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St Julien tasting notes


Below are the raw tasting notes for the St Julien commune from 2014 back. They last seven vintages are reasonably comprehensive but there are notes here going back over twenty years – hope they are useful. For overviews on the other communes click here: Haut-MédocSt EstèphePauillacSt JulienMoulis & ListracMargaux and Pessac-Léognan. For tasting notes on the other communes click on the following links: Haut-MédocSt EstèphePauillacMoulis & ListracMargauxPessac-LéognanSt Emilion and Pomerol

Château Beychevelle, Fourth Growth, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep colour; purple edge; attractive lifted fruits; nice fine Bordeaux aromatics; elegant palate; quite measured; has refinement. Very balanced and harmonious. Attractive Beychevelle. [47% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2032. 91-93+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; earthy purple at edge; ripeness on the nose; fresh cherry; little spice; menthol; bit worked feel; nice entry; soft and voluptuous on the palate [the blend is Merlot dominant]; nicely balanced; looser and softer style; some spicy blackcurrant fruit; certain raisin element; elegant finish. 51% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 50% new oak; harvest dates 25/9-14/10. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep-ish; vibrant edge; some menthol, blackcurrant fruits; quite full on the nose; inky blackcurrant tones on the palate; some cassis; not a bad effort. Composed with some elegance. Good effort. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot. Harvest 1-10th October, 13% alc]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. 87-89
  • 2012 Mid depth; cool aromatics [a little reduction] but linear; spicy tones and some oak resin; more structured on the palate with flesh and bright acidity; little boney nevertheless; elegant and leaner style; dry on the finish but the length is good. Needs a few years to fill out. Drink 2017-2025. 88 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; little oak influence; some jam; red fruits; black cherry too; palate feels a bit hard; finishes dry. Should fill out further but feels a little mean on the finish. 2011 felt a little better to me. 85-87 UGC Tasted April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep looking; red fruits, jammy note; strawberry tones; red fruits and feels a little worked; some tannin to resolve at the end, feels extracted and a little stretched. Will probably settle but feels a little hollow to me after the up-front jam lift. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Harvested Cabernet between October 12-18, so relatively late. Tasted UGC April 9, 2013. 86-88.
  • 2011 Mid depth; elegant blackcurrant cassis tones; some red fruits and jam; quite angular palate and high acidity which gives it a very grippy feel. Needs a few years but will probably always be angular and boney. Drink 2016-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep saturated; tight to rim; blackcurrants, deep, ripe lots of real freshness; structured wine on the palate; chew and density – nicely balanced and handled. Good. Second sample little coarser, more extracted in feel, dry tannin. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot – harvest dates 14-29 September.  Tasted twice at UGC. 86-90? Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; chocolate and chalk tones; spices; later opens up in the glass to reveal blackcurrant aromas; blackcurrant fruit on the palate; nice seam of fruit; polished feel to it; stalky blackcurrant characters; nice; quite tight finish with nice acidity. Drink 2016-2030. 91 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and pretty saturated; fresh blackcurrants; lots of purity here; clean and not at all sullen as ’09 was after bottling; pretty palate; rose petal, blackcurrants; elegance, not the same intensity as some; grip on the finish. Will probably gain further weight. 91+/100 UGC [Earlier] Saturated colour, dense core; rosehip, perfume, higher toned notes; blackcurrants, quite tight bit closed, all tannin and grip, some length? This sample was a bit closed. 87-89?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; some blackcurrant, ripe, some cream; stones; some floral notes too; quite tight on the palate; dense, richness, good density but less voluptuous than 2009. Some spice. Good length. Much better sample. 90-92+/100 Tasted 7 April 2010 UGC
  • 2009 Mid depth; deep core; red fruits, little toffee, some tar and sap; lots of depth to the fruit on the palate with saturation; chewy and feels pretty extracted on the finish. Lovely and lush during primeurs, closed when first bottled and now a little disjointed. Some inconsistency here. Drink 2016-2030 89 MW Institute Nov 13 [Earlier note] Mid density; dark at centre; some cassis and lift; chewy palate but very closed; blackcurrants and some tobacco but far more subdued, more structured and far less exotic/flamboyant than at primeur tastings. Clearly this wine has tightened up during elevage and since bottling. I’d expect this to improve. 90-92+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Wonderful ripe red fruits on the nose; very seductive and full; very attractive and flattering at this stage; intense and lovely; wonderful fruit balance; again seductive palate; open and very full; excellent length. Tannin high but ripe and overall feel is very supple and round. 13.9 degrees in alcohol but doesn’t feel heavy. A blend of  46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Terrific wine. 92-94/100. Tasted 30th March and 1st April ’10 UGC Primeurs tasting.
  • 2008 Mid depth; some red fruit, savour; opens up quite well – blackcurrant seam – some stalky cool harvest Cabernet tones; earthy, blackcurrant cassis on the palate; little dryness here to the tannins but there is fruit. 88 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Some depth at core; earthy purple at edge; some lift and strawberry; quite elegant palate- not showing the intensity or depth say of Lagrange in 2008 – feels almost old fashioned Beychevelle. Bit angular on the palate with tannins dry and present. May round out but not amongst the best wines in St Julien in this vintage – or a patch on the beauty produced here in 2009. May put in weight in bottle. UGC Oct ‘1o. 86?/100
  • 2007 Good colour; depth and legs in the glass; some leaf, tobacco but a little dumb at first; opens up; blackcurrants, tobacco flavours on the palate; fairly modest body; tannin, structure evidence and lacks middle palate richness. Sinewy effort. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; elegant nose; some red fruits; quite attractive; some resin; palate attractive; little on the dry side; lacks flesh and a little angular. May fill out. 84-86/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Good depth, dark at core and dense to the rim; some leaf and blackcurrant, elegance here, some lift with coffee and mocha notes, quite attractive; layers here; not the biggest St Julien but intense in this vintage; good attractive wine on the palate; mid weight wine with real pleasure and elegance but also inrtensity. Some cassis and resin – blackcurrants and rose hips. Plenty to chew on here but tannins pretty fine and well handled. Great length. This is a considerable success. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 1998 Mid dark black, some tobacco and savoury notes to the nose; elegant palate with some austerity at finish. Good not great. 87/100 June ‘09
  • 1989 Good colour; up to rim; fine St Julien nose with tobacco and cedar and a lot of ripe Merlot coming through; Palate elegant with a good long finish. Very good wine. 91/100 Sept ‘95
  • 1986 Good colour; red/black with some mahogany at edge; closed initially but then revealed classical St Julien nose of tobacco, spices and cedar tones with blackcurrant fruit beneath; palate elegant with similar flavours; some unresolved tannin at the end but overall wonderfully mature and elegant St Julien. 91/100 Apr ‘09

Château Branaire-Ducru, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Nice healthy colour; fresh purple at edge; bright fruit tones; alive; stylish Cabernet aromatics; spicy and appetizing; nice entry on the palate; attractive purity; pure blackcurrant tones; mineral notes on the finish; fresh. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2022-2032. 91-93+
  • 2014 Mid depth; deepish core; fresh blackcurrant fruit; cool and clean; perfumed elements; fresh and very pure; nicely unadorned; really like this style; nicely proportional and with good acid; expect this Branaire to fill out; concentration here but nicely handled; plenty of flesh and will fill out nicely. Stylish St Julien with good length. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot; 2% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 91-93
  • 2013 Deep at core; purple edge; fresh blackcurrant tones on the nose; fruit is clean and nicely lifted; creamy notes; very pure and clean again on the palate; medium bodied with sap; layers here. Nicely done. [63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2028. 88-90
  • 2012 Mid depth; little wet rock/chalky note; not that expressive at first; elegant blackcurrant and spice tones on aeration; blackcurrant fruit with some depth to the palate; savoury edge; flesh and grip [more flesh evident than neighbour Beychevelle]. Palate has complexity. Drink 2018-2026. 89 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep-ish; fresh looking; some fresh, sappy Cabernet tones on the nose; quite taut palate; angular and grippy quality to the tannins; firm acid; chewy palate. Overall the wine has a certain density but also angularity and grip. Not a huge joy. 87-88  UGC Tasted April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Mid depth; some stalky notes; fresh Cabernet; some spices; feels fairly high-toned and ‘boney’; angular palate [sample a little cold] feels a bit pinched. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 86-88.
  • 2011 Mid red; wet rock, stoney notes; not wildly aromatic; blackcurrant tones on the palate but another austere effort with a dry finish. Not floating my boat. Drink 2016-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; nice pure blackcurrant seam, some fruit compote notes; leaner than Léoville Barton. Cool, fresh stalky blackcurrant. Pretty complete and maybe a bit slowburn. Cool blackcurrant palate; loads of structure and acid; tannin well handled. Grippy. Will work and Branaire not usually the most expressive en primeur. Tasted twice at UGC. 88-90 Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; stoney mineral tones; sturdy and pent up in feel; cassis comes through later; inky and intense on the palate; firm wine; nice blackcurrant fruit; elegant and pent-up; needs time to uncoil. Drink 2018-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; pretty deep core; pure blackcurrants, some minerals; nice entry; blackcurrant fruit; plenty of material; fresh acids and structure here; chewy finish. Has length and plenty of fruit. 92+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep, saturated; fresh feel here, blackcurrants; grip and acid on the palate with tannin and not overtly flattering to taste. Will settle. Goodish 88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011.[Second tasting] Mid depth, purple at edge; quite velvety, ripe notes, cream; cherry and blackcurrant too; ripe and chewy with density; quite fresh and grippy. Will settle. All bones and elbows here now. 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep colour; wet stones, mineral notes and menthol and blackcurrant wine gum tones; minty; stalky blackcurrant flavours on the palate with menthol and minty highlights. Nice chew and sap on the end shows that the wine is not without freshness. Purity. Still pretty tight. An ’09 that needs time. Drink 2017-2030+ 92 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; cassis, blackcurrants and minerals; deep and thick; purity to the fruit; some undergrowth too; very ripe palate again with purity; this has put on weight and nicely polished; bite and chew on the finish and feels long term. Improved and more together now than during primeurs week. 92-93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Fresh and clean; some rosehip, cassis and blackcurrants; slightly stalky note; not as round in style as the others; quite structured palate; more hard tannin evident here; one of the more awkward of the St Juliens at the tasting. Hopefully will come round and the score reflects the uncertainty.  88-90?/100. Tasted 30th March and 1st April ’10 UGC Primeurs tastings.
  • 2008 Mid depth; some wet stone, chalk qualities; earthy blackcurrants again; little angular on the palate, or at least not currently that expressive; does open in the glass and there is purity to the fruit. 87-88 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep purple red; some roses and also stone fruits and a mineral like quality here; palate a little hard and austere; blackcurrants and fruit but some angularity; this will probably remain on the ‘elegant’ side, though may put on weight; chewy tannins at the end and quite dry. 86-88?/100 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Mid depth; fresh, some stalkiness, blackcurrants beneath; not showy; spicy palate with herbal tines, oak influence and elegance. Again lacks a bit of middle like the Beychevelle. Should round out further but will always remain a fraction short of the mark. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; nicely integrated nose; creamy blackcurrants; good; palate stalky blackcurrants; softer on the palate and less angular than Beychevelle. OK. 86-88/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep and dense, quite dark at edge; stony, minerally nose, quite solid which later yields blackcurrants and almost some mint and camphor; this is a strong nose and lots of blackcurrants here; blackcurrants come through on the palate along with acid and tannin. There is some dryness to the palate here but there is extract and fruit to match. Not that bad and needs time as it will probably fill out further. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2001 Dark red; some spice and tobacco on the nose; blackcurrants; but felt extracted and hard. Not sure here. Bad bottle? 86/100 Dec ‘06
  • 1971 Translucent brown; VA lifted Musar like nose; palate tired; flat and austere with tannic end. Was probably soft originally but fruit disappeared over the years. 75/100  Mar ‘96

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep and attractive looking in the glass; purple at edge; lovely pure Cabernet aromatics – simply adorable; perfumed and virtually perfect aromatically; creamy palate; full and voluptuously styled yet again; lovely ripe Cabernet here; beautiful wine; caressing and yet fresh; great length too. Considerable power and ripe tannin. Wonderful. One of the wines of the vintage on the left bank for me. [95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 13.4% alc, TA 3.07, pH 3.89, IPT 75, 100% new oak]. Drink 2023-2045. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; tight to the rim; purple at edge; lovely Cabernet fruit; blackcurrant, cassis; lifted and very attractive; black cherry notes too; plenty of fruit on the palate and considerable depth; concentration here but also acidity and vibrant fruit; blackcurrant and cassis tones; some spice; very fresh; chewy finish but ripe tannins. Complex wine. Substantial. [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 13.5alc, TA 3.65, pH 3.81, IPT 81, 100% new oak]. Drink 2022-2035. 94-96+
  • 2013 Deeper; vibrant purple at edge; glossy look; pure blackcurrants, pure, saline quality; excellent purity on the palate, very linear with a crisp quality and vibrancy; very nicely balanced overall – has genuine delicacy and elegance. Should come together nicely. Pure and attractive St Julien. [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 13% alc, TA 3.59, pH 3.6, IPT 68, 100% new oak]. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 90-92
  • 1996 Deep; quite light on the nose; some tobacco; some perfume; quite elegant; lacks a little oomph; extract but tannic and a little mean on the finish. 88+/100 May ‘08
  • 1990 Deep; big beefy wine; attractive open nose; full of developed characters, some perfume and tobacco; big and chewy on the palate, lots of extract; tobacco and leather; chewy with tannin at the end. Enjoyed this. Very good. 91+/100 May ‘08
  • 1985 Deep red; bit of earth; tobacco, nice; quite attractive and complex nose; some ripe tones but coarse tannins that haven’t softened; grip at the end. Reasonable wine but tannins bit coarse. 88/100 May ‘08
  • 1975 Deep red/brick at edge; tough nose; tannic frame, fruit going with dusty tannins. Now nothing special 82/100 June ‘04
Croix de Beaucaillou, St Julien
  • 2015 Lovely colour; lots of depth; dark at centre; healthy vibrant purple; perfume in the glass; cream; blackcurrants; ripe plum; wonderful mouthful too; concentrated yet supple and harmonious; this is extremely attractive young Bordeaux with a voluptuousness to the mid palate. Lovely. [52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, TA 3.18, pH 3.77 IPT 70, 60% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. 93-95
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; depth; vibrant colour at edge; blackcurrant perfume; lively; aromatic; lifted; very bright fruit on the nose; lots of flavour and matter and extract on the mid-palate; lots of fruit here; good concentration and lively freshness. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.25alc, TA 3.59, pH 3.76, IPT 78, 60% new oak]. Drink 2019-2030. 90-92
  • 2013 Deeper; vibrant and attractive floral perfume; sweet and sour cherry; spices; nice entry on the palate; soft with good density but elegant and round. Much more generosity than many in this vintage. Elegant and fruit driven.[52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13.15% alc, TA 3.5, pH 3.73, IPT 65, 60% new oak]. Drink 2017-2024. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. 86-88+

Château Gloria, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; dark at centre; earthy purple at edge; little reductive at first but fresh and bright fruit beneath; opens up in the glass; enjoyable fruit on the palate; nice purity; black cherry and summer compote fruit notes; joyful St Julien. Plenty of fruit and depth overall. Grip on the finish. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 40% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep and darkly coloured; fresh and vivid earthy purple at edge; equally vivid blackcurrant fruit; lift; cassis; vibrant and vivid St Julien; real joie de vivre here in Gloria; caressing blackcurrant fruit with some ripe black cherry notes; lashings of fruit here; velvety palate; Excellent effort from this joyful St Julien. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. 45% new oak. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 90-92+
  • 2013 Deepish- vibrant edge; very fresh and brightly flavoured; some bubblegum and blackcurrant tones; fresh and vivid; cool blackcurrant flavours on the palate; pretty strong acid here gives a rather grippy/sappy finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc 45% new oak]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2023. 86-88
  • 2012 Mid depth; easy, sexy and open style; attractive and forward aromatics; satin and spice on the palate; medium bodied with blackcurrant and spice tones; soft tannins. Very enjoyable and open St Julien from this good value estate. Drink 2016-2025. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dark at centre; fresh blackcurrants; clean; some spice; fresh and grippy palate but with chew and density; tannic and dry on the finish. Lots of extract and material so should come good. 87-89 Tasted UGC Thursday 11, 2013 [Earlier note – slightly better] Deep and saturated; looks enticing; lots of fresh blackcurrant fruit and spices; some cherry; lots of fruit evident on the nose; lots of fruit and purity; chew also. Chewy with plenty of extract. Should settle nicely. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 88-90.
  • 2011 Nice depth of colour; some leafy Cabernet tones; pure and attractive palate; chewy but good blackcurrant fruit; grippy finish and chew to the tannins. Good effort though. Drink 2016-2026. 88 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and arterial; loads of blackcurrant fruit on the nose, some spice; lots of depth, cassis as well as some stalky Cab qualities – these will round out during élevage; little tightness on the palate but waves of blackcurrant fruit; density. Bite on the finish. Grippier than last few vintages. Tasted twice at UGC. 88-90 Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; pretty cassis and blackcurrant nose; plums and spices too; very cool and fresh fruit tones; structure to the palate; nice acid and grip; plenty of flesh on the bones. Has filled out nicely. Good length. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and dense; attractive nose, nice cassis and blackcurrants; some layers; some Cabernet freshness; grip and flesh. Pretty good 87-89/100 Tasted 5 April 2010 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; lots of blackcurrant cassis, real fruit and quite voluptuous and full; lots of ripeness; some stalky Cabernet notes; quite blackcurrant fruit on the palate; chewy palate, bit chunky finish– will probably round out 88-90/100Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Deep and dense; very, very pretty on the nose; seductive; blackcurrants, earth and some roasted coffee bean notes; blackcurrants, lead and tobacco on the palate; quite forward and delicious; vibrant wine that is precocious and an absolute delight already. Chew on the finish suggests this will last well but it’s already a beauty. Buy in spades if not done so. Great wine. 93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep saturated colour and purple at the rim; fabulously ripe, sweet nose; roses, red fruits and very attractive; palate very dense but supple and ripe; very pure with a little wood tannin present now but overall a very pretty and perfumed palate; grip and acid too. Density and chew here with real length and class. 90-92+/100
  • 2008 Mid red, some purple at edge; quite fresh with strawberries and redcurrants, stones and minerals; with tobacco and coffee bean notes too; good life and acid on the palate; grip and flesh here, structured wine on the grippy side with acid and tannin. Needs five years but good and with good length. 88-90/100 Tasted at Gloria Nov ’10
  • 2007 Mid red, some depth; very flattering nose, fruit, roses and blackcurrants, some green coffee beans, some tobacco, good layers, still a little pent up; elegant and harmonious, slightly leafy note arrived later; harmonious with some coffee/mocha notes at the back; balancing acid and soft. Finishes a little short but not that bad considering the vintage. 86/100 Tasted at Gloria Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Black red; saturated; legs; elegant nose; some smoke and blackcurrant but a little dumb; opened out a little but palate tight; intense and some concentration but closed. Good. 88+/100 16/20 Dec ‘09
  • 2001 Mid red-black, attractive St Julien nose of tobacco, tar and earth, opened out very well – nicely made wine, medium bodied format; elegant but with complexity and class. 87/100 Nov ‘06

Château du Glana, St Julien

  • 2014 Deep and saturated; glossy; opaque at centre; some smoke; sturdy; blackcurrant cassis beneath; some violet lift; chalky note; fruit; solid feel; gutsy; plenty of fruit and texture. Bite on the finish. Vigorous. Drink 2017-2025. Tasted Grand Cercle, 29 March, 2015. 86-88

Château Gruaud Larose, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Mid depth; dark core; purple edge; little dumb initially; fruit tones emerge on aeration; good fruit and acidity on the palate; needs to fill out a little. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2023-2030. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; purple at edge; pure Cabernet; freshness; clean and pure; lovely blackcurrant aromatics and perfume; showing wonderfully on the day; very polished; complete and round on the palate; very attractive vintage for Gruaud Larose; caressing wine; yet also structured with fresh acids on the finish. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 91-93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; dark core; little reticent at first then blackcurrants and some earthy notes emerge; nice entry on the palate; cool blackcurrant fruit with some complexity [meat and notes of earth]; attractive mid-palate and nicely balanced fruit and acids. Fresh obviously but for the vintage this works. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 12.75% alc]. Tasted 87-89+
  • 2012 Mid depth; satin aromatics with blackcurrant fruit tones and earthy notes; very St Julien; blackcurrant spice with a smoked meat and savoury edge on the palate; nicely attractive; the wine has depth and texture on the palate. Good effort. Drink 2017-2027. 90+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; nice layers to the nose; attractive; some perfume and lift; grippy palate, fresh with acid and tannin firm; will fill out I expect but will always have bite and grip. 87-88 Tasted UGC Thursday April, 11, 2013 [Earlier note – better showing] Mid depth; some stalky Cabernet, some earth and tobacco tones; quite open and attractive on the nose; palate has a nice tension between earthy Cabernet and grip; pretty sinewy effort though. Still reasonable texture and fruit. 66.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6.5% Petit Verdot. Tasted Tuesday April 9, 2013. 88-90+
  • 2011 Mid depth; lifted blackcurrants with some leaf, earthy tones and spices; even a little tobacco – attractive; palate good with blackcurrant notes again and nicely handled tannin. This is a good effort. One of the best so far from the commune. Drink 2015-2025. 90+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; slightly malty, earthy note, peat here too; ripe; palate dense, layered and satisfying; chewy and deep. Intense palate, earthy, mealy meaty note again – quite typical. Chewy but tannin not over done. Pretty good and should settle further. Tasted twice at UGC. 88-90+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Mid depth; some earth, savoury tones with ripe cassis and blackcurrants; cleaner palate with layers of blackcurrant fruit; quite dry but with plenty of extract. Lacks the purity of Léoville Barton – earthy, smoky and savoury notes. Not as knockout as it was primeurs. 92/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very dense, very deep; feels more finished; satiny feel here, seductive and deep nose, settled and very attractive – this immediately feels very good. Very attractive and deep palate; wow really very complete compared with the last few; lots of depth and density; some chew and grip but lots of lush fruit. Very good wine 92-94+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting UGC] Deep and dense; lovely seductive nose, roses, blackcurrants, layers, very bright and attractive – deep – this feels genuinely as good as if not better than 2009. Creamy ripe wine on the palate, very attractive; lots of poise and grip with density. Attractive with excellent density 94-96+/100 [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 14 alc] Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Big and deep looking; very attractive and forward nose; earthy blackcurrants and smoked meats but with a certain silkiness; pretty deep; stalky blackcurrant tones, real purity here and rich in body. Very full with deliciously ripe tannins. Lovely wine. Plenty of guts for the long haul but wonderful already. Drink now-2035. 97 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; not as dense as some; sexy, some animal and game tones, classic Gruaud; sweet oak too with blackcurrants – flashy style; leaf and blackcurrant too; very open and some jam too; maybe a fraction less impressive than at primeur tastings but this is meaty, seductive stuff. 93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very ripe nose; some strawberries and red fruits; very seductive; almost element of jam and super ripeness here; palate intense and concentrated; a wine of fantastic fruit; some real exotic notes to the palate; almost super concentrated Grand Cru Burgundy. Decadent. Fantastic finish. [Second note] Deep black – red to purple at edge; very sexy and open; opulent; already quite nuanced; very flattering; great entry; real ripeness here; seductive fruit; wonderful. Real chew but well balanced. Lots of extract and material but nicely done. Very good length.  94-95/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Mid red; quite light at core; feral and earthy as usual, very savoury with some blackcurrant; quite developed palate with tobacco and savoury tones and a touch of animal meal, spices and grip. The earthy tones – terroir or winemaking? 87 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Less dense than the Lagrange [tasted before] – some stalky Cabernet; feels a bit lighter and looser; some animal notes; coconut and cake; quite light on the palate versus its peers and loose on the finish. Not one of the best St Juliens. 86-88?/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Mid red; typically earthy and meaty notes here; meats and animals; some tar and intensity; some meat on the palate and nicely done. Roundness to the tannins and silky quality to the palate. Good considering the vintage. 88+/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09 UGC London tastings.
  • 2006 Similar depth to Lagrange, but with a little more development showing; cassis and resin on the nose; strong wine with some meaty qualities, this is good [and better than the disappointing 2008] – really attractive savour here also smoky notes also meaty too and some mocha and chocolate at the back; palate is full, sweetish but with extract and material. Lots of flesh here. Also good grip, structure and chew, maybe lacks a fraction at the end – but good to very good. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Deep red/black; some intensity to the nose but quite pent up; gravelly note on the palate; closed wine; currently hard and tannic but intense. Very closed up. Difficult to assess. Reputation much better. Bad bottle? 88-90? Sept ‘09
  • 1996 Deep black red; menthol, mint, development here – attractive; palate chocolate, tobacco with some tar but elegant and fine with good acid. Good length here. Intense and savoury. Just opening up. Later more savoury notes with leather; with firm tannin. Quite a lean vintage for Gruaud. Fine. Will age well and gain complexity though doesn’t have the extract or density of the 1986. 90+ Sept 09 [earlier note] Deep in colour; deep nose; quite dense; resinous; chewy palate; for the long haul; will open out. Good length here. 92/100 May ‘08
  • 1990 Lovely mature colour; spices; tobacco; roast meats; tobacco; beautiful aromatics; meaty palate with style and concentration; tannins now tamed; this is on top-form now. 97/100 Tasted May ’16 [earlier note] Deep red black; big and heady; some caramel in the nose [badly stored bottle?]Great reputation but no rating on this bottle. May ‘08
  • 1987 Red at rim; medium weight; gloriously sweet nose, plums, red fruits; classic St Julien with blackberries and sweet oak with tobacco and cedar. Flavours carry through to a palate with elegance and a touch of astringency. Mature. Excellent considering the rain affected vintage. 88/100 Aug ‘94
  • 1986 Deep at core; red at edge; wonderful sweet ripe mature nose; cedar, tobacco, some spices, roast beef; also tar, leather and molasses; some menthol at the back; palate sweet attack, real olives and blackcurrants; intense, menthol; strong and full flavoured; tannins a little coarse but terrific density and length on the palate; finishes with leather and lapsang notes. Monumental. First growth quality here. 96+/100 Sept ‘09 Previous note [Aug ‘89] Black/red; tight to rim; intense nose of tobacco, spice, blackcurrants and cassis; powerful palate with lots of fruit and rugged tannins. Top end. Very good. Strong and tannic. 94/100 Jul ‘89
  • 1985 Deep black, red; minty leafy edge; quite top-end nose; leafy, tobacco, silky and fine; palate quite dense and intense; blackcurrants, olives and tapenade. Very good wine. Maybe a trifle short but intense. Tobacco at the end. Actually very good. 91/100 May’ 08
  • 1984 Deep red; full nose, rich round and mature; peaty olives and tobacco; excellent for ’84; mid-weight palate with good extract; round soft tannins. Finishes a little short but successful considering vintage.  87/100 Apr’ 95 Now probably too old.
  • 1983 Deep mahogany red, close to rim; nose savoury with toasty tobacco and sweaty edge; some animal qualities with rich ripe fruits beneath. Palate broad and expansive, sweet and ripe with ripe tannins. Excellent wine 92/100 Sept ‘94

Château Lagrange, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep colour; fresh looking; creamy blackcurrant aromatics; attractive cassis notes; mid-weight on the palate; composed with attractive fruit; harmonious with ripe tannins. Best recent vintage here for me. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 13.2% alc]. Drink 2023-2032. 90-92+ Tasted UGC April, ’16
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; purple at edge; fresh looking; resinous nose; some fruitcake notes; little VA lift; blackcurrants; some liquorice; bit chewy and sinewy in the middle; feels extracted by comparison – at least meaner…not that attractive at present. Shortish finish too. What’s happening at Lagrange? Recent set of vintages have been hard going early on. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 13.5% alc. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 86-88
  • 2013 Deep at core; vibrant purple at edge; some resin; cereal tones and blackcurrants; inky palate which feels grippy and rather chewy. Acidity and tannin giving rather chewy aspect to the end palate. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88
  • 2012 Mid depth; clean and quite precise blackcurrant tones; quite linear; some vigour and freshness to the palate; blackcurrants flavours again; polished and reasonably creamy mid palate; nicely made mid-term prospect. Drink 2017-2025. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; dumb, little dusty;  palate quite tight and astringent; chewy and lacks appeal; may fill out [I certainly hope so] but not much joy here at present. 86-87 Tasted Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note – better] Mid depth; some meal, earth and mineral; little neutral overall though; palate mid-weight; earthy notes; ripeness and nice-ish chew at the back. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Tasted Tuesday April 9, 2013 87-89
  • 2011 Mid depth; wet rocks; some blackcurrants; chewy palate with lots of extract and tannin. Very tight presently. Closed and compact. Needs time. Drink 2018-2028 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark, saturated and tight to edge; slightly stalky note, blackcurrants, dense; layers here but pent up and not at all flamboyant or as fresh and blackurranty as Léoville Barton or Langoa but still some style; palate good, some density and chew with blackcurrant fruit; plenty of structure but not overdone. Some tannin at the end. Good effort. Tasted twice at UGC. 88-90+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and dense; creamy blackcurrant fruit; sturdy and firm; ink and blackcurrant notes dominate the aromatics; palate has a good texture; blackcurrants and ink again; will be good. Drink 2018-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; deep core; quite firm, pure; blackcurrants; nice pure seam of fruit; Cabernet freshness; linear; concentrated and focused palate; structured with plenty of grip and tannin. Vin de garde. Needs ten years. 91+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep saturated colour; real cassis and blackcurrants on the nose; deep but feels very tight and intense; dense palate, really intense, feels extracted and tannic with grip but enough depth. Lots of extract and tightly woven. Quite grippy. Needs to settle 88-90?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC [Second Tasting UGC] Deep and dense; purple edge; creamy, some cassis notes; blackcurrants on aeration; deep and quite cool and fresh; creamy deep wine, concentrated and intense; grippy. Chewy and intense wine – typically pent up for Lagrange early on but more so in 2010. Extract too and tannins. More settled than first sample. 90-92+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep; resin, some stone and mineral notes; quite restrained; some spicy blackcurrants; blackcurrants on the palate; nice chew and density. Feels like it is at a more awkward stage. Plenty of structure and material here. Solid but lacks a bit of excitement compared to the rest though. Drink 2019-2030 90 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dense; creamy ripe nose; layered and nicely mannered; pure and not turbocharged this may very well prove to be as good as the phenomenal 2005 and 2000; excellent palate, fresh and with grip; lots of blackcurrant fruit; tight; meaty and structured; this has put on weight and should turn out very well. 93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep purple black; intense and concentrated nose; tight and dense; very pure and very ripe fruit; cassis; a little pent up compared to the Leoville Barton and Gruaud Larose; minerals and chalk too; focused again; lots of ripeness here on the palate; tight with some oak tannins at the back. Lots of extract and grip. Should be excellent. Not that showy. Good length. May merit higher score. 92+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Mid depth; some leafy blackcurrant fruit with spices; sweet and ripe palate; quite dry on the finish but pretty good effort. Clean fruit and complete. 89+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red; dark at core, purple at edge; very intense nose, sturdy with red fruits, stones and minerals, quite pure; very clean and attractive in that classical, pent-up Lagrange style; blackcurrant and some mint; really good mouthful; lots of extract but nicely handled tannin; some chew at the back, very attractive with good balancing acid. Excellent. 92+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Deepish; dark centre; legs; ripeness here on the nose; layers if flavour; feels glossy, plush almost and some oak influence; blackcurrant fruit on the palate with real chew and guts but has sufficient stuffing and guts to fill out the evident structure. Some length on the finish. Very good effort. 90/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; little dumb; some creamy blackcurrant, some resin and tar but subdued; quite tannic and dense at present on the palate; chewy. Needs a few years here to soften. Clean and precise flavours. Tannin high though high feels ripe. 87-88/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep and dark, little more lifted and oaky on the nose compared to the two Barton wines; slightly more higher toned and lifted nose; some strawberry and red fruits and also blackcurrants; with also mocha and espresso notes at the back; blackcurrants come later; palate feels polished and neat, to a degree still compact and taut and needs to unfurl, but lots of depth here and structure, palate quite ‘worked’ but retains freshness. Good grip and intensity with good length. Classic. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Deep red, purple at rim, concentrated and dense but with life; initially quite pent up, some stones and minerals; blackcurrants and sweetness beneath but quite dumb to begin with; with aeration wonderful ripeness and density emerged, both on the nose and palate; really intense palate; this is a fine structured wine with layers and lots of extract; very well handled and coiled tightly but which will unwind beautifully. Palate very substantial and concentrated – this is a 05 very much in its shell. Lots of fruit to the palate and wonderfully judged extraction here – a wine with pretentions to greatness. This is certainly the best wine here since the fantastic 2000, although if the 2009 puts on more weight than I felt that it had at the en primeur tastings earlier this year it may yet give this wine a run for its money. Still this is a dead cert for lovers of serious, ambitious but still good value St Julien. Go buy it now! 95/100  Tasted June 2010
  • 2003 Deep black/red; pent-up and intense nose; roses; blackcurrants and fine oak well integrated; palate layered but taut and a little woody at first, fleshed out later; not as lush, complex or as aromatic as 2000. Very good. 90/100 17.5-18/20 Oct ‘09
  • 2000 Dark black, arterial; legs; wonderful nose offers up tobacco, new oak, earth, tar and liquorice; layers of flavour on the palate with really concentration and intensity; still pent up with much power and elegance. Later smoked meats on the palate. Quite terrific. Real length and concentration to the finish. Much more open at this stage than the 1996. Fantastic. 95/100 May ’06
  • 1996 Mid depth in colour with wonderful St Julien nose of tobacco, savoury notes and later merlot came out with pronounced chocolately mocha notes. Real length and finesse to this wine with lovely finish. Just hitting its stride. Wonderful, fine claret.  93-94/100 Feb ’08 [Earlier note] Deep arterial black, intense inky nose, later cassis and cedar, but savoury and also redolent of smoked meats – palate full and intense, blackcurrant, tobacco, tar and full but ripe tannins. This is a superb wine which will develop into a wonderful St Julien and last till 2020+. Terrific. 93+/100 Aug ’09
  • 1978 Sweet; more St Estephe than SJ, some earth; mid-weight; fine tannins. Soft palate. Very good – and well before the Suntory upswing from 83 onwards. 88/100 Apr ‘96
  • 1966 Brown; dusty tannic old claret nose; no fruit on the palate to speak of; drying out with old, stale flavours. Very tired wine. Probably best drunk in the first ten years of its life and even then probably tough and austere. ?/100 Apr ’05
Château Lalande-Borie, St Julien
  • 2015 Bold colour; vibrant edge; pretty wine, violet lift with ripe cherry and black fruit tones; fresh Bordeaux; supple palate; fresh and alive; harmonious with nice texture; good stuff! Appetising and balanced St Julien. This will drink well from the off. [55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alc, TA 3.01, pH 3.8, IPT 65, 30% new oak]. Drink 2021-2028. 90-91+ Tasted April ’16.
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; lovely Cabernet aromatics; stalky blackcurrants but some strawberry notes; really positive and fresh with some perfume; blackcurrants on the palate; really vibrant; crunchy acids and textured palate; plenty of flesh and matter here – perfumed and blackcurrant. This is excellent and classic. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 13.45 alc, TA 3.57, pH 3.76, IPT 74, 30 new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. 88-90+
  • 2013 Mid depth; pretty and perfumed; cherry and raspberry notes; pretty; spicy and vibrant palate with grip and some sap. Spicy finish. Elegant and crisp.[70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. 12.95% alc, TA 3.61, pH 3.7, IPT 60, 30% new oak]. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. Drink 2016-2024. 85-87

Château Langoa Barton, Cru Classé St Julien

  • 2015 Deep and dark at centre; purple edge; fresh and creamy black cherry and blackcurrant notes; little tight initially; opens up; seam of blackcurrant fruit revealed beneath; excellent palate; intense blackcurrant notes; dry finish but tannins ripe. Should settle well. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 60% new oak, 13% alc]. Tasted April 2016. 90-92+
  • 2014 Deep colour; opaque at centre; purple at edge; ripe fruit; ripe plums; spices and some black cherry notes; lots of fruit; nice entry to the palate; extract, matter; some tightness but I like the tension; perhaps a little too much new oak on the finish presently. Probably will fill out. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% alc; 60% new oak. Harvest dates 25/9 – 8/10. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; creamy blackcurrant aromas with sour cherry notes; attractive purity; nice entry with blackcurrant fruit; cool blue fruit tones; there is grip and acidity but there’s a good balance between this and the purity of the fruit. Compact but a good effort overall. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 88-90
  • 2012 Mid depth; creamy blackcurrant freshness here with some stalky notes; quite tight on the palate but with good fruit; some flesh here and nice grip. Clean and freshly styled St Julien as usual from here. Drink 2017-2025. 88 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; nice purity of fruit on the nose – blackcurrants and black cherry notes; cool; palate nice blackcurrant tones with Morello cherry; mid-weight with acid and some chew. Fresh. 86-88+ [Earlier primeurs note] Deep and healthy looking; purple at edge; quite lifted; black fruits; palate fresh; lots of acid and freshness alongside the blackcurrant fruit tones. Will come good, but will always have sap and grip. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 60% new oak. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 87-89
  • 2011 Mid depth – light at core; fresh blackcurrants; little fruit compote; clean blackcurrant flavours but distinctly fresh acid which gives the impression of austerity. Chewy finish and, I’m sorry to say, feels old fashioned. May come good but will always be austere. Lacks excitement and joy. Drink 2018-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; tight to the edge; similar tones to Léoville Barton – loaded with blackcurrants, fruit compote, cream – very attractive and pure in a fresh way. Ripeness. Little bit of dark cherry and bitter chocolate. Blackcurrants on the palate; complete and composed; lots of layers; good buy here. Nice purity. Not dryly tannic. Fresh and with good length. A real success. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted twice at UGC. 90-92+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and dark at the centre; stalky fresh blackcurrants and ink; tight but layers and opens up in the glass; very clean and very pure; impressive; blackcurrant fruit tones domnate the palate; solid but clean and crisp; very good stuff. Drink 2018-2035. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; fresh; some blackcurrant and dark cherry notes; pure again; similar to Léoville Barton obviously but a notch down in volume; some spice; very classic; blackcurrants and leaf; some undergrowth; grippy and structured palate; lots of extract, tannin and acid. Quite a mouthful at present. Also needs ten years plus. 91+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very dense; ripe and creamy, cassis, blackcurrant notes; saturated with aroma; impressive nose, layers; good attack, intense but some flesh; good grip and tannin ripe. Dry, grippy finish. Length. Pretty good. 89-91+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting at UGC] Very big and dense looking; vibrant, silky and attractive note; fresh blackcurrant and cassis; quite excellent on the nose. Very clean and precise. Dense, concentrated palate, tannins here and a hardness. Will need ten years. Good length, grip and chew at the back. Not seemingly as extraordinary as 2009, more classical, tannic and strong. 89-91/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
  • 2009 Mid depth; stones, blackcurrants and cassis on the nose; layers of blackcurrant fruit here; sturdy and fresh but full of fruit; nicely balanced and appetizing freshness. Clean and fresh in a [relatively] tauter style than some but that restraint is appealing. Drink 2017-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep, dark and inky looking; lovely seductive nose of blackcurrant fruit, earth and freshness; these Barton wines are now coming into their own  – and Langoa is every bit as impressive as it was during the primeur tastings; real density, mineral tones; crushed rocks and pure blackcurrant fruit; chewy and structured it will need time but such wonderful blackcurrant fruit. Knockout St Julien and knocking on the door of sibling Leoville-Barton. 95+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Vibrant colour; ripe and very attractive nose; very perfumed with red fruits and concentrated – lovely layers here; quite pretty; roses and red fruits; very correct for St Julien; lovely layered palate with good fruit; tannic but ripe with intensity; extract and tannins here but excellent overall. A structured wine. Will age very well. The blend is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. The best Langoa I’ve had. 92-93+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Mid depth; blackcurrant pruity; quite fresh; palate quite compact and firm in acid; chewy and tight. 88+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep red black with purple hue, ripe muscular style; blackcurrants; cassis; quite serious; pretty full across the palate, no dips; softer, rounder tannin than I expected; well integrated. Intense and with good length. Very good 90+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Deepish; legs; some red fruits, some rasin; almost Italinate lift with resin and dark fruits; ripeness here some spice and layers; this has put on weight; grippy palate; chewy and dense; blackcurrant flavours; feels a bit old fashioned; lots of structure and acid; will settle in the long term but don’t expect the chewy tannins to fully resolve. 88+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; stone mineral quality here; red fruits; some resin; intense; good palate quite dense and tannic; needs time. Clean flavours and tannic. 86-87/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Again good depth here, deep and intense looking; coming after big brother a bit difficult but minerals and stones here alongside the blackcurrants; resin and intensity here but this is very good – deep and intense but also fresh. Some tobacco creeping in. Lots of cassis and blackcurrants here. Palate concentrated and fresh with excellent intensity and grip and structure. There is sufficient flesh here and the tannins, while a little dry, should work out. Overall good guts and extract on the palate rich in fruit with lots of cassis and blackcurrant flavour. Really quite rich. Excellent length too. Langoa has showed extremely well in the past four vintages with little of the estate’s [former] benchmark austerity. This is hot on Leoville Barton’s heels. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 1994 mid depth; some tobacco and St Julien notes of tobacco and cedar but still quite closed. Mid weight palate of some depth but austere and dry tannins at the end. 84/100 Oct ‘05
  • 1982 Mid red; tobacco and meaty savoury nose; some dust but intense; palate again concentrated and meaty. Intense with ripe but chunky tannins. 90/100 May ‘96
  • 1981 Mahogany; dull not limpid; slightly dusty and dry tannin nose; the genie of St Julien hasn’t visited this bottle; or if it did it departed ten years ago; still has structure but also has old bones feel to it. Tough [tasted from magnum]. 75/100 Jan ‘05

Château Léoville Barton, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep and opaque at centre; pure blackcurrant aromatics; attractive; composed; refined palate; fresh and nicely done; layers to the fruit; minerality; tannins ripe but need age to soften. Classical Leoville-Barton in that respect. Nice length. [86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 13% alc, 60% new oak]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted April, 2016. 93-95+
  • 2014 Deep and dark; saturated at centre; colour tight to the rim; deep blackcurrant aromatics; some cassis; blackcurrant aromatics really open up in the glass; cool entry to the palate; nicely balanced; pure; lots of matter and extract; good concentration; nicely measured and proportional; grip and density on the finish. Excellent Léoville Barton. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 60% new oak. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 92-94
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; tight to the rim; inky look; cool blackcurrant fruit with some black cherry tones; feels full; blackcurrant fruit tones on the palate; nicely layered; more grip and tannin than Langoa Barton. Classical Leoville Barton. Nice extract overall. Needs to settle but all the elements are there. [85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 60% new oak, 13% alc]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2020-2035. 89-91+
  • 2012 Mid depth; little more solid and closed at first than Langoa; blackcurrant fruit beneath on aeration; spicy St Julien qualities revealed; blackcurrant and fresh tobacco notes; quite sturdy palate with tannins a bit angular; acidity present and freshness; a classical, rather bracing St Julien which will come good with time. Drink 2018-2030. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep coloiur; vibrant at edge; some blackcurrant; black cherry; quite deep; fresh and grippy palate; correct; has purity and tannin but will come good. Fresh. 89-91 Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note – better showing] Deep colour; very nice purity of fruit; cassis; blackcurrant; fruit compote; blackcurrants on the palate; quite fresh; stalky Cab; but clean and fresh with sap and tannin [and plenty of material]. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc 60% new oak 13% alc. 90-92
  • 2011 Deeper hue than Langoa with more depth; stalky blackcurrants with some wine gums; fresh and slightly compact palate; fruit currently subdued and backward – feels very tight and taut at present [acid]. Needs time. Drink 2020-2030. 87+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated, blackcurrant purity, fruit compote, fabulous purity – loads of blackcurrant aromas; sweet brambly entry, fruit compote then the structure and grip – tannin too – cooler blue fruits here but really fab fruit – blackcurrants and blackberry tones. Excellent effort. One of the standout wines of the appellation. Nice grip and tannin ripe. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Harvest dates 12-23 September]. Tasted twice at UGC. 93-95+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Very deep looking; colour the to rim; pure cassis and blackcurrant tones; overt for Léoville-Barton; lovely purity and real classicism to the aromatics; seam of fruit here; inky palate with Cabernet fruit and lots of depth and density; tannin is considerable with chew and grip on the finish. Less polish than Poyferré to the tannins but great effort. Drink 2016-2040 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; fresh, ripe blackcurrants on the nose; cassis; some black cherry too; real freshness and purity; lots of fruit, extract and material; blackcurrants, dark plums, cherry; pretty clean flavours; structured and tannic but not seemingly as dry as Léoville Poyferré. 93+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Dense and saturated; similarly intense, clean, blackcurrant, some smoke, little lift; some plushness to the nose; cassis notes; smoky blackcurrant palate; very focused and intense; tannin but ripe and well handled. Grippy. Potentially very good but also very long-term. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dense; some strawberry and blackcurrants, intense; quite fresh and some lift; dense on the palate with some hardness and not the softest of tannins. Strong wine and strong tannin. Not over-extracted but strongly tannic. Classical again. 91-93+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and fresh looking; blackcurrants, undergrowth, spices – very enticing aromatics – opens up wonderfully in the glass; legs; spices and blackcurrants on the palate – lots of fruit as you’d expect but very nice balance indeed. Blackcurrant and cassis tones dominate the entry and mid-palate – little more austerity on the finish than Leoville-Poyferre and seemingly greater tannic grip. Still positive finish. Tremendous effort. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and very dark; colour to the edge; inky and deep; mineral blackcurrants, a nose seemingly of infinite depth; dense and inky on the palate this is terrific stuff; fresher than Leoville-Poyferre, it is not necessarily better just different in style; this is first growth stuff as I’ve said before. Brilliant wine. Long term. 97+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very deep and inky; fresh and very intense nose; focused and very precise; loaded to the brim with fruit; but very intense and concentrated; very ripe flavours; red fruits and lift with minerals. Excellent. Fabulous density; lots of extract and concentration; layers; lots and lots of fruit. Blimey! A concentrated and fantastic Leoville-Barton. Nudging First Growth quality here and this is a 30+ year wine. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22.5% Merlot, 0.5% Cab Franc. Potentially 96-98+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Deep looking in the glass; some lift and minerality but feels pretty closed; palate dense, more yielding than the aromatics; promising blackcurrant fruit, structure and some acid. Nice palate with depth and structure. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep redblack; intense looking in the glass; blackcurrants, oak resin; minerals; quite inky; real quality here yet feels surprisingly fruit driven. Full palate; dense, then come the tannins, which are pretty dry but the fruit is here.  Long haul. Excellent. 92+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Dark in the glass; minerality and depth on the nose; blackcurrants and graphite too but sense in which it is unyielding; fresh blackcurrants on the palate; quite structured wine with lots of bones and pointy shoulders; grip and acid. Dense and needs time. Potentially 91+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; creamier; more blackcurrants and lead pencil note; quite tannic but slightly rounder and less dry than Langoa. Quite intense and clean with some oak at the back. Very good. 89+/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep and arterial in glass but also fresh looking; plums at first, quite ripe, then very intense blackcurrants, quite pure, almost inky; even more precise than the Leoville Poyferre. Cassis here too. Good chewy, dense palate, quite fresh with lots of guts and material. Also big structure here with acid. Marvelous length here. Wow! This is a great wine. Extracted and powerful and pent up and the oak has been completely soaked up into the wine. 94+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10 [Earlier] Deep black red; classic nose of pencils, cedar and blackcurrants; palate dense but backward with strong acid and firm structure. Classical St Julien and will need lots of time here. 92-93+/100 April ‘10 
  • 1996 Deep red; dark at core; nice pencils on the nose; mid-weight; a little closed on this showing. Some tannins at end. Subdued. 86-88?/100 May ‘08
  • 1993 Reasonable colour; some tobacco and spice on nose; palate a bit mean and austere, hasn’t developed that well. 84/100 Dec ‘06
  • 1990 Deep red; some development; slightly musty nose; palate quite tough and tannic. Again not a good showing here. 84?/100 May ‘08
  • 1985 Jammy quality; nice palate, inky with blackcurrants; good – quite clean blackcurrant fruit. Good palate and nicely balanced. 89+/100 May’ 08
  • 1978 Mahogany; very smoky tobacco, classic  St Julien nose with earthiness and mature notes – simply wonderful; palate soft and well balanced but not quite up to the aroma and later dried out a little in the glass. Fading. 88/100 June ‘04

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Opaque; colour tight to the rim; deep earthy purple at edge; lovely seam of blackcurrant fruit on the nose; really sits there up in front of you and begs you to drink it! More composed on the palate; tighter with interwoven oak; plenty of guts and matter and vibrant acidity; lots going on here; really good palate impression and finish; excellent length. [85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 13.8% alc, TA 3.74, pH 3.70, IPT 76, 85% new oak]. Drink 2025-2045. Tasted at Las-Cases April, 2016.  95-97+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; opaque; pure blackcurrant aromatics; some cassis; wonderful purity; creamy notes; blackcurrant fruit; some black cherry then there is oak; little dominant on the palate but will fill out; lots of texture and fruit; balanced; material and density but also balance. Really nicely done. [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 33hl/ha, 85% new oak, 3.49 pH, TA 4.11 13.8% alc, IPT 70.] Drink 2025-2035. Tastes at Las-Cases 30 March, 2015. 94-95+
  • 2013 Deep and dark looking; saturated but has life and vibrancy at edge; blackcurrant purity on the nose; cool with some smoke and graphite; layers and almost a certain opulence; very pure; creamy blackcurrant flavours on the palate, opulent and full in the middle – really full of fruit. Lots of material and tannin here but fruit to back it up. Nothing wrong with this at all. One of the best wines tasted on the left bank. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 13.1% alc, TA 3.76, pH 3.69, IPT 63, 31hl/ha, 9.5% press win, 85% new oak]. Tasted Château Léoville-Las-Cases 31/3/14. Drink 2020-2035. 91-93+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated looking; vibrant edge; very deep nose; enticing, focused and precise; layers; excellent depth of fruit on the nose. The palate is full of fruit, material and ripe tannin; there is a lot of stuff here but it is very focused indeed. There is a roundness and ripe quality which gives a balanced and harmonious feel to the palate. Excellent length and very nicely done. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc 80% new oak, 13.47 alc IPT 70 pH 3.6. 94-96+ Tasted at the Chateau Friday, April 12, 2013.
  • 2011 Deep black, dense; tight to rim; brooding and deep; sweet fruit but pretty backward; lots of depth; smoky note; layers and layers of fruit on the palate; saturated and dense but with very nice tannin. This really is St Julien’s answer to Latour and made from excruciatingly low yields of 27 hl/ha. Exceptional length. Very focused effort, bags of potential here in this brooding, powerful wine. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. 13.4% alc. 80% new oak. Tasted 5/4/12 at the chateau. 94-96+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Very deep looking; cassis, blackcurrants; sturdy and intense; little reduced and on further aeration the scale of the wine is revealed; scale and strength and depth to the aromatics; powerful stuff; stalky blackcurrants on the palate; strong and stalky; powerful if a little unyielding at present. Traditionally styled and powerful. Drink 2020-2045. 96+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated in colour; blackcurrant, cassis and graphite; quite bold and muscular; very, very deep and brooding; real depth; thick and dense palate with lots of extract and material; tannins very ripe, considerable and chewy and nicely done. Lots of depth and chew here. Very big and broad. Dense wine with excellent length. 95-97/100 [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 13.7 alc, IPT 74]  Tasted 7April 2011 at the Chateau.
  • 2009 Deep; cassis and blackcurrants, some wine gums and tar and asphalt; palate full and saturated with wonderful tannin ripeness; blackcurrant tones dominate with real sap and freshness too. Very, very good. Drier finish than Leoville-Poyferre and even Leoville-Barton [in terms of the battle of the Leovilles!]. Seemingly more structured and tannic. Very long term here. 2020-2045. 98+ MW Institute tasting Nov ’13.
  • 2008 Deep; some chalky minerality; some red fruits; little dumb; minerals, spices and chewy tannins; quite dry on the finish. Feels a bit austere and compact at present. 88+ MW Institute Nov ’12.
  • 2007 Deep; some youthful tones at edge; some animal and earthy tobacco notes and ripe black fruits; layers but tightly wound; dense and layered palate; spicy blackcurrants; flesh is here but plenty of grip and structure too. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11.
  • 1987 Deep for the vintage; strong nose with tobacco and cedar; palate structured and drinking well. Tannic twist at the end. Very good in the context of the vintage.  88/100 April ‘93
  • 1986 Dark; powerful and masculine; tobacco, cedar and dark inky blackcurrant cassis fruit; tannic and sinewy this wine could last forever. St Julien’s Latour. Great length, great fruit and great tannins. 97/100 Tasted Jan ‘90
  • 1967 Tea coloured at edge but some depth; fragrant with some tobacco and spice; far from dead old bones but does feel old. 80/100 Aug ‘02

Le Petit Lion

  • 2015 Deepish; vibrant purple at edge; blackcurrants and cassis; black cherry; cool entry; harmonious; nice acidity; lacks great depth but it’s the acidity that keeps things alive; cherry and blackcurrant notes; quite sappy on the finish with freshness. Le Petit Lion represents less than 25% of the harvest. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.9% alc, TA 3.81, pH3.60, IPT 62, 30% new oak]. Drink 2023-2030. 88-90+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; tightish to rim; vivid purple; creamy blackcurrants; fresh with some black cherry; graphite; blackcurrants; sturdy palate; nice core of fruit; [label created in 2007]; elegant finish. Good stuff. [57% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc 33hl/ha, 30% new oak, 14.2% alc, TA 3.97, 3.55pH, IPT 62]. Drink 2022-2027. Tasted Las-Cases 30 March, 2015. 87-89+
  • 2013 Deep at core; vibrant edge; fresh looking; spicy blackcurrant tones; nice lift; plums; attractive and some depth aromatically; good fruit on the palate with focus; quite full and attractive; soft and approachable at present. Settled. Rounder and more generous than expected. [53% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc, 13.1% alc, TA 3.62, pH 3.73 IPT 58, 20% new oak, 9.5% press wine]. TastedChâteau Léoville-Las-Cases 31/3/14. Drink 2017-2028. 86-88
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; minerality; blackcurrants; cassis and some blackcurrant lift; purity here; life and spice too; nice entry; cassis; blackcurrant; nice balance this is attractive and quite supple and round. 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 13.53 % alc 20% new barrels yield 33hl/ha IPT68. pH 3.59 89-91+Tasted at the Chateau Friday, April 12, 2013.
  • 2011 Deep and dark; tight to rim; legs; some cassis, wet stone; bold palate, quite big and fat with lots of material; chewy and dense in the mouth; acid too; chewy and grippy. Sappy with bite. Goodish length 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot 13.6% alc 22% new oak. Tasted 5/4/12 at the chateau. 87-89+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and dense; some cassis, some mineral, graphite; palate sweet entry, quite thick but well handled; chewy and dense; good length. Quite attractive 88-90/100 [52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot 13.7 alc, IPT 63] Tasted 7 April 2011 at Chateau Léoville Las Cases.

Clos du Marquis

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; colour tight to the rim; lovely aromatics; layers and freshness; blackcurrants and cherry notes with dark chocolate hints – but very layered; nice fruit; really lots of flesh in the middle; extraction but nicely done; lots of nicely judged fruit; cherry and blackcurrants; freshness; nice freshness here. Beautiful Clos du Marquis. Nice tannins and good finish. Freshness but also lovely purity and life here. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8% alc, TA 3.85, pH 3.67, IPT 67, 39hl/ha, IPT 67, 50% new oak]. Drink 2023-2035. 93-95
  • 2014 Deep and bold colour; fresh purple at edge; saturated; focused and saturated fruit; core here on the nose; bold statement; cassis and blackcurrant tones; some graphite too; layered; cool entry on the palate; very nice fruit; purity here [which defines this place]; depth and structure but plenty of cool flesh; tannins ripe and nice chew at the back; blackcurrants notes on the finish. Very good length. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 33hl/ha, 50% new barrels, 13.85% alc, 3.97 TA, 3.63 pH, ITP 68]. Drink 2023-2035. Tasted Las-Cases 30 March, 2015. 91-93+
  • 2013 Deep and serious looking; tighter to the edge; vibrant; creamy blackcurrant aromatics, cassis & feels deep; very nice aromatics; little oak at the edge but plushness to the fruit; density and depth but not over-extracted; tannins ripe and fresh finish with good length. Great effort. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc, TA 3.57, pH 3.77, IPT 61, 50% new oak, 6% press wine, 31hl/ha]. TastedChâteau Léoville-Las-Cases 31/3/14. Drink 2020-2030. 89-91+
  • 2012 Very saturated looking; cassis, blackcurrants, freshness and purity; lots of stuff going down here; real polish and layers; full; quite taught palate with lots of extract and material and very nicely handled it all is too. Very concentrated but manages surprising elegance and freshness. Really lots of material here and grip too. Tannin feels ripe. No problems here at all. Good length. Good buy I expect. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 40% new oak, 13.5% alc, IPT 65 pH3.64 Tasted at Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases Friday April 12, 2013. 92-93+
  • 2011 Deep and arterial; tight to rim; quite deep and dense; wet rock, dense, some cassis; quite sturdy, tannic wine with very evident structure, density and grip; not too puckering on the finish so roundness to the tannins obviously. Feels pretty good potentially. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc 13.6% alc 40% new oak. Tasted 5/4/12. 90-91+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Thick and saturated with colour; legs; brooding cassis and blackcurrants; intense and deep. Lots of blackcurrants on the palate, deep and intense; little thick but good concentration, chew and extract. Extract and tannin. Good length. 91-93+/100 [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 13.6 alc, IPT 66] Tasted 7 April 2011 tasted at Chateau Léoville Las Cases

Château Léoville Poyferré, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Deeper and concentrated; plenty of gloss and polish; very fine and concentrated aromatics; focused; minerality too; pent up as you’d expect; slowly opens up in the glass; floral note; blackcurrants; cassis tones; nice entry on the palate; wood integrated; chew and depth here; not a flashy wine but very complete with depth and elegance. Nice chew on the finish and matter. Very fine. Very good wine here. Very definitely a long term Poyferré – but harmony and balance here. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc, IPT 80, TA 3.45, pH 3.69]. Drink 2025-2040. 94-96+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated; ripe; fruitcake spices; menthol; layers of fruit on the nose; intense palate with lots of matter and density; extracted but the material excellent and the tannins ripe; chewy finish. Pretty long-term Léoville-Poyferré this. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 93-95+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; lots of fruit and matter on the nose; spices; fruitcake notes; focused and precision; crushed rocks and the lift from the new oak; lots of matter on the palate; spices; menthol notes; blackcurrants; olives; concentrated and formidable. Great length and extract but tannins ripe. Lots of depth and matter here. Drink 2025-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 93-95 [Rarlier note] Deep and saturated look; earthy purple meniscus; legs; opaque at centre; substantial; little brooding at first; seam of blackcurrants and cassis on aeration with minerality; formidable; opens up on the aromas; quite fat fruit beneath; fine palate; bold fruit but nicely precise; structured and taut at present; early start but has concentration and length. Excellent length in fact. Usual story of precise fruit and polished tannins. This will fill out. Feels akin to 2005. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.25% alc, IPT 86, TA 3.45, pH 3.71]. Drink 2025-2035. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 93-95
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; tight to rim; vibrant; blackcurrant purity with a vanilla lift; focused and precise on the palate; seam of fruit; oak needs to integrate a little but good effort. Grip and focus. Chewy finish. Pretty serious. Akin to 2008. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc], 13% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.63, IPT 73, 34hl/ha]. Tasted 31/3/14 at Léoville-Poyferré. Drink 2020-2030. 91-92+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated; attractive and layered nose; complex; full; smoked meats; blackcurrants; nice entry and good extract and material; firmly structured – and feels a little more backward compared with the Bartons just before but all the elements clearly there; chew and density on the finish suggests a serious effort here. Will settle nicely. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
  • 2012 Deep attractive colour; pretty fruit on the nose, spice and depth; attractive fruit on entry – blackcurrants – layers of fruit here; full and some weight and grip; all the elements are in proportion and tannins supple and ripe [but considerable]. A very good effort this from Didier Cuvelier and his team. Has power but will be reasonably approachable early on. Drink 2016-2030. 92+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and tight to the rim; saturated colour; healthy purple at rim; lots of blackcurrant cassis; layered and mannered; precise; blackcurrant notes, some smoke and meat; tight palate, lots of fruit evident; minerals; good focus again; lots of fruit here but very focused. Didier Cuvelier thought it closed on the day. Very expressive nose. Looks very good indeed, should blossom further. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 13.4% alc, IPT 82, pH 3.8. Tasted Monday April 8, 2013 at the Chateau. 92-93+ [Additional notes from UGC] Deep and saturated look; ripe; lots of fruit on the nose; thicker and layered; nice palate with good depth and density. Tannic grippy finish but need a bit of time. UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 91-92+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated look; ripe and deep on the nose; smoky notes, blackcurrants; lots of finesse; palate has a lot of material; nicely composed; layers of fruit if firm tannins at the back. Chewy finish but very good material. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 91-92+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated look; lots of fruit and density on the nose as well as resin and ink; lots of fruit evident on the palate – bags of ripe blackcurrant fruit which is oak influenced but much more impressive richness here than in Leoville Barton. Tannins rounder and overall harmonious wine. Chewy tannins but lots of fruit here and good length. Heads and shoulders the best wine of St Julien on the day. Drink 2018-2030 92+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep saturated look; very fine and pure on the nose; cassis; nice Cabernet; later opened up with a little more perfume; real focus here; lots of precision on the palate too; cassis again and real purity; density and purity; feels quite long haul potentially, certainly a little reticent over recent vintages. Good length. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 6% Cabernet Franc 13.7% alc 93-95 [Tasted 2/4/12 at the Chateau] Deep and saturated; very tight to the rim; creamy, polished and sophisticated nose; some lift from the oak; tight and precise; vein of fruit with real concentration; palate very loaded and precise; some density and dryness here but plenty of fruit to back it up. Little dry [drier than sample at chateau] on the finish but grip and chew suggests the fruit will cover the tannin and oak. Nice chew. 92-94+ [tasted twice at UGC 3/4/12 and 5/4/12] Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Saturated and deep looking; creamy and full; very complete aromatically; evidences lots of depth; intense and inky on the palate with lots of depth and concentration; terrific balance here – will last for thirty years but already showing considerable harmony. Deep and considerable levels of extract and chew. Hot on the heels of the tremendous ’09 here. Drink 2018-2040. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated in colour; blackcurrants, some cream; layers to the nose; also lift from the oak; leaf and blackcurrant freshness; very structured grippy palate with acid and extract; lots of blackcurrant fruit but there is a density here; chewy finish. Saturated and structured at the same time. Needs time. 93+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Dense and saturated to the rim; very creamy and real ripeness and bold; layered nose, some toast, but mainly cassis and blackcurrants; real density on the palate, concentrated and quite firm, real density to the wine. Lots of extract and density; real chew and length. Maybe stronger and more concentrated than 2009 but less hedonistic and knockout in my book. Excellent never the less. 94-96+/100 [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. 14 alc, IPT 90] Tasted 4 April 2011 at Chateau Leoville Poyferre. [Second tasting ]Dense saturated colour; cream, blackcurrant ripeness and intensity – very attractive with freshness; palate very attractive, layered and ripe; density; attractive and tannic; grippy too. Lots of depth and concentration; very good length; long term; length. Excellent 94-96+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Third tasting] Deep and dense, thick looking; very ripe and clean; lots of fabulous ripeness, good to taste again; very bright and alive; real freshness; lovely creamy wine, strong and full, lots of extract and tannin but lots of blackcurrant fruit. Great mid-palate. Really very good. The leading St Julien here? 95-97+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated look; utterly seductive – incomparable creamy blackcurrant aromas – very, very opulent; lots of depth here – this is so, so seductive; blackcurrant fruit on the palate with delightful harmony; lots of material and layers but extremely well handled fruit – very, very polished. Lots of depth and length. This is surely perfect? Drink now [almost!] – 2040. 100 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; tight to edge; thick and brooding this has crept a bit into its shell since it’s knockout primeur days; very deep on the nose with cassis and blackcurrants; very polished; palate more open and seductive than the [currently] brooding nose suggests; great minerality and density and fab purity. Great chew and length on the finish. Better than Barton? Just different, more polished maybe but certainly another first growth equivalent. 97+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Dense colour, tight to rim; great focus and ripeness on the nose; very precise flavours and dense; very, very good; very ripe here; some minerals, graphite and cassis; wonderful intensity and purity on the palate; simply loaded with fruit and layered with structure beneath; little tannic at the back but lots of layers of fruit here to support this. Excellent finish. Nearly 14 degrees. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc% and 6% Petit Verdot. Terrific effort. 94-96+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Pretty deep and saturated looking; earth, blackcurrants; quite polished with a bit of lift; pure palate, quite strong fruit; not that seductive, more ballsy; little awkwardness at present; chewy and dense but hardness here. Disjointed phase but lots of potential. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Dense, quite red/black; intense blackcurrant nose, cassis and oak; quite seductive; palate lush on entry with layers but also considerable tannin – both oak and fruit tannin – feels a bit disjointed at the end. Tannins quite dry and feels a bit extracted on the finish. Lots of fruit here though so should come together. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc]. 90-92/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Deep core; red fruits, tobacco and undergrowth; attractive spicy notes and polish; feels nice and open and already attractive; palate similarly round and approachable but with sufficient depth and fruit. Not at all hollow as some are. Very nicely handled. 91+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; sturdy savoury notes but cleaner than Gruaud Larose; followed by blackcurrants and spices; palate creamy and layered; blackcurrants. This is good to very good. The best wine so far from the commune in 2007. 90-92+/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep in the glass, tight to the edge, legs; blackcurrants and cassis, initially quite strong and pure – real depth here with intensity, but a little brooding too; good chewy palate with blackcurrants, extract, lots of acid and structure and tannin – pretty big and bold here – really lots of chewy tannin and extract and good grip. Impressive and quite pure in style. 92-94/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Dark at centre; red at edge; maturing; wonderful St Julien aromatics; top, top draw; cigar box; tobacco; spices and blackcurrant notes; approaching maturity on the nose; blackcurrants on the palate; spices and nicely intense; excellent length here with much still to reveal. Real density of extract but tannins ripe and sophisticated. Blackcurrant fruit on the finish. Terrific stuff! [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2015-2035. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 96+
  • 2001 Mid red, some earthy development; tobacco, golden Virginia and undergrowth notes, spices and meaty quality, savoury; similar tones dominate the palate; good acid and balance; plenty of extract; sweetness here and lots of chew and extract – savour. Good length at the back. Nice wine. 91/100. Tasted at chateau Nov ’10.
  • 1966 Red brown; tremendous mature St Julien nose; tobacco, spices, cigar box; wonderful soft palate; fully mature with nice extract and tannin. Excellent 92/100 Apr ‘96

Château Moulin Riche, St Julien

  • 2015 Mid depth; dark at centre; closed and a little reductive; stone and mineral quality here; richness in the middle palate; quite stone and mineral again; good acid; nice chew and grip. Some length. This needs 5-7 years minimum. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.3% alc, IPT 65, TA 3.25, pH 3.74, 48hl/ha]. Drink 2022-2028. 89-91+
  • 2014 Mid depth; little loser at the rim; ripe seam of fruit on the nose; black cherry notes; minerality again; tautness – though more open a fraction than LP; opens up a bit in the glass; black cherry; graphite and cassis notes with some wood on the palate; wood needs to integrate; good length and matter; wood on the finish too. [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 12.6% alc, IPT 70, TA 3.3, pH3.81]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated colour; vibrant at the meniscus; intense, tight but focused on the nose; blackcurrant cassis; polished and creamy entry; wood a little dominant and acidity present. Grip. Should settle. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 31/3/14 at Léoville-Poyferré. Drink 2017-2030. 86-88
  • 2012 Mid depth; rich colour and looks polished; smoke, black fruits and layers to the nose; later blackcurrant, cassis and black cherry notes; more structure evident than in LP; feels string and dense with a chewy finish. Precision but not as much flesh evident as Leoville-Poyferre. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 13.2% alc, IPT 73 pH: 3.8 88-90
  • 2011 Deep colour, tight to the rim, silky refined note; cassis, wet stones and minerality; palate refined little dryness, oak and acid all evident; needs to meld. Wood tannin evident. Nice length overall. Feels a bit lean but well polished. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13.1 alc Tasted 2/4/12 at Chateau Leoville Poyferre. 87-88 Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and dense; very perfumed and intense; very clean; really intense; blackcurrants, very precise; cassis too; dense palate, quite firm; layers, rocks and minerals, dense. Good finish. Should fill out but feels a bit denser than the ’09 but less flamboyant. 88-90+/100 [59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot 13.5 alc 83 IPT] Tasted at Chateau Leoville Poyferre Tasted 4 April 2011
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; legs; silky note on the nose; very supple and lots of layers; minerals but real creamy richness; very attractive and quite seductive but also has real density; layered palate, dense, minerals and earth, tannin at the back, firming up; real extract and richness. Chew and extract. This is very good 90-92/100

Château Saint Pierre, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Deep and dark; fresh purple at edge; very seductive blackcurrant fruit and pain grillé notes on the nose; cassis and blackcurrant notes; plenty of fruit on the palate; real middle; enjoying the harmony here. Nice chew on the finish. The most impressive St Julien at the UGC tasting. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 50% new oak]. Drink 2022-2035. 93-95+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; tight to the rim; vibrant at edge; beautiful Cabernet on the nose; cassis and blackcurrant notes; very pure and perfumed too; beautiful cabernet on the palate; really caressing and nicely judged; cool and layered with depth but great precision. Fabulous length and extract. Acidity balanced. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. 50% new oak. Harvest dates 25-29/9 for Merlot, 6-10/10 for Cabernets. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 93-95+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; bright at edge; blackcurrants; sweet toasty aromatics – nicely integrated and attractive; cool entry to the palate; fresh acids here [as at sibling Gloria]; perhaps a little compact but has nice chew if rather sappy. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 50% new oak, 12.9%]. 87-89+
  • 2012 Deep colour; earthy, sexy Cabernet tones with tobacco and spices; really attractive aromatics with lovely blackcurrant fruit; similar ripe fruit tones on the palate in a mid-weight style. Some tannin to resolve at the back but this is very good wine. Drink 2017-2028. 92+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; blackcurrants and black cherry; freshness; chewy palate; density and material; pretty classic with lots of fruit and extract but fruit is there. Good effort potentially. 90-92 Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; nice blackcurrant notes; depth; good purity; similarly pure blackcurrant tones on the palate; nice and clean and will fill out. Mid-weight and nicely done. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot 60% new oak. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 89-91+
  • 2011 Mid depth; attractive blackcurrant fruit; some pencil and really rather full [one of the best St Juliens on the day]; clean blackcurrant fruit on the palate; very clean and pure. Complete. Good length. Drink 2018-2028. 90+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; tight to the rim; wonderfully full nose with lots of blackcurrants, sweet lift and purity with layers; very good nose; palate sweet and ripe with loads of blackcurrants; some chew and angularity at the back and this feels a dense and structured effort. Tannin a little firm but loads of fruit here, good length and extract. Tasted twice at UGC. 90-92+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; lovely seductive blackcurrant aromatics; really perfumed and pure; aromas leap from the glass; terrific stuff; aromatically top notch; cool Cabernet texture to the palate; layers and purity; real class and depth here. Fabulous effort from Saint-Pierre. Terrific wine. For me ties with Léoville-Poyferré for top St Julien at this stage. Drink 2018-2035. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated looking; quite seductive nose; layers; nicely handled elévage; cassis and blackcurrant fruit here; palate intense, focused and fresh; acid here with the structure. Quite chewy and saturated with a grippy finish. Another that needs ten years. 93+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Dense core, saturated; layered and plush nose; satiny and silky note; cream and cassis’ attractive and very good; good palate, fresh but intense and creamy notes; good seam of flavour and positive tannin. Settled. Good depth and creamy. Nice. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Deep and dark; ripe and attractive; quite layered nose; real ripeness here, lots of stuffing; palate some perfume and density; this should fill out further; little acid and some grip to. Chewy. Will settle. Pretty good. Often underrate this young. 92-94+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep, dense; lovely purity here; lovely Cabernet; this is right behind the Leovilles for my money; beautiful, pure St Julien; real depth to the palate and class; blackcurrants; tannin and pretty long-term. Wonderful stuff and still a great buy for the quality [half the price of Poyferre]. 95-97/100 [Earlier] Deep, dark, plummy purple colour, tight to the rim; legs; really opulent cassis blackcurrant notes on the nose; deep and intense, wonderful ripeness and purity here; really this has put on weight since I first tasted it; real density and ripeness and class now; lots of layers and density. Deep and rich – almost cake-like with spices. This promises to be a tremendous wine. Knocking on the door of the Leovilles Barton and Poyferre in 2009 I reckon, though less overtly powerful. 94-96+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Mid depth and purple at edge; freshness; little unsettled quality to the nose; sturdy; less concentrated than the two Leovilles tasted; palate pretty and floral; slightly higher toned; lacks the depth of the great wines here but should fill out and knit together and deserve a higher score. 88+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2008 Pretty deep and serious looking; depth, cassis, blackcurrants – pretty serious. Some seductive qualities and pretty deep and layered nose; nice blackcurrant cassis; deep; feels quite fresh with a pretty dry finish. Plenty of guts here though to make it work. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep red, blacker at core; legs; some purple at edge; very classy nose, strong blackcurrants and cassis, very pretty, quite pent up and lots of layers and attractive too; some mocha at the back; real ripeness here on the palate, very layered and lots of flesh and material, very well done. Pretty big wine actually with lots of extract and tannin, but fine and not at all dry. Should develop well. Maybe a trifle short at the end but otherwise excellent and I think this will fill out in bottle. 90-92/100 Tasted at Ch. Gloria Nov ’10 [Earlier] Dense in colour; tight to rim, purple at edge; meaty looking; some stalky Cabernet on the nose, quite a strong wine; opens up well in the glass; good structure on the palate with intensity, blackcurrants; good length; strong and well made. 60% new oak but it’s been soaked up by the fruit.  [81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot].  90+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Mid red, slightly greater depth; blackcurrants, cassis, quite round, some tobacco, layered and good; more structured on the palate with some grip and more extract here. Pretty good. 88+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; some stalky notes on nose; sturdy; quite dry and stalky feel; will need time; feels backward; Palate dry and tannic. Some coffee and Italianate notes. Not bad but need 5-10 years to come together. 86/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep and dense; dark up to edge; fresh, red fruits, strawberries and impressive; intense and pent up with blackcurrants and cassis notes; good clean, classic blackcurrant flavours; well made wine, good and fresh; good extract here with intensity and chew; really very good mid palate punch here; an attractive wine with good length and grip. Strong wines being made here recently. 90-92/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.

Château Talbot, Cru Classé, St Julien

  • 2015 Mid depth; purple edge; spicy, briary fruit tones; elegant; easy palate; fresh; purity but lacks a bit of middle; will likely infill during elévage; grip on the finish. Little compact at present. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2022-2030. 89-91
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; opaque; tight to rim; blackcurrants and black fruits; some spices and freshness also; lacks some of the concentration of the best on the palate; but very clean and will flesh out nicely; this is impressive infant Talbot; pure and fresh. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Drink 2024-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 90-91+
  • 2013 Depth; earthy purple at edge; some ink and blackcurrants; bit of cream; opens up nicely in the glass; some layers to this effort; blackcurrant fruit on the palate is cool and fresh; there is acidity but overall the fruit meets in the middle; quite a complete effort from Talbot in a tricky year. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 87-89
  • 2012 Mid depth; slightly higher toned this; little dusty note; quite forward blackcurrant fruit; lacks a bit of depth and has pretty fresh acids. Vibrant and elegantly styled Talbot. Needs a couple of years to knit. 2017-2025. 87+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; some Cabernet notes and spice on the nose; feels ‘high toned’; suggests angularity on the palate; some flesh but still a pretty angular effort here with a chewy, dry finish. Will fill out I expect but will always be lean and angular. 85-87 Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Mid depth; stalky blackcurrant notes; freshness; some spicy characters; palate has blackcurrant fruit and some spice and undergrowth; chewy on the finish and fresh acid; Sappy and angular but probably sufficient fruit here. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 87-89 
  • 2011 Mid depth; some spice, little ink and resin; blackcurrants and some cream; chewy palate; little compact in the middle but reasonable length. Drink 2017-2026. 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, concentrated at the core; cassis, some blackcurrant, strong notes; some depth; nice entry, density  some earth and blackcurrants but a little dry in the mid-palate. Chewy finish. Not a bad effort but not the best. Tasted twice at UGC. 87-89.
  • 2010 Deep colour; blackcurrant aromatics with spices; complex with depth; full and substantial on the palate – one of the best Talbot’s of recent years – palate has texture and crunch and plenty of blackcurrant fruit and attractive earthy tones. Nice acidity. Good effort. Drink 2016-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; glossy looking; some herbs, a little spice, some blackcurrant with olive; slightly stalky note at the edge; fresh wine, grippy, little awkward at present; lots of grip and tannin. Quite dry on the end. This could just be a stage. Very structured at present. 89+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep, dense and saturated; fresh Cabernet; feels not long past MLF; some spicy and blackcurrant notes; quite high toned and needs to settle. Feels a bit grippy and tannic. 88-90?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Deep and saturated; some spice and blackcurrant but less expressive than some; good density on the palate with blackcurrants. Grip and tannin too here but should meld 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Mid depth; a little dumb, some blackcurrants, chalk; grippy palate [surprisingly] with freshness; plenty of material [more blackcurrant aromas on the palate] but less finesse. Feels chewier with more acidity and sap. Lacks the intensity of the best though. Drink 2019-2030 89+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; blackcurrants, cassis and jam alongside undergrowth and tobacco; ripe style; not that complex; nice palate; quite sinewy at present; some tobacco and earth; good grip and length. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very ripe fruit; round; some leaf less super rich than stable mate Gruaud Larose but a very well balanced wine; feels round; some cassis and spice here on the nose – attractive. Palate very soft, mid weight and nicely done; some cassis and spice and briary notes to the palate; tannic edge on the finish but lots of fruit here and tannins feel very ripe and supple. Excellent 90-92+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Quite dark at core; some strawberry notes but otherwise feels a bit neutral; some cream; quite grippy palate and feels a little hollow. Lacks depth of fruit and chew. Not austere, just hollow. 85 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red; earthy looking; quite clean stalky blackcurrant nose, some earth but clean; palate more open, some herbs and slight hole in the palate; seems to lack a bit of oomph. Blackcurrants on the finish. [2nd] more open, some strawberry and some oak resin, quite dense.  Inconsistent notes here 86-88?/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Earthy red; some depth; rather stinky, reductive nose initially; blew off to reveal more tobacco and meaty characters but remained a little on the feral side; earthy blackcurrant notes with some tobacco on the palate; meaty but then dips away and feels attenuated. Short finish. 84?/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; some red fruits; not as attractive as stablemate Gruaud Larose or as good as the Leoville Poyferre. Palate elegant and fine; good blackcurrant fruit and some spice. Some herbal notes. Tannins quite dry. Goodish. 86/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Good colour, mid red; some leaf, spice and tobacco [but tall order coming after the Lafite!]; some savour here with extract beneath; not unattractive; mid weight palate, some spicy, weedy undergrowth notes with blackcurrants; good chewy extract and tannin, but not disjointed. Not a bad effort. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 2005 Deep colour, tight to the rim; quite backward [for Talbot] on the nose; obvious depth and density but pretty dumb at present; palate also structured and with some grip and flesh but not at all as flattering as I’d expected. While obviously good, on this Talbot ‘05 is a wine that has gone into its shell for a bit. Structure and weight suggest an excellent wine. 88-90?/100
  • 2001 Deep red/black; sexy succulent nose, violets, roses, spices with blackcurrant underlay and sweet oak; wonderful and spot on; palate has some density and real tension between the elegance and the intensity; some tannin to resolve at the end but very fine effort for the vintage. A pretty wine. Sexy and forthcoming. 90/100  Dec ‘06
  • 1989 Dark red/black; supple open fruit on the nose; medium bodied, soft fruit in balance. Lightish. Disappointing. 84/100 Sept ‘05
  • 1986 Dark and mahogany; legs, aromas of roast beef, tobacco, olives, tapenade with some cedar + lifted undergrowth. Fully mature – fine St Julien nose. Palate sweet entry, big beefy wine, savoury and meat like with tobacco and some cigar box notes. Tannins at end now softened. Will hold for 5 years more but at its peak. 94/100 Aug ‘09
  • 1949 Deep red/black; youthful; nose of a twenty year old wine rather than one that is nearly fifty – tobacco, spice, roast meats; palate chewy and rich and roasted. Terrific! Great length and amazingly youthful [served from magnum] 95/100 May ‘96 

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