on the palate; some oak; balanced and attractively made red. Coufran releases a bit like Latour – when the wines are ready. [85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 88-90+
  • 2014 Bold colour; earthy purple at edge; fresh and pretty fruit; summer fruit pudding, black cherry; very vibrant; nice fruit; good texture; lots of fruit here; soft tannins. Vibrant and full. Excellent Coufran. 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. 25% new oak. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 88-90+
  • 2013 Mid depth; soft and attractive on the nose; blackfruits and some cream; quite clean palate; light and elegant and not overdone; acidity but not overly present and neither tannic on the finish. Light style. [85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2017-2023. UGCB April 2014. 84-86
  • 2012 Mid depth; vibrant edge; spicy fruit [like Beaumont]; blackcurrant and plums; lots of bounce, purity and freshness; fruit on the palate. Gutsy but bright fruit.  UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 86-87+
  • 2011 Mid depth; nice blackcurrant purity on the nose; depth here; chewy and dense on the palate with a lot of matter, acid and grip. Little austere but fresh. Drink 2016-2026. 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep, saturated and vibrant looking; some dark cherry notes but a streak of leafy green too; palate oaky and dry tannins. Feels disjointed currently. Grippy, sappy fruit. Will settle into a leafy number. Tasted UGC. 83-85
  • 2010 Deepish; glossy looking; fresh blackcurrant aromas with black cherry and plum; some depth; pure blackcurrants on the palate; attractive; nice purity with extract, depth and grip. 88+/100 [Earlier] Deep and dense; needs to settle, some reductive qualities; feels tannic at present; chewy palate with density and extract – lots of substance. Good density and will be ok, lots of fruit. 86-88/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Very dense and dark; ripeness but thick and resinous; extracted feel; lots of material; chewy and masculine but very tannic on the finish on this second sample. May settle 85-87?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Purple hues; mid depth and legs; lifted leaf and tobacco with blackcurrants and strawberry tones; spot on Haut-Medoc in 2009; blackcurrants, undergrowth and leaf; some chew here suggests a little time required to settle; Will develeop. Needs 2-3 years. Excellent Coufran! 88+/100 [Earlier] Deep, dark up to edge; sturdy nose; lots of ripeness too; attractive and ripe. Good chewy palate. Lots of guts and material. Good effort 88+/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2008 Good colour, mid depth, some purple; some freshness here with strawberry notes; palate quite grippy and tannic. Should soften. OKish 84/100
  • 2007 Mid red; some layers to the nose [85% Merlot]; good palate; some intensity and guts; sturdy and attractive. Quite tannic but oksish.  82-84/100 Oct ‘09
  • 2004 Mid red; fresh aromatics; some plum and blackcurrant; mature tobacco notes; mid depth; well structured with fresh acidity on the finish. Couple of years still in it. Drinking well now. Tasted April 2016. 87
  • 1996 Dark; good colour; sweaty, slightly earthy nose – a little rustic; tobacco and some leaf; old fashioned; chewy palate with guts; good length. 86/100 Sep ‘00 
  • 1986 Dark core, brown at edge; rich thick nose of tobacco, olives; substantial; warm and fully mature; palate sturdy with chocolately notes and smoky characters [blend merlot dominant]; warm and solid; little dry on the finish. Low in acid, very good; just starting to peak. 88/100 Dec ‘99 from magnum – probably now too old…
Château Dillon, Haut-Médoc
  • 2015 Good depth; bright, bubblegum fruit; fresh and cherry-like; fruit driven palate with some vigour and sap. Drink 2020-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 83-85

Chateau de Lamarque, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; ripe and thickish on the nose; little wood to integrate but plenty of extract and fruit on the mid-palate; attractively gutsy style. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 87-89
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; tight to the rim; ripe and rasiny fruit; fruitcake spices; menthol and ink tones; oak dominates the palate; extracted; lots of matter; rather dry oak tannins; extracted and gutsy style. Rather raw at this stage. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 84-86.
  • 2013 Very deep and saturated look; oaky, spicy menthol notes; some blackfruits; oak sweetness and some blackfruit tones again on the palate; quite extracted and thick in feel; chunky and chewy style. [45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot] Drunk 2018-2023. UGCB April 2013. 83-85
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; red fruits with some stewed prune notes; jammy and quite thick and dense; thick and chewy overall. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2012. 83-85
  • 2011 Mid depth; ripe aromatics – feels like a good, inexpensive Médoc should – earthy blackcurrant and some leaf; perfume too; blackcurrant palate; some earth; drinkable already. Round and not over-extracted. Good-ish effort. Forward. Drink now – 2021. 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, earthy; attractive good fruit on the nose, some ripeness here [Merlot] – some perfume and violet lift; palate quite high toned; fresh fruit and some blackcurrant; dips a little on the palate and somewhat dry and extracted bite at the end. Maybe little austere. Tasted UGC. 83-85
  • 2010 Deep and saturated; little fig, chocolate and some depth; not hugely expressive; some thickness and minerality; quite thick on the palate with lots of extract. Needs some time here. Little old fashioned. 85+/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; creamy and attractive ripe nose; lots of extract and density; initially sweet attack and ripe and rich plus tannin and grip. Puckering at the end. Needs time. 85-87/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and saturated; ripe nose; lots of fatness; palate big and tannic and extracted at present. Lacks precision. Monolithic and extremely tannic. 82-84?/100 Tasted  7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Red; fresh and dense Cabernet with some mineral freshness; earthy tones too; red fruits on the palate; lift; cassis and some jam; some density and ripe tannin but chew suggest needs a few years to settle. 87+/100
  • 2008 Mid red; sturdy muscular nose but a bit dumb; quite soft agreeable palate. Easy going but not that interesting. 84/100

Château La Lagune, [Ludon] Haut-Médoc, Cru Classé

  • 2015 Deep and saturated; glossy colour and purple at edge; concentrated nose; pretty intense and inky; cassis and dark chocolate notes; glossy palate with plenty of depth; beautifully voluptuous style; seemingly fresher than Cantemerle. Lovely caressing wine. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 50% new oak, 14.25% alc]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; lighter in the core; red at edge; mid depth; stalk, brambly fruit; attractive blackcurrant tones; some spices; nice fruit; delicacy; nice entry to the palate; supple acidity and freshness; nice blackcurrant and black fruits; will gain weight. Nevertheless lacks a bit of concentration at this stage. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. 13% alc. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 89-91
  • 2012 Deep and saturated colour; some fruit pastels and boiled sweet notes; red fruits too; palate ripe and real elegance here; lacks a bit of stuffing maybe but fresh, elegant and pretty pure. Should fill out too. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2012 89-91+
  • 2011 Deep looking; fresh stalky Cabernet nose; pure; good entry on the palate; plenty of fruit; nice structure and purity; nicely balanced – will be good; clean and sappy finish. Nice chew and sap. Good effort. Reflects the vintage but well handled. Drink 2015-2028. 90+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, vibrant edge; plummy Burgundian note; quite vibrant with some minerality; fresh accent and blackcurrants and violet perfume on aeration; sweet, attractive blackcurrant and cassis; nicely measured; depth on the palate with some density but generally very round and polished. Nice finish, no astringency to the tannins, supple. Excellent effort. Best Haut-Médoc by a long way and head and shoulders above most of the Margaux appellation grand crus in this vintage. Could be a very good buy if priced right. Tasted UGC. 90-92+
  • 2010 Deep colour; wet rock and ink initially; more reticent than its more immediately forward colleagues [Cantemerle especially]; blackcurrant notes but quite closed currently; lots of chew and extract to the palate with nice acidity and freshness; weight and matter here but currently something of a closed book. Needs five years to open up minimum. Long term La Lagune [compared with the forward beauties made here in 2009 and 2005]. Drink 2018-2035. 92+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; close to rim; lots of density too to the nose; plums, black fruits and spice; rich palate with lots of depth; layered with tannin and extract. Longer term than ’09 but lots of ripe, plummy fruit here with structure and grip. 92+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very saturated in colour, deep and dense; very succulent nose, ripe, rich and deep with real ripe notes like molasses and fig; sweet entry, chewy and intense but also again with succulence. Will meld together well. Good length and a grippy finish. 88-90/100 Tasted 5  April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Thick and black in the glass; legs; polished nose, nice layers here; some cassis and perfume; feels deep; ripe and perfumed palate; dense, but with focus. Pretty good effort. Ripe and very good. 90-92/100 Tasted 7April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Rich and saturated looking; ripe aromas; spices, plums and blackcurrants; plummy and full; fresh blackcurrants on the palate; very ripe and lovely extract and chew with mocha and chocolate tones on the end. A lot of blackcurrant and plum tones alongside some genuine freshness make this already delicious and forward but in three to five years it will be in top form and last the distance. Lovely harmony here. A real treat! 2016-2030 95+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deepish; some oak resin, red/black fruits; feels a bit ‘super Tuscan’ on the nose; tobacco, red fruits on the palate; maybe a little subdued and bottle shocked. Expected a better showing. It will show better later I imagine. Score reflects this likelihood.  91-92/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep and dark, tight to rim; ripe fruit notes; really ripe; maybe lacking a little complexity; lots and lots of ripe fruit with new oak tannins; supple palate with lots of ripeness but also concentration so the style doesn’t at all feel loose; tannin at end. Very good. 92+/100 Tasted 30th March 2009 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Quite deep colour; up to edge, earthy purple at rim; quite sturdy, red fruits on the nose; some chocolate; palate feels fresh and bright with grip and tannin but has the extract and fruit to cover the tannin. Chewy. Good effort. 88+/100 MW Institute Nov ’12
  • 2007 Deep colour; some reductive, feral tones to start; blew off towards the tobacco and lifted notes; some satin here but also some eggy notes too – this needs decanting. Palate initially has a sweet entry but the fruit feels a bit angular with a sour edge; comes away feeling a little mean. Will it come together? 84-86?/100  MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; some stalky fruit with strawberry notes; good layers and extract on the palate. Tannins not over done. Good in context of the vintage. 88/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings.
  • 2006 Quite deep looking; initially dumb and inky [both samples the same], quite closed; some earth and ink; some red fruits on the palate [strawberry] but then the tannins! Hard palate, very dry and tannic palate – not at all as flattering and sexy as the 2005 here. Not sure what to say 84-87?/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 2005 Deep black, red purple at edge, legs; plummy, luxuriant nose, as decadent as a top Pomerol; ripe cherries, blackcurrants here too; palate very soft and open; lots of extract and layers yet like a feather quilt ; extract at the back with length, feels quite low acid but this is decadent, voluptuous stuff. Actually you don’t tire so there is freshness here too; coffee and mocha on the finish. Really yummy, this is astonishingly drinkable stuff already. 94+/100 Tasted June ‘10
  • 1988 Mid red/black; soft and southern Rhone like on the nose; some herbs quite chunky palate; bit chunky, dusty with dry tannins. OK but not great. 84/100 Apr ‘08
  • 1978 Deep red; closed nose to start with; slight metallic edge; stewed cherries; bit one dimensional; later nose opened; palate lacks fruit; very dry austere tannins; fruit gone. Rather closed [was decanted]. 80-82/100 Sept ‘94 
  • 1970 Brick red, chunky, beefy wine with good extract; a little short but not bad. 16+/20 86+/100 June ’04 [Earlier note] Brick red; initially a little inert; later some chocolate and extract but elegant. 82/100 Apr ’96  

Chateau Lanessan, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 1996 – Slightly dirty note on the nose has marred a number of bottles [from a case bottled with agglomerated corks]; the wine itself seems medium bodied but no amount of aeration helps dissipate the taint. Beneath seems an attractive elegant wine but jury out ?/100
  • 1995 Dark; bit dumb on the nose, some chocolate; blackcurrant on palate; still quite tannic – needs more time? Coarseness to tannins here. 84?/100 Oct ‘05

Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois

  • 2015 Deep and bold colour; nice purple rim; stones, minerals, wet rocks; slate; stalky blackcurrants beneath; fresh and stalky fruit; fresh acids; vigorous and fresh. Drink 2021-2030. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 85-87
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; vibrant edge; fresh, stalky blackcurrant; good and positive; nice fresh Cabernet; sap here but juicy too; nice fresh and positive wine; sappy but with depth. Like this. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. Tasted 86-88+
  • 2013 Glossy colour; deepish at centre; cool, fresh stalky Cabernet nose; classical; good entry; cool blackcurrants again on the palate; works well. Nicely done. Elegant but even has a little mid palate richness. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted 3/4/14 at Cru Bourgeois tasting Chateau d’Arsac. 85-87
  • 2010 Deep and arterial; stalky blackcurrant nose; feels deep if a little backward; clean palate; will work OK in the end; clean and fresh Medoc. Expect a fair price from one of the largest vineyards in Bordeaux. 83-85/100 L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois 5 April 2010
  • 2008 Deep red/black; quite tight’ some blackcurrant; grippy palate with extract, fruit and acid all a bit disjointed now. Hopefully will meld. 86?/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair
  • 2007 Mid red; attractive lift; some cedar; quite light nose; palate light also but not drying and over extracted; some blackcurrants; good grip at the end. Not that bad considering the tricky vintage. 85/100 May ’10 London Wine Fair
  • 1998 Mid red; attractive nose with some violets; soft palate lacking concentration. Lacks concentration compared with ’96. OK. 82/100 Sept ‘00
  • 1996 Deep, taut to edge; earthy mineral quality, tobacco creeping in; palate chewy with good structure and bite. Sturdy and good value. 84-86/100 Sept ‘00

Château La Tour Carnet, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc

  • 2015 Deep and saturated looking; ripe and rich; sexy and open Merlot on the nose; hedonistically styled to use a Parkerism; full and rich; seductive definitely; some freshness and still has life. Lush. [60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 91-93
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; dark at centre; fresh and blackcurrant tones; cool and attractive; nice fruit and complete; sense of modesty and proportion; supple; nice palate; good purity; attractive and balanced; oak not overdone but well integrated; sense of composure. Very good effort. Matter on the end. 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot. 40% new oak. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGCB 31 March, 2015. 90-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated looking; toasty oak; sour cherry and plum notes; lots of fruit on the palate; pretty chewy and gutsy but should settle. Bold and extracted but should add up well if in a rather chunky style. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted UGCB April 2014. 86-87+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; tight to rim; quite deep and layered wine on the nose; ripe fruit; ripe and lots of fruit on the palate; extract here and pretty thick. 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 88-90+
  • 2011 Mid depth; ripe and full aromatics; plump and spicy; attractive; full of fruit with depth and chew. Not overdone and a good effort. Drink 2015-2026 88 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and arterial, very Magrez; red, ripe lifted character; jammy strawberry note – very overt; palate a little worked and feels chewy but all there so the wine will be ok. Not as fine as La Lagune or as simply handled. Little green streak somewhere in there. Should be goodish though, if you like the style. Tasted UGC. 86-88
  • 2010 Deep and dark; saturated at the core; meaty, saturated nose with lift; lots of extract here and obvious density; saturated palate, sweetness but nice in this vintage; some spice but lots of depth and chew. Not over-extracted ultimately but well balanced. Very good effort. 92+/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; sweet and ripe with lashings of oak; too much influence really; good density and oaky [again] palate; blackcurrants, oak resin; but also very aggressive tannins. Should settle but verging on the over-extracted in this vintage so verdict out. 86-88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; thick, liquorice, smoke and tar along with blackcurrants; ripe fruit but lots of extraction on the palate; too much; lots of extract and material but feel it’s been obliterated by the winemaking; Very big and awkward at present. Will it come good? Hope so. 86-87?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; dense; jam and lots of red fruits in a super-ripe style; feels quite late picked; ripe and thick on the palate; strawberry and molasses; chewy and dense. Good length and very extracted. Very Magrez. 90+/100 [Earlier] Deep colour, inky; sweet attractive nose; nice oak; seductive and some substance beneath. This could be a great buy. Quite precocious. Intense, serious palate with grip. Very good. Lots of tannin and extract but very good finish. Great winemaking revival here under Bernard Magrez. Could be a real hit. 92+/100 Tasted 30th March ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Mid depth; typically lush, ripe nose from LTC; full of blackcurrant fruit, plum and spice; like Belgrave with the volume turned up; nice mouthful with lots of attractiuve fruit and material. Attractive wine. 90+ [Earlier] Quite deep at the edge; purple hue; real life here on the nose; fruit first, strawberry and earth then some oak resin but intense and well integrated; palate quite dense but has life, strawberry and red fruits here along with tannin and acid. Real grip and chew with tannin. Good length. Very good effort from this redeveloped estate. 88+/100
  • 2007 Deep core, saturated centre with legs in the glass; Magrez red fruits, quite full and very ripe styled. Resin and oak; quite satin-y palate with red fruits though maybe has a little too much extraction. Chewy. Not bad effort. Some savoury notes on the finish; charred earth and coffee. 86/100
  • 2006 Typically deep and saturated, super ripe feel here – almost as if we’re in Pomerol, Merlot dominant blend? Certainly intense [would be good with steak], very ripe strawberry note too; lots of red fruits and oak resin; tannins feel a bit dry, feels like the fruit isn’t quite enough here, a fraction over extracted? 86-88?/100.
Chateau Malescasse, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2015 Deep and saturated; ripe and creamy aromatics; fruitcake spices; nice depth here; good fruit; excellent effort from Malescasse. Positive wine. Drink 2021-2028. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 86-88+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; ripe and jammy; cassis notes; soft and easy on the palate; nicely composed; wet rocks and chalk on the finish. Good effort. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 86-88+ [Earlier note] [Earlier note] Saturated look; deep; purple at edge; creamy blackcurrant fruit; nice purity; not too melded; the fruit speaks here nicely; little leaf and undergrowth complexity too; cassis on the palate; cool and polished; nicely handled; good wine this; has the balanced of very good Bordeaux; very nicely done; this is good wine. Really fine effort. Very good length and very well judged. Drink 2017-2028. Tasted Grand Cercle 29 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2011 Mid depth; stalky blackcurrants and cassis; some perfume and an earthy undertow; feels sappy and fresh on the palate; bit angular and lacks ripeness; vegetal streak. Tannic and dry. Tasted UGC. 82-84
  • 2010 Very dark and saturated; fresh blackcurrants, some reductive notes; some cream but feels infant [obviously], tannic and grippy palate of some substance; but feels very disjointed and needs to settle. Lots of tannin and acid here. 84-86?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deepish and vibrant colour; fresh, some Cabernet here; bit stalky though; blackcurrants and herbs on the palate but grippy too; not that bad if it settles. Bit foursquare though 85-87?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Dark, inky, tight to edge; stalky, sturdy wine; slightly green streak; palate similarly stalky and sturdy. Some perfume but also geranium. Bit tannic and dry at the end. Also lacks a bit of interest. 84-86/100 Tasted 30th March 2010.
  • 2008 Mid red; little loose at the edge; stalky notes, some strawberry, some smoke; quite grippy palate, stalky blackcurrants, almost old fashioned. Grippy and tannic. OK. 84-85/100
  • 1994 Some depth; good colour; some ripeness; but also dusty notes; plate ripe but foursquare; good structure ; bit short. Sturdy; lacks breed or finesse. 82-84/100 April ‘99
Château Paloumey, Haut-Médoc
  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; purple edge; black cherry and smoke; fresh palate with some oak influence; has depth and structure. Drink 2021-2025. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 85-87
Château Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2014 Mid depth; fresh and attractive looking; stalky blackcurrant aromatics; elegant; quite light on palate; needs to infill; not a blockbuster but soft and easy overall. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 83-85
Château Peyredon La Gravette, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2014 Mid depth; dark core; nice blackcurrant purity; nicely unadorned by oak; fresh and appealing; cassis and plum; little stalky note; like this – not overworked; fresh blackcurrants and plums; cooler style; lighter in the middle but has good sap and freshness. Not over extracted or over oaked; fruit has nice texture and works well. Nicely balanced. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted Grand Cercle 29 March, 2015. 86-88
Château Peyrat-Fourthon, Haut-Médoc
  • 2014 Deep and saturated looking; fat and ripe fruit; mealy note; Christmas pudding; Pontefract cakes; spices; solid; fruit and extract; lots of extract; big; chewy beast; feels rather dry and over extracted on the finish. Lacks sophistication. Ballsy and gutsy. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted Grand Cercle 29 March, 2015. 84-86
Château Ramage La Batisse, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2015 Light looking; rather diluted and washed out; odd; feels a bit rained-on. Drink 2019-2021. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac 7/4/16. 79-81
  • 2014 Mid depth; leafy blackcurrant aromatics; little trace of green; soft and easy palate; lightish. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. 82-84
Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois
  • 2015 Mid depth; read at edge; dusty; some spices on the palate but little hard this sample; very modest this for Sénéjac. 2014 better in my book. [I bought a case!]. Drink 2019-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arcins 7/4/16. 83-85
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; earthy purple; bright and composed aromatics; blackcurrants and some lift; ambitious and fine; blackcurrant and cherry fruit on the palate; nice acid at the end with a silky finish. Good effort. Tasted 2 April, 15 Cru Bourgeois tasting at d’Arsac. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+

Château Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Médoc

  • 2011 Mid black/red; blackcurrants, smoke and class; very open; blackcurrants on the palate; bold and pure – this is an exciting 2011 and shows how well this vintage has developed in certain cases. Good depth and long finish. Another ten years in it. Drink 2015-2025. Tasted April ’15. 91+
  • 2008 Black red; quite pent up; some spice and blackcurrant; cool tones; palate full and pretty backward; some astringency on the finish. 87/100 April ’11
  • 2008 black and thick in the glass; dark brooding with cassis, blackcurrants and liquorice; quite tough and concentrated ball of fruit on the palate with oodles of tannin; this is a concentrated almost old-fashioned wine, strapping and packed full on the palate of fruit, acid and tannin. Could last forever but needs at least five years to open out as it feels pretty backward. 90-92+/100 Aug ‘10
  • 1996 deep red black and tight to the rim; toasty oak and cassis on the nose; palate full, with good structure, plenty of fruit but still with lots of tannin to resolve. Doesn’t seem a day older than the 2000! 90+/100 Aug ‘10

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